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“I want to talk about three specific, unusual sources that I’ve used over the years to get amazing clients. I want to show you exactly the process that I used to do that.”
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Where do you find top writing clients that are willing to pay you really well and use you over and over again?
Today I want to talk about three specific unusual sources that I’ve used over the years to get amazing clients, huge clients, that have paid me hundreds of thousands and millions of dollars through the years. I want to show you exactly the process that I used to do that.
My name is Joshua Boswell. I’m the founder of Copywriter Marketer and the author of the number one bestselling program that helps writers take their writing skills and turn them into an amazing lifestyle.
I’ve had the opportunity to work with literally thousands and thousands of writers and help them get started, find clients and build out their business and have a ton of confidence in their writing and a lot of joy in their business. I want to share with you these three areas that have really made a difference in building my business.
Now, these are not the same old run-of-the-mill kinds of things that you would hear all the time of like, well, do calls or do cold campaigns or emails or go to networking events or whatever.
We hear a lot of stuff about where to find clients, and I’m not going to talk about any of those typical things today. In fact, today I’m going to talk about unusual sources that I have used to get some of my very, very best clients ever.
Now, before I tell you about what the three things are, I want to tell you about this overarching thing.
You’ll notice that I’ve got this whole thing boxed in and tied up into one idea. That’s because this isn’t really a source of where to find clients. This is more like a worldview or a perspective or a belief. The fact is if you have this particular belief, this one thing makes all of these other three things possible.
This one thing allows you to get good, big, solid, high paying clients even if you’re brand new, even if you’re just starting. This one thing allows you, if you’re a seasoned writer and you’re looking to really expand your business and really get to the next level of clients, this one thing, this is the thing that does it – that it makes all the difference.
I want to talk about this for just a moment so that you see that it’s the context, it’s the frame that everything else is set in, and then we’ll get into some of the specific details here.
What is this one thing?
This thing, I can tell you, this has changed everything in my business. Let me give you an example. I remember a number of years ago I had the opportunity to attend a meeting, and in the meeting everybody in the meeting had businesses that were between $10 million and upwards of $200 million. There was a lot of money, a lot of business, a lot of top players in the room.
I was not doing that. It’s a long story as to why I was in that room, but as fate would have it, there I was. As fate would have it, I was the only copywriter in the room as well.
I looked around that room and I thought, man, every single one of these people would be an awesome client for me. I know they’ve got money. I know that they use a lot of writing. I know that they create content and sales letters and all those kinds of things. I know that their business ends up being driven by a lot of writing.
I thought these guys are awesome. At lunch, I had an opportunity to sit next to a couple of people. I had one on each side of me. I started talking to them and I started asking them about their business and what they were doing and what was important to them. I just ran through. I’ve got a whole series of questions and a discovery process that I use with people and I started running through that whole discovery process.
Then before long they were telling me about their campaigns and what they were working on and the struggles that they were having and content that they’re developing, what they’re doing with social media, et cetera.
All I did is I just started… I started giving them feedback, “Oh, you’re doing this. You’re working on this social media campaign. Did you know you can do this and this?”
I started feeding them suggestions and feeding them ideas and pretty soon this guy was listening in and then this guy was listening in and the guy on the other side of the table was listening in. All I did is I answered questions and I gave them all of my very best secrets, all of my best information, all of my best writing strategies.
I just handed it over to these guys knowing full well that a lot of them would probably take it and use it and never hire me.
But you know what ended up happening? What ended up happening is they started asking me questions and I started answering those questions. They started asking me questions about not just writing skills, but about what I did and then what did I charge and what was it like to work with me.
I walked away from that lunch with several great prospects and one of them turned into a client that I had for over five years and made me literally millions of dollars. This fabulous relationship with that particular client. Now, what was going on there?
Well, the same thing that was going on there was the same thing that happened when I was interviewing and working with some of the top players in the SaaS industry, which is an industry that I was focused on for a little while, and then the health industry and then the finance industry.
I can name a number of different industries that I’ve worked at, and I’ve worked with some of the biggest players in those industries.
How did that all happen?
It all happened because of this box right here. If you listen to my story, you can probably guess what that is and I’m just going to write it in right here. It is simply this, give value. Give value. We live in a world that’s…
Unfortunately a lot of people that I talk to and a lot of writers that I work with are nervous about giving away the thing. They want to hold their cards close and they want to hold back and not give all of their best insights and information.
My suggestion to you is just give it. Just give, give, give, give, give.
The more you can build up other people and the more you can strengthen their businesses, the better insights that you can give to them, the more they are going to want to come back to you and potentially work with you. Just give value.
We live in a universe of cause and effect, and you’re going to reap what you sow. Put a lot of energy out. Put a lot of value out. You get a lot of energy, a lot of value back. Okay? I just want to make sure that you see that that’s the framework inside of this.
If you take these three unusual sources that I’ve used to get top clients and you disconnect it from the “give value principle”, then you will not have the success that I’ve been able to enjoy with these three sources. Are we agreed?
I can’t see you, but raise your hand like we’re totally agreed that you’re going to give value in lots of different forms and lots of different ways, and you’re going to ask yourself: “well, what do they really need and how can I help them with that?”
If you just constantly are thinking through that process, you’ll be just fine.
By the way, you have a lot of stuff to offer. You’ve got a lot of resources, a lot of tools that really, really bless people and I want you to go out there and give it to them. Let’s look at this. Number one.
Number one in the three unusual sources that I’ve done is something that, I don’t know, sort of… I sort of stumbled upon. How I stumbled upon that is I was writing for one of my clients, I was writing a bunch of stuff, writing a bunch of stuff, and they approached me.
They said, “Hey, we’ve got some other writers that could use some help. Would you teach them a little bit about this?” I said, “Sure I would,” and it just snowballed from there.
That was like 14 years ago. Then it snowballed from there to where I was producing all these programs and all these resources and all this training and all this content for writers and for clients and marketers and all kinds of different people.
My number one source of great top quality clients is this, and that is to create expert status.
Creating an expert status. You see, everyone wants to hire an expert. Everyone wants to hire somebody who is top of their game and is doing really, really well.
Now, there are three specific ways that you can do this and make this very, very effective.
Number one, you could write a book. When you write a book, which by the way, as of this recording, I’m working on, but have never done. It’s not the only way to create expert status, but this is a great way.
My mentor, Bob Bly, has written… I don’t even know what he’s at now. I think over 90-95 books. He’s a book machine. These books have been a massive source of clients and credibility and revenue for him over the years. Writing a book, putting a book together, which now in today’s world isn’t that hard. It’s not as hard as it used to be, I should say, but writing a book.
The other way to do it is to create some kind of program or a course. This is a spectacular way to establish expert status and credibility in your industry. You want to have great credibility.
Whatever niche you’re in, create a course that helps that niche, that industry, get better results, write better copy, communicate more effectively, whatever it is, whatever your jam is, what of you’re awesome at, then put that course, that program together.
There’s a lot of different ways to do that, but the simplest way to do that is just to say, “Oh, well, my industry is right here. That’s where they’re at and they want to get right here. They’re at a point of pain and frustration here. This is a point of happiness. This is a sad face and this is a happy face.”
That’s weird. I don’t even know what I just did there. Anyway, that’s a happy face.
You’re just going to help them bridge the gap from there to there and just ask yourself, what are five major steps that they could take to go from sad to happy? One, two, three, four, five. What are the five major steps they would need to do to go from sad to happy?
You just think about what those steps are. Train a little bit on those and there you go.
By the way, that’s also a great model for writing a book. I’ve helped a lot of clients write books and used a very simple model. Just where are people at, where do they want to go, five steps to get there, fill in the blanks with what you know how to do and there you go.
You can create a simple course or a simple program and give it away or sell it, but that creates expert status. That will bring in a bunch of clients for you, by the way.
Then, of course, you can always just do consistent content.
Consistent content. What I’m doing right now is I’m sharing content, sharing some of my best of this, sharing some of my tools and resources and my strategies, unusual sources for finding great clients, and giving you some insights on exactly how to do that. That’s what I’m doing right now. You can do that in written format, video format, audio format or all of the above, but just doing consistent content is a very powerful way to create expert status in your industry.
Let’s move on to number two. Number two is really… I see almost nobody doing this and yet I can’t even tell you the dozens of clients that I have gotten over the years and a lot of them are in major, major corporations like Google and Toshiba and Sony and other major clients have come from this idea right here, and yet it’s like almost untouched, almost nobody does it or does it effectively.
What is it? That is this, do interesting interviews. Do interesting interviews. Interview top players, top marketers, top business owners, top strategists in your industry and develop a relationship with them.
Now, there are three kinds of interviews that you can do. The way it’s structured… My favorite one, number one, the easiest interviews to do, like almost everybody will agree to do an interview along these lines, and that is number one, is a biography – a bio interview.
I did a series of interviews and I got connected with millionaires and billionaires, about 50 of them, and have the opportunity to work with and interview and have conversations with these guys when I never would have had access to these people otherwise. But what I offered to do was a simple biographical style interview with them.
Here’s how we started out. I just said, “Look, this is a little bit unusual interview. All we’re going to do is I’m going to say, hey, tell me about you. Hey, Clate.”
I interviewed a guy named Clate Mask, founder of Infusionsoft, a huge SaaS company. I said, “Clate, tell me about you from zero until you graduated high school. Just tell me where you grew up and what it was like and share some insights.
As we go through the interview, I’m just going to ask you follow-up questions on things that I think are interesting or relevant to our topic.”
He said “fine.” He just started talking.
I’ve done that with dozens and dozens of others. They love it. They get to talk about themselves. They get insights. If you’re a good interviewer, a good interviewer just does follow-up questions and dives deeper and deeper and deeper into things that have emotional appeal. Doing a biographical interview is super powerful.
Number two, you can do special reports. A special report interview might be something along the lines of you start off and you say, “Okay, I have a theory about this. I’m doing research on the top…” I did one and I’m trying to… Off the top of my head, I’m trying to remember the SaaS industry I did it on.
I said, “Okay, How Traditional Marketing is Destroying SaaS Companies and What to do About it.” I contacted a bunch of SaaS marketers and business owners.
SaaS is software as a service, if you didn’t know, like companies who host online… Most technology is SaaS nowadays. Software as a service. I contacted them. I said, “Hey, look, I’m doing a report about how traditional marketing is failing SaaS companies, and I wanted to get insights from industry leaders and see if you think that that’s actually true and if it is, what are you doing to fix it?”
I sent out a hundred email requests. I got 50 responses back within about a 72 hour period, and I had dozens of interviews to do.
All I did is I consolidated the information and I put it into a special report that then I shared back out with the people who I had interviewed with, and I made it available for people to download, people in the industry to download so that they could see my expertise in marketing and writing in that industry.
You can do the exact same thing with any industry. Put a special report together.
The last one that I think is really powerful is what I call the state of the industry.
A state of an industry interview is essentially where you’re saying, “Okay. Well, I’m going to do a year end report on this industry, or I’m going to do a mid year report on this industry. I’m just interviewing top people, and I’ve got five specific questions that I wanted to ask you about how you feel the industry is going and what are upcoming things and what are things that are fading, so predictions and ideas and analysis of what it is.”
People love sharing their insights and wisdom about what’s happening in a given industry and their knowledge and their predictions and their feelings about it, what they see coming or they don’t see coming and people love reading about that kind of thing. This is very powerful.
What happens is when you do an interview, you get a relationship with somebody. Inevitably they’re going to ask you what you do and you’re going to tell them. If they’re in your target audience, which you should interview people in your target audience, if they’re in your target audience, some of those people are going to say, “Hey, maybe we should talk about using your services,” because they’re going to like you. They’re going to connect with you, and they’re going to fall in love with you.
They’re going to say, “Oh, I really like this person.” Getting hired by top clients, it’s like 80% of the game is being known and liked by them. This is a powerful way to do it, but it’s not as powerful as the last one that I’ve got for you.
By far and away, my biggest, most profitable, most consistent clients have come from source number three. In fact, these two combined don’t equal the volume, the revenue, the connections, the resources, the benefits that I’ve gained from number three.
A lot of writers that I talk to really balk at this. “I don’t have the money. I don’t have the time. I don’t have this. I don’t got that. I don’t know where I would start. I don’t know.”
There’s a lot of different reasons, but I’m telling you right now, if you will put this last one to use, I think it’ll blow your mind at the way that it helps you to find top, top clients.
What is it? Here it is. Join a top… I’m kind of thinking what I was writing here. Join a top mastermind. By top what I mean is expensive.
The first time I did this, I was almost… I mean, I was just barely digging out of a hole where I was a couple hundred thousand dollars in debt because of business failure, and I was really, really struggling.
I had the opportunity to join Perry Marshall’s mastermind group. He calls it a Roundtable Group, and I joined this.
It was a huge, I mean, it was a massive expense for me at the time. But you know what? There were 12 other people in that room, all of which had paid tens of thousands of dollars to be there, myself included, and I’ve done it.
It was a stretch for me at the time. There I was in this room. Again, I was the only copywriter in the room. This was not the group I was telling you about at the beginning. I’ve joined multiple other masterminds since, but this was the very first one.
Again, on one of the breaks I got talking to a guy from The Netherlands. I speak Dutch. We had an immediate connection, and we started talking about Americanizing his copy. He hired me initially. I just gave him tons of value. I gave him insights on his strategies and his writing. I looked at his website. I looked at some of the emails and he hired me to Americanize his copy.
Then we went on and did a consulting agreement and I wrote just tons of stuff. We did tons of split-testing together and effective massive growth in his business and in my business.
Where did that come from? Boom, right here. I joined this top expensive mastermind and the money that I got, literally the return on investment there was 10, 20, 30 fold what I ever invested in this and continues to be today.
Gosh, I just got back from a mastermind and have had multiple people ask me about my writing services and getting connections to other writers. These are top, top companies and they want training and they want all kinds of stuff. I’ve invested tens of thousands of dollars to be there, right? But it’s going to make me hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars from the ramifications.
Now, there’s a couple of different ways to engage in these masterminds. You cannot just show up and say, “Hey, I’m a writer. Can I write for you?” Do not do that.
Again, number one principle is give value. You got to give value. Number one is you got to be vocal and visible. Vocal and visible.
What do I mean by vocal and visible? Here’s what I mean. When you go to a mastermind group, it’s not enough to just sit back and watch and observe. It’s not enough to be a wallflower. You also can’t be like, “Hey, hire me.”
But what you can do is you can be vocal and visible and giving value. Be engaged in the conversation. Every time there’s a mastermind, there are going to be hot seats. There’s going to be people analyzing their business. There’s going to be people talking about what their goals are. Ask questions. Dig deeper. Raise your hand. Offer suggestions. Give value. Show them your best techniques.
I was recently… This is another… Again, I was recently in a room where everyone in the room was probably worth, I don’t know, 10 or 20 times what I’m worth. A big, big player. These are really big businesses run by one of the top business minds and personal development minds in the world.
There I am sitting with these guys and I’m the most visible and the most vocal. I’m raising my hand. I’m giving suggestions, I’m telling them because I’ve got an expertise that they don’t necessarily have.
They know how to run businesses, but I know copy, I know communications and content. I’m just freely dealing out my insights there.
It’s amazing the impact that it has and the relationships that you develop. Now, always give value without any thought of return, but just know that the return probably will come because people have needs that you can fulfill.
Okay? That’s the next thing is offer free. When I’m part of a mastermind, I’m part of a family. I’m part of our community, and so I’m going to offer free services to these guys, again, with no thought of return.
This week alone, I’ve had an opportunity to review some people’s content based in Europe and helped them to Americanize some stuff. I’ve had another conversation where we did basically an interview where I help them get clarity on what their program was or what their product was. All of it pro bono. I didn’t charge a thing for it.
But you know what? That stuff over the years I have proven that it comes back. You cannot sow a seed and not reap in kind. It’s the law of the harvest. You give your very best stuff and you help people and I offer free services.
Now, do I offer free services in a way that’s going to hurt my business? In other words, I have to be careful about offering too much and spending too much time because I could “free offer” myself into oblivion, right? Don’t do that.
But I can offer a portion of my time. I have an allocation of time. I have it on my schedule and I said, “Okay, that is my giving time. That’s my time to just work with top industry leaders and give back to them with no thought of return. I’m just going to offer free services to them.
Then the last one is… is you want to be a leader of subgroups. Leader of subgroups. What I mean by that is in every mastermind group, depending on the size of the group, there will be sub niches that sort of gel together. What you want to do is you want to be the leader of the group.
I was at a mastermind group back in August. While we’re sitting at that, we’re all around to these tables. We’re having these conversations. We’re talking and I said, “You know what? This is a cool group. We should stay in touch. Why don’t we share contact information with everybody and then just follow-up and stay in touch with each other?”
They all said, “Oh, that’s a great idea.” I pulled out a piece of paper and I grabbed a pen. I passed it all around and I said, “Okay, guys, I’m going to put a spreadsheet together and then we’ll create a WhatsApp group and I’ll share the spreadsheet, so we have all of our contact information. Then I’ll invite all of you guys to the WhatsApp group and then we’ll just stay in communication.”
Still to this day I communicate with people in that group and offer services to them, give them feedback.
I’m vocal and visible. I provide leadership, but I was the one that created the subgroup and business flows from that.
These are my three unusual sources for getting really, really great clients. Create expert status, do interesting interviews, and join top masterminds, expensive masterminds, invest.
You’ll get a ton out of the mastermind, but also there’ll be people there who will want to use your services, want to use your business. I’ve given you these nine different action items in terms of how you can do that.
My suggestion to you is look at these. Say, “Okay, I can’t do all of these right now, but could I do one of these things?”
In addition to whatever current marketing you’re doing, could you do one of these things?
Pick one of them, pick one of the ways to do it, and then get started. Set a goal that in the next 10 to 20 days one of these things will be part of your effort to get clients.
Sound good? All right. I’ll talk to you soon. Bye now.