Adapt the 5 Phrases to your creative skill that can pay your bills and see success as a small business owner.
Never in a million years did I think I would be a small business owner. Growing up, I hated math and loved writing so naturally, I considered myself a creative. As I tried to become a professional writer, I hated all the opportunities that were out there.
I went to Howard University to study journalism but only lasted a semester due to the cost of tuition and the cost of living. I graduated from MSU Denver in 2013 with a degree in Psychology and a minor is writing with hopes to become a school counselor but legal trouble stopped my momentum. In 2014, I moved to Atlanta, Georgia to full more opportunities but I wasn’t sure what I would be doing. Read the full story here.
Long story short, I have a writing business and am no longer interested in trying to become a writer. I would rather be a business, man.
I structure this grow model after the Writers in Charge’s “Earn Your First $1,000” Challenge.
I also incorporated Peter Bowerman’s “The Well-Fed Writer” Formula.
Now my focus is on writing, but you can use this model for building a business doing anything that is creative. You have to adapt the strategy to your niche.
My writer website, stupendouscopy.com, is my foundation for my freelance commercial writing business.
It outlines the services I offer.
It showcases social proof to build credibility.
It also showcases writing samples.
Social media accounts supplement my online presence:
I also created “leave-behinds” which are brochures that I usually attach to my emails.
I charge $50-$100 for an article with an emphasis on the flexible pricing approach.
Ghostwriting blog post is more since I will not get any exposure. I price those services at $150 -$200.
Writing a blog post and prospecting the article is $300.
Now, that I have my rates determined it is important that I stick to my guns and not lower them unless the publication can offer me a lot of exposure or can be leveraged to get higher paying clients.
If I accept any work or do too much pro bono work, I’ll be stuck in the same situation.
Of course, the rates will increase as I move up.
The most important part of freelancing/ having a small business is credibility so prospects have proof you can provide the service you say you can.
Without credibility is hard to get clients and even harder to get well-paying clients.
To get credibility I pitch major publications.
The idea is to get published in them so I use it as leverage when pitching prospects for work.
The more major publications that feature the content, the more my price will be justified.
I identified 10 major publications, but only need to be published 2 or 3.
I will find all the high-quality clients and high -paying publications by prospecting.
While I’m working on building credibility with the large publications, I pitch medium-sized businesses specializing in healthcare. I pre-qualified whom I reach out to based on their industry, how ideal of a client they are, their location, and access to their key point of contact.
Also, I looked into their business model, the number of employees, web design, and media coverage.
I will do all these tasks Monday – Friday, expect for bidding on the up & coming content mills.
60 cold pitches every day (30 phone calls and 30 emails). I developed a script for the phone calls and letters of introduction for the emails.
I apply to 10 writing jobs on freelance job boards.
I pitch 3 major publications.
I created “Google Alerts” for my industry to stay up to date on what is going on.
I keep track of everything with Google sheets
After reaching out to the prospects, it is important that I follow up. I use the 3-7-7 formula.
I send the first follow-up message on the 3rd day after the original message was sent since 90% of people reply within the first 48 hours.
If I don’t hear back – then I send another follow up 7 days later.
If there is no response to the second follow, I send one more message 7 days after that.
If they respond then I negotiate the rates.
I do my research, write well, and turn in the project.
Phone: 678- 626–7610
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