Updated: Aug 25, 2018
The next few weeks will be hectic with getting the kids prepared for "back-to-school," but I also need to think ahead. What are my goals for September?
Realistically, to pay my bills I need to make $3,000 this month. If I charge clients $50 an hour, I'll need to find 60 clients who need an hour's worth of work...or 10 clients whom each need 6 hours of work. And, of course, there are always authors who pay me a straight fee to edit their books, and depending on how heavily the books need work, that could end up putting me at $10 an hour or less.
In other words, I won't know how much I'll be making per month until I see my results. Now, I know clients have bills to pay, too. And if they don't see results after working with me, they aren't going to return. My main goal is to make my clients happy so that they continue to work with me.
So even though my main purpose for starting this business is to make enough to support me and my children, my main goal is to satisfy my clients. And in order to gain interest in my services, I will need to do heavy promoting. So what ideas do I have for this?
Step One: Freebies!
That's right...I will need to give something away. As an author, I plan to put together a collection of all my young adult short stories that I've written for the Halloween Anthologies my writer's group has put together over the years. This will (hopefully) jump-start sales for my three novels that will be out by then.
But as a coach and consultant, I will give away a half-hour of my time to personally assess a writer's goals as he or she decides to make the leap into novel, memoir, non-fiction, or short story writing. This is a half-hour of my time I am happy to give away to help someone develop a plan...whether it be a story outline, a discussion on the publishing process, or just a brainstorming session...and let people see how I can help make one's dreams become reality.
And for businesses that a copywriter for projects...a free consultation to listen to client needs and expectations. If we will make a good fit, then this is perfect for me to get my wheels turning so I can help that business earn more money. And if we're not a good fit...the only thing the business owner has to lose is a little bit of time. And perhaps a future project will be more suitable for us.
Step Two: Sell Myself!
I can't afford to find clients only to lose their confidence in my abilities the moment we meet. I have to put it all out there on the table...what I can do, how I can help, how fast I can deliver my help, and give my clients a positive experience. This is where all those years of customer service in the retail biz comes in handy. I'm a naturally cheerful person...not in a giddy, silly way (at least, not all of the time, ha!)...and once I have my hearing aids in, I'm a great listener.
Yes, you "heard" me right. I wear hearing aids. For years I was ashamed of this because I'm relatively young to have such terrible hearing loss. But now I understand that having a device to help me hear is more of a functional thing, like wearing glasses or contacts. (Yep, have those, too.)
But I digress. My final point on this topic is that it's up to me to convince others that I'm dependable, sincere, honest, have a good track record. And the best way to do that is to have the client discuss their goals and processes with me.
Step Three: Incentives for Referrals!
Word of mouth is the best type of business for someone like me. If someone is happy with the work I've done, I need to make sure they tell all their friends. So not only do I need to deliver on my promises, but I need to keep that good karma flowing like a spunky little river.
This may mean giving clients incentives, such as if they refer someone to me, the new client will receive a special deal and the previous client will receive some type of benefit as well.
One Final Word on Promotion
I still have a lot to learn about promoting my services. But I'm willing and eager to do so. If anything works well for me, I'll post about it. If anything fails miserably...well, I'm your gal for that information, too. The BEST part of all of this is that I'm going into this with my heart as well as my head. I love writing, love encouraging and supporting other writers, love tackling challenges, creating advertising strategies, and writing for businesses. My head just wants to do it in a way that financially supports my small family. And that's why promotion is so important.