Listen To This Episode
Is it scary? Yes. Do I have to have a lot of confidence? Yes.
When starting (or building) your writing business, remember that like attracts like. Instead of starting small by marketing yourself to local people or friends, start big.
Go where the competition is. By doing that, you know that you are working with companies that use and hire writers regularly. You are much more likely to be hired by firms that already use writers than by firms who don’t.
Instead of dabbling in lots of different writing skills, identify one valuable writing skill and master it. You are MUCH more marketable if you specialize. Take one to five weeks to master this skill.
Make daily contact with your target audience. Nobody knows you’re in business unless you tell them you’re in business. It’s that simple.
Watch the video for the whole training.
If I were going to start my writing business right now today in the crazy economic crisis and difficult times that we’re facing, how would I begin?
Well, my name’s Joshua Boswell. I’m the founder of Copywriter Marketer and the author of the number one best-selling program that helps writers like you take your writing skills and turn them into an amazing astonishing lifestyle. That’s what I have been able to do, and that’s what I’ve taught to literally hundreds of other writers and have the opportunity to coach and to work with thousands of writers all around the world.
Today, I want to share with you some insights on this: Literally, if I were dropped out of an airplane, had nothing, no contacts, no connections, didn’t know anything about copywriting — had nothing, where would I start? What would I do?
Maybe you’re starting or you’re restarting because your industry has been wiped out because of the crisis, or maybe you’re restarting because your job has been wiped out and now you’re looking for another career or a second opportunity, where would you start?
What is the wisest, most practical, most successful thing that you should do right now to get moving to make great money as a writer, and to rebuild your life and to create an amazing lifestyle and amazing income?
I want to give you the top three steps that I would do if I were in your shoes starting out right now. And the reason I’m telling you this is not because I just made this up, it’s because I’ve been through a number of rebrandings; a number of transitions in my business.
I’ve been through going from writing business, to being a political consultant, to building out a technology company — or, trying to at least; failing that miserably — and then getting into the writing business. Then, inside the writing business, going from technology, to alternative health, to finance, to all these different niches.
And so multiple times throughout the last 25 years, I’ve had to completely rebuild, rebrand, redevelop myself. And I know a thing or two about new starts.
For example, the current house that I’m living in right now is house number 17 in 25 years of marriage. I know about fresh starts and starting all over and moving into communities and environments where you know nothing. And with that background, with that experience, I want to share with you three specific things that I would do right now today to start making money as fast as possible as a writer. So let’s dive in and look at what those are.
Number one, the very first thing that I would do is I would find a highly competitive market for writers. I would find a highly competitive market for writers. Now, what do I mean by that? I would look for an industry or a set of companies who regularly hire writers, have a demand for writers, and have a lot of writers banging on their door really anxious to work for them to write for them.
Now, why would I start right there? Why wouldn’t I start with “blue ocean,” with opportunity, where there’s not a lot of competition, where I could slip in easily through the back door?
The reason is because like attracts like. If I find a highly competitive market, I find people who are hiring writers. I find people who know the value of writers, and they pay writers. I know they already have it in their budget, they already know the conversation, they already know the skill sets they’re looking for, they already have a demand in place, and they’re already growing in this crazy economy.
I want to find somebody who’s already doing it, so I don’t have to reinvent the wheel. I don’t have to educate. I don’t have to re-convince them. I want to find out. This scares a lot of new writers. They’re like, “Oh, I’ll start off small with some of my local people,” and that’s a huge mistake. Start big. Think big. Find high competition.
If there’s a high demand and a lot of competition, then all I have to do is beat out the competition. I know how to do that, and I can teach you how to do that. All I’ve got to do is be at the top of the pile, or second, or third in the pile — and then I can get hired. I can get paid really well, and I can get paid really well right now. I also don’t have to climb the proverbial ladder.
Step number one is this: go counterculture and look for an industry, or companies, or a niche that is incredibly aware of writers, use writers, have a high demand for content and copy, and sells letters, brochures and white papers or whatever it is, whatever the niche is, whatever they’re doing.
I would find somebody who’s using a lot of writers right now today, so that I would know for sure that if I put my time, my effort and my energy into building a business, the money would be there. You could put a ton of time, money, and effort into building your writing business, but falling in doubt that the niche, the industries, the companies you’re working with, don’t actually hire writers and they’re not going to hire you.
You want to get paid, you want to get paid fast, and so go into a highly competitive market where they’re using a lot of writers. The first thing is I would find that industry. Is it scary? Yes. Do I have to have a lot of confidence? Yes. Is it like nerve-racking to go from zero and jump right into a competitive market? Yes. It’s totally nerve-wracking. But I’m not talking about how you feel, I’m talking about this strategically. What’s the smartest thing to do to get paid really really fast as a writer? That’s the first thing that I would do.
Number two. The second thing that I would do as I would figure out is this: so if a company is using writers and they’re hiring writers, then what are they hiring writers to do?
I’ll give you an example. When I decided to jump into the technology companies and the technology industries, I was like, “Okay, what kinds of writings do they actually pay money for all the time?”
And one of the kinds of writings I found that they pay money for all the time were white papers. Software is a service companies, hardware companies, technology companies, people building out computers, people building out software, people building an online platform and internet based platforms, etc. I found that these guys were using a lot of white papers.
So what did I do? I went out and I studied that on one specific writing skill. I didn’t learn a ton of things about direct response. I didn’t learn a ton of things about email. I don’t have a ton of things about all this stuff and confuse my brain and bog myself down. I focused on one specific highly profitable in demand marketable skill. And in this particular case for that industry, it was white papers.
I studied it. I learned it. I devoured it. And how long did that take me by the way? It didn’t take me very long; less than a month. In less than a month, or in a couple weeks, I spent a ton of time pouring myself into figuring out white papers and learning that skill, practicing them, reading them, downloading them, looking at them.
I bought a course on how to do white papers. I just dove and studied. The number two suggestion that I have for you right now, if you want to make great money, study and master one valuable writing skill.
The big mistake that so many new writers make is is they’re like, “Oh, I can just write for anything, for anybody.” Specificity is what sells. Have a high value exchange; a high-value perceived value in the marketplace.
So when I went to the technology companies, I was like, “Look, I specialize in white papers. You use a lot of white papers. Let’s talk about a package for me to do white papers for you.”
I did muddle the conversation with emails, landing pages, opt-ins, content and social media, all that kind of things. I had a specific solution with specific outcomes and a specific skill. My skill was highly valuable and I knew it would bring them a high net return. So I knew that they would pay well for that, if I could position myself correctly.
I studied one specific writing skill. I think you would be wise to do the exact same thing. It might be emails. It might be sales letters. It might be landing pages. It might be social media content. It might be video scripts. It might be filling the blank with whatever your industry is. But if I find a niche that uses writers, I’m going to find out what kinds of writing they’re using and then I’m going to get really good at the most profitable version of that writing.
Now you might say, “Well, what if I don’t like to write white papers?” Well, either pick a different niche or introduce something else. For example, if your car breaks down and the transmission has issues, do you take your car to a general mechanic, or to someone who specializes in transmissions? You take it to a transmission specialist. And does the transmission specialist get paid more than a general technician? Of course you pay way more for a specialist.
I’m just following the same proven marketing patterns for business growth and development. Find a niche that’s in demand. I would study one valuable skill and get really good at that. Don’t take forever on this. You don’t have to be the “top of the class.” You have to be good enough to provide value for the client. How long would I take on this? I would take anywhere between one to five weeks. That’s it. That’s it because if I’m starting out right now today, then I need money like yesterday. You got that feeling?
Take one to five weeks to start getting up to speed on a specific focus writing skill and then I’m going to go out there and start offering that.
Now, how am I going to do that? That’s point number three.
Once I find the demand, and once I’ve learned a skill, now I’m going to go out there and I am going to do what I call a Direct Inbound Marketing System. This is what I would do, and I’m going to show you three ways to do it right now.
I would go out there, and I would do a hybrid of reaching out directly to my potential clients, and treating an inbound system, so clients would also come to me and perceive me as an expert. Well, how do you do that? How do you reach out to them directly? And how do you get them to come to you and perceive you as an expert right off the bat, even if you’re a brand new writer?
It’s totally possible. And I’m telling you, I’ve helped hundreds of writers create this system right here, and it’s not overly complicated. You have to simply do a couple of things. I’m going to call this the DIM system (Direct Inbound Marketing System).
Three specific pieces to this are:
Number one, Daily Compelling Content. When I first got started as a writer, I sat down once a week and I wrote one or two articles. Then I would break those articles up, and I would send them out — either the entire article, or pieces of the article — and I would send them to my contacts.
I would also post my content online, on blogs and other online industry magazines. I would send query letters out. Anywhere that I could possibly find to publish and produce content. It’s so much easier now today because you have things like LinkedIn, Facebook, a website blog and all kinds of different places. You can even do a video or an audio and produce daily compelling content.
You’re putting out content that’s relevant to your industry, and you’re showing them that you know what you’re talking about. So step number one in my Direct Inbound Marketing System is I would produce daily compelling content.
I would never let a day go by without sending out some kind of article, some kind of a post, some kind of a meme, some kind of a quote, some kind of something that was valuable content for my industry and showed them that I knew what I was talking about in my specific valuable skill.
I might write a hundred articles about white papers for example; the different nuances, how to create the structure, how to create a headline, and how to create a pitch without sounding like a pitch and how to– you know, the language and different industries.
I might go on and on about white papers, just to validate over and over again that I knew about white papers, and that I know what I was selling to my industry. Now, obviously I’m talking about white papers because I gave you the example of writing for a specific niche, but that’s what I do: Daily Compelling Content.
Number two. The second thing that I would do in my Direct Inbound Marketing System is every single day, I would have daily contact with my target audience. Daily Contact.
Now, how would I do that daily contact? Well, the way that I would do that daily contact is every single day, I would reach out either through email, LinkedIn, or Facebook. I would find out where my target audience is, where my guys are, and I would reach out to them directly.
This is the direct part of the inbound. The inbound part is this: if you create content, people are going to read your articles and say, “Oh, they really know about white papers, or emails, or sales letters, or social media content, or videos, or business-to-business posts, or whatever it is you’re writing. He really knows his stuff. We have to contact Joshua.”
That’s the inbound part. And believe me, they do this because they need writers. So, I would produce daily compelling content. That’s the inbound portion.
The direct part is reaching out directly to clients through daily contact. I would do 20 contacts a day. This might be making a request on LinkedIn. This might be sending out an email. This might be grabbing an article and sending it to them physically in the mail, or inside of a chat room, or inside of a group discussion. There’s a lot of different ways to do this, but every single day I would be connecting with, and contacting with 20 potential prospects.
This also could include follow-up. So if somebody contacts you, then you’re going to follow up with them. That’s direct contact. I would never let a day go by without reaching out because nobody knows you’re in business unless you tell them you’re in business. It’s really just that simple.
The third element of my Direct Inbound Marketing System is something that surprises a lot of new people, but I teach all my new writers to do this. Set high fees.
For example, I might establish a fee structure that says my minimum project total volume needs to be $10,000 or maybe $5,000. If that scares you to death, keep it like $3,000. But my point is, look, people will perceive you by what your value is, by your skills. You see, amateurs grovel and beg for business. If I was starting out right now, I wouldn’t want to be seen as an amateur groveling and begging for business. I do want to be seen as an expert, a professional who knows what they’re doing and who is confident enough to charge high fees. So I would charge high fees.
So for example, when I first got started, one of the companies I went after and contacted inside a highly competitive niche was technology, Corelle. Another one was Sony, one of the biggest technology companies in the world. Did I go after and try to find them and contact them? Yes, I did.
When they asked me for a proposal, the first project I did with Corelle was just under $7,000. The second project I did was well over $30,000. The first project I did with Sony was well over $20,000. These were my first clients. I charged very high fees. I wanted them to know that I was serious about performing for them and doing a really really great job.
Now you think, “Well, I’m just starting out. I don’t know that much.” You don’t have to know everything. You have to know one high valuable, highly marketable skill. That’s it. If there’s one overall thing that I would do if I started out right now today, I would focus, and I suggest you do the same thing.
So here’s your assignment. My invitation to you, your assignment — whatever you want to call it — is to look around who is already hiring writers; whether you’re starting your new career, or whether you are a seasoned writer launching into a new niche.
What one skill do they need more than anything else that they pay really well for? Study that and get a great handle on it. I would take one to five weeks to do that. Then, I would go out there and I would create a direct inbound marketing system, so that every single day you’re reaching out, creating content, connecting with and then showing that you’re professional by charging high fees when you have the conversations.
Cool? All right. Go and get ’em. I’m so excited to hear about your successes. Keep me in touch.
I’ll talk to you soon. Bye now.