(PRWEB) December 20, 2004
A marketing strategy is worthless if all it does is promote your freelance business and plea to prospects to hire you. Such is the case with many print and e-mail business newsletters. Few freelancers understand how to use a business newsletter to secure clients in the long term. Instead they use their newsletters to pitch their freelance services and advertise their qualifications. This method does not work effectively. It's why freelancers don't bother publishing a second issue Â because prospects tossed out or deleted their first issue.
Harness the following techniques and you won't be a freelancer who calls it quits. Your business newsletter will be different and powerful. It'll serve as a business-builder, lead-generator, and repetitive project-producing money-making marketing tool.
Guidelines to Create a Business-Newsletter:
Your business newsletter should serve multiple functions, not just one. Here's how to do it.
Function #1: Use Your Newsletter to Sell Your Skills and Expertise, but do it Quietly and Cleverly.
Your newsletter should provide worthy, timely, helpful, problem-solving information Â anything else, such as blatant promotion or bragging about the benefits of your skills and services, will trigger the prospect or client to toss out or delete your newsletter, including future issues. Learn to sell yourself cleverly and subtly.
You can do so by showcasing specific examples, samples, and results you've achieved for other clients. Your newsletter should contain 80% information and 20% (or less) promotion. You also can mention any awards you've received, if you did charity work for a non-profit association to help raise funds, spoke at a workshop or led a seminar, or had an article or book published. Both prospects and clients will enjoy reading these newsworthy achievements as they are reflections of your skills and abilities.
Function #2: Use Your Newsletter as a Repetitive Marketing Tool:
Securing a client is multi-step Â and marketing repeatedly to the same prospect or client is vital to secure work. Publishing your newsletter frequently satisfies this need and increases the chance of the prospect or client outsourcing work to you. According to marketing experts, it takes five consecutive times to make an impact. Publish your newsletter no less than bi-monthly. Monthly is standard. Weekly or bi-weekly is recommended, especially if you publish your newsletter online.
Function #3: Use Your Newsletter to Interest Prospects and Clients in What You Have to Say:
Your newsletter should contain interesting, problem-solving copy Â not fluff or generalizations. You can craft interesting copy by writing copy that:
a) solves a problem or problems;
b) solves a potential or future problem;
c) helps the prospect or client achieve better results;
d) lends valuable advice;
e) helps define his or her problem;
f) provides case studies of mistakes that other businesses have made and how he or she can avoid them.
Favor brief copy over long-winded sentences and endless paragraphs. Use periods over commas. Use a software program like StyleWriter, found at http://www.StyleWriter-USA.com, to help you write in plain english and to clean up your copy. Writing interesting, problem-solving, plain english copy makes the prospect or client read your newsletter immediately and increases the chance of securing work.
Function #4: Use Your Newsletter to Bridge Together Your Copy with Your Valuable Freelance Skills:
How does a prospect or client know you can exceed their expectations on their next project, if they decide to hire you? Because your newsletter subtly shows your capabilities. Make sure you bridge together the newsletter content with your freelance skills. Your newsletter content should be an extension of your experiences, skills, expertise, and knowledge. The client will realize you're well qualified to undertake his next project.
Function #5: Use Your Newsletter to Generate New Work from Existing Clients:
You may write for an existing client, but that client may not realize you also write other types of copy. You can make existing clients aware of your services by highlighting how some of your services have solved problems or achieved better results for other clients.
Function #6: Use Your Newsletter to Build Rapport and Establish New Relationships:
When a client receives your newsletter, your information creates rapport and builds a relationship Â two components that make clients hire you. Each issue of your newsletter should increase awareness of your expertise and keep your name and phone number fresh in the mind of the client.
You can build rapport and establish a relationship by:
a) writing in first person form;
b) providing insightful, expert-oriented information;
c) understanding the needs of the prospect or client;
d) subtly revealing your willingness and eagerness to help solve their problems.
Function #7: Use Your Newsletter to Preserve Existing Relationships:
Communication is an essential link to maintain prosperous, long-term relationships with existing clients. Your business newsletter can serve as a communications mouthpiece, buzzing your name and phone number in front of the eyes and into the minds of existing clients, as well as updating them on new events about your business and how you're helping other clients.
Function #8: Use Your Newsletter to Initiate a Sell or Provide Referrals:
Your newsletter has the potential to initiate a sell or funnel referrals your way. As stated before, when you help a prospect solve a problem or achieve better results by means of your business newsletter, he'll want to call you to produce similar results Â or he may refer you to an associate who also could benefit from your skills and expertise.
Function #9: Use Your Newsletter to Generate Extra Responses:
Your newsletter may be the first step in a multi-step marketing blitz to secure clients. You can include incentives to pull in responses. For example, you can offer a Free Consultation, in which you ask the client to call you for free advice and solutions on his current project. You also can offer a Free Material Review incentive, in which you critique a piece of the clientÂs promotional material and then discuss the weaknesses and strengths. Or you can use your newsletter to advertise free information-dense articles or back issues of your newsletter (that have your byline and phone number on them).
Function #10: Use Your Newsletter to Increase the Value of Your Services:
Because each newsletter focuses on your skills and expertise as a freelancer, each issue builds on the last one and emphasizes and re-emphasizes your skills and expertise. Your first issue may not have an impact, but by the second, third, or fourth issue, the client begins to appreciate your insightfulness and problem-solving skills and may rely on your skills for his next project.
Function #11: Use Your Newsletter to Position Yourself as a Top Expert in Your Field:
The information in your newsletter can position yourself as an expert in your field, so use this toward your advantage. Begin to think of yourself as an expert Â the best one around, and subtly convey this image in your copy.
To position yourself as an expert, subtly provide:
a) specific results you've gotten for other clients;
b) quotes from popular authors or keynote speakers to supplement and support your statements;
c) brief, interesting footnotes about what you've learned from books and magazines, or at workshops and seminars.
When a client realizes how knowledgeable and active you are in your field, he will begin to see you as an expert Â and you will get the work, not another freelancer.
Function #12: Use Your Newsletter to Create and Preserve a Positive Image of Yourself and Your Business:
You are responsible as to how other clients and prospects perceive you Â and you can change, alter and manipulate your image with a business newsletter. For example, you can create a newsletter that pegs you as a freelancer with a special skill or talent.
About the Author
Brian Konradt is a freelance writer and founder of FreelanceWriting.com (http://www.freelancewriting.com), a free web site to help writers master the business and creative sides of freelance writing; he is also founder of BookCatcher.com (http://www.bookcatcher.com), a free website to help authors promote their books.
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This article has a readability level of 9th grade, according to Readability Calculations (http://www.readabilityformulas.com).