Building Relationships is Marketing | Focus on This Important Task

One of the most powerful lessons I’ve learned is building relationships is marketing.

Building Relationships is Marketing | Tips for Freelancers

And in my opinion, relationship building is the most important marketing task in growing a successful freelance business.

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Building relationships is marketing

When I look at my freelance writing business trajectory, there’s a clear connection between my steps forward and the relationships I’ve formed.

Whether it’s an introduction, a referral, advice, support or instruction, we don’t operate in a vacuum. We rely on others to belay us. They anchor us and help us climb higher.

Without relationships, our progress is much slower.

If you want to build a successful business, you need to focus on building relationships with three key audiences: your customers, influencers and your competitors.

Entrepreneur.com

I like how this article breaks the different types of relationships with key audiences into these three categories. Customers, influencers and competitors.

Building Relationships is Marketing

Clients and potential clients

First of all, treat other people like human beings. Don’t look at your clients or prospects with dollar signs in your eyes—look at them as comrades on this life journey.

Try and see below the surface.

  • What are some things they’re struggling with?
  • What are their deepest needs?
  • How can you help them?

When we treat others like a means to an end you may have a successful transaction but it may not lead to more or ongoing work.

Fruitful partnerships come from the foundation of a strong relationship. You don’t need to be best friends, but there should be trust, love and acceptance.

Extra reading: Get Your Freelance Business Noticed

Industry influencers

I listened to a podcast about professional jealousy and it made me think about how easy it is to compare ourselves and our careers to others’.

If we look at the heavyweights in our arenas as superhumans who we’ll never measure up to then we’ll never work up the courage to build relationships with them, let alone dare to get into the ring.

Influencers have power and, well, influence. Imagine if you had mutually-beneficial relationships with these influencers and an opportunity came up.

Like, oh, I don’t know, a potential book deal? A big client pitch? Or an introduction to an editor?

Now imagine how powerful it would be if they put in a good word for you. Or lent their support. Or made the introduction.

Stop thinking small and get in the ring. Build authentic relationships, find ways to be helpful and refuse to be intimidated by those who are further down the path.

Extra reading: Literary Citizenship and Why the Writing Industry Needs It

Competitors and colleagues

No matter the industry, there will always be other businesses offering similar services or products to what you offer. You can choose to view these other business owners as threats or as comrades.

The first approach uses a scarcity mindset, believing there are winners and loseres and business is a fight to win.

The second approach uses an abundance mindset, believing that there is enough work to go around and that each business brings a new unique perspective to the industry.

Extra reading: Network with Freelancers to Grow Your Business

To me, one of the most important marketing tasks I invest in is building relationships. Nothing else in my business moves the needle forward like honest and authenic relationships with clients, influencers and colleages.

Sure, it means I have to trust people. And yes it’s possible they won’t have the same approach. But I choose to believe there are more people like me out there than not.

One more thought, by approaching my business in this way I believe I attract likeminded individuals and repel those who aren’t like me. And I’m good with that.

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One of the most powerful lessons I've learned is building relationships is marketing. And in my opinion, relationship building is the most important marketing task in growing a successful freelance business.

One more thing. You may be interested in my free resource library. This is where I keep my files, downloads, ebooks, worksheets and whatever else I manage to create. I love sharing what I learn and want to keep adding to this library so it becomes a wealth of helpful goodness.

This is a free resource but I do require a password to access the library itself. You can get access by popping your email address into the form below.

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One of the most powerful lessons I've learned is building relationships is marketing. And in my opinion, relationship building is the most important marketing task in growing a successful freelance business.

Smart Tips for Cold Pitching Get More Freelance Work

Cold pitching is not magic and it takes hard work but it’s also not as scary or intimidating as it seems once you get going. Here are a few tips for getting this strategy up and running.

Cold Pitching To Get Clients Fast

In case you’re not familiar with this term, in the freelance world, “cold pitching” is what happens when you email or call strangers hoping to get work.

This can be overwhelming at first and requires a different strategy than reaching out to warm leads (people with whom you have existing relationships).

But if you want to grow your freelance business, it is a necessary step.

free pitch templates

Wondering how to craft a cold pitch? I have four pitch templates for you! These are free downloads but you’ll need a password to access them in my resource library. Just pop your email address into the form below and I’ll send you the password.

Once you’re in the resource library navigate to the freelancing section and look for “Pitch Templates.”

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Cold pitching to get clients fast

I see a lot of freelancer posts in networking groups talking about how they’re tired of searching job boards for a decent opp paying a reasonable rate or sick of pitching magazine and newspaper stories that don’t pay well.

They’re feeling frustrated and stuck but they don’t know where to look for those niche clients who pay well.

The fastest way I know how to make money as a freelance writer is to pitch companies with marketing budgets. Yes, you can also pitch publications but the turnaround time is longer.

And you can also sit back and hope your website will earn you passive ad income or affiliate sales or whatever else, and that’s fine too.

But it’s a long game. And if you need money now, it’s not a great short-term strategy.

Bonus tip: For freelance writers searching for stable corporate clients, LinkedIn may be their shining beacon of hope.

Cold pitching companies is also a better, quicker strategy than responding to posts on job boards or prospecting on a freelancer bidding site.

For starters, in these places the competition is fierce and often, because of the large pool of willing writers, the pay is low.

Would you like free writing tips? Sign up for my weekly tips & tricks, from one writer to another at robynroste.com/writing-tips.
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Here’s a quick three-step cold pitching strategy to get you going

If you’re ready to make this a part of your regular prospecting, schedule one to two hours per day for cold pitching. Some of this time will be research and some will be emailing.

Trust me, you’ll need all of the time.

  1. Research. Search for and make a list of marketing and advertising agencies. You can use Google, LinkedIn, local directories, etc.
  2. Find a specific email address. Look for someone like a marketing manager or communications director, someone who would be an actual contact and do your best to find their real email address (rather than “info” or “contact”)
  3. Send a cold pitch. Also known as a query or letter of inquiry (LOI), send a short email asking if the company works with freelance writers

If you get a “yes, we do work with freelance writers,” then you can continue the conversation by letting them know who you are and how you can help them (this is where an elevator pitch comes in handy).

networking tips for introverted writers

By the way, I have some elevator pitch templates in available for download my resource library! You’ll need a password to access the free library so pop your email address into the form below and I’ll send it to you.

Once you’re in the resource library navigate to the freelancing section and look for “Elevator Pitch Templates.”

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Two extra tips

They may ask for samples or portfolio links, have them ready to send (another option is having your LinkedIn profile optimized and sending that link, totally acceptable!).

It’s possible they’d like references—have a couple ready to go, previous clients who can vouch for your work and character.

Like I said before, this will all seem scary and intimidating until you get the hang of it. Cold pitching can be terrifying if you overthink it.

And yes, you’ll experience rejections, although many won’t respond at all, and that’s OK. It’s all part of the process.

Here are a few more ways to increase your odds of getting to “yes” from cold pitching

  • Warm up the connection as much as possible. Find common ground wherever possible, like a mutual connection or membership in the same organization
  • Send cold pitches to companies that look like they’ll need your services. Rather than shooting a buck shot, try targeting your pitches to places where it makes sense and your skills match
  • Narrow your search by thinking local rather than global. You’re trying to get quick pickups here, so look for places that likely aren’t getting as much pitching
  • Keep your email short and to the point. In your first outreach your goal is to get a response to begin a conversation. That’s it.

Once you get into this prospecting strategy, you’ll realize you need a tracking system and a follow-up system. In fact, following up is one of the most important pieces.

How many times have you intended to respond to an email and just let it get away from you? A short, polite follow up is sometimes all it takes to prompt that positive response.

If you’re ready for it, here’s a great three-step follow-up system from Jennifer Goforth Gregory.

Other articles you may enjoy

One more thing. You may be interested in my free resource library. This is where I keep my files, downloads, ebooks, worksheets and whatever else I manage to create. I love sharing what I learn and want to keep adding to this library so it becomes a wealth of helpful goodness.

This is a free resource but I do require a password to access the library itself. You can get access by popping your email address into the form below.

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Cold pitching is not magic and it takes hard work but it's also not as scary or intimidating as it seems once you get going.

5 Effective Ways to Promote Your Online Store

Even if you only offer services at this point in your business, adding products may not be too far off the horizon. Here are a few innexpensive and smart ways to promote your online store.

5 effective ways to promote your online store

Promote your online store

Online shopping trends are always changing, and finding ways to have your products stand out online is a constant challenge.

Whether you sell homemade items or have gone down the drop shipping route, it’s important to reach out to the right audience.

Running an online store can take a lot of work, but it can also be lucrative if you find the right product-audience mix.

Would you like free writing tips? Sign up for my weekly tips & tricks, from one writer to another at robynroste.com/writing-tips.
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Here are five effective ways to promote your online store

Email marketing

Email marketing is a versatile and cost-effective solution for any small businesses.

You can use email marketing for a variety of reasons including:

  • Retargeting campaigns
  • Incentives for reviews/recommendations
  • Announce a launch, promotion or event

Here is an eCommerce email marketing 101 to get you started.

Encourage customer reviews

One of the best ways to get your customers to leave reviews is to ask for them. You can also incentivize reviews by offering future discounts or promos. While you can’t pay for good reviews, you can get good reviews by offering exceptional quality and service.

Reviews as the lifeblood of online commerce and customers expect expedient shipping and accurate delivery.

If shipping is your hurdle right now, it may be worth working with a professional shipping company. Depending on the country you live in, some companies may be able to offer you cheaper delivery according to the size and weight of your items and quicker shipping times. 

Boost your social presence

These days, being online isn’t enough, you have to get noticed on social media. Being visible online is also a cost-effective marketing solution. Optimize your social media accounts and post engaging content for your target customer.

Video marketing

Creating engaging and effective videos is easier than you think. By using one of the best video editing apps available, you can make a professional-looking promotional video from your home computer.

Upload your videos on social media and consider using paid ads, if appropriate. Video content on your website will also attract more users and is good for SEO and is great for any initiative to promote your online store.

Optimize your site for SEO

To draw organic traffic to your website you need to optimize your site for SEO. This includes using keywords in your content, link building and improving its overall structure. It’s also essential to make your site as user-friendly as possible.

Google’s latest algorithm has a strong focus on user experience. If you want your site to rank high on the search engine results pages, it needs to load fast, be free of bugs and easy to navigate. Here is a complete guide to eCommerce SEO from Ahrefs. By optimizing your site and boosting your online presence, you’ll bring more business to your online store in no time.

Even if you only offer services at this point in your business, adding products may not be too far off the horizon. Here are a few innexpensive and smart ways to promote your online store.

One more thing. You may be interested in my free resource library. This is where I keep my files, downloads, ebooks, worksheets and whatever else I manage to create. I love sharing what I learn and want to keep adding to this library so it becomes a wealth of helpful goodness.

This is a free resource but I do require a password to access the library itself. You can get access by popping your email address into the form below.

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How to Get Noticed on Twitter Using Three Stupid Simple Steps

Using lists on Twitter is one of the best ways to get noticed by influencers (or anyone really). Serious! Here is a quick overview and tutorial plus best practices.

Get Noticed by Influencers on Twitter Using Lists

Get noticed by influencers on Twitter using lists

I know some users are freaked out by lists (why is someone adding me to a list? I don’t know them!). And I know others have had negative experiences with lists (they can be used for evil as well as for good).

However, when used properly, Twitter lists are a wonderful resource and can help you grow your platform.

Would you like free writing tips? Sign up for my weekly tips & tricks, from one writer to another at robynroste.com/writing-tips.
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This isn’t the first time I’ve talked about the reasons freelancers, writers and freelance writers should use Twitter or lists so I won’t get into the sales pitch.

Today I want to review a specific technique for getting on the radar of people you would like to meet.

I love this technique mostsly because it’s not creepy. It’s intentional, definitely, but not creepy.

5 tips for optimizing your social media profiles free ebook free download

Let’s take a break from this training for a minute. Social media is nebulous, I get it. And there are a lot of dos and don’ts that seem to contradict each other. I know!

I like to keep things simple with my social media strategy, which is why I’ve put together this free ebook for you.

It’s short and simple and if you implement these suggestions you’ll have a great head start on keeping your brand focused and effective online. Pop your email address into the form below and I’ll send you the password so you can access my resource library.

Once you’re in the library, navigate to the social media section and download the ebook called “Social Media Optimization.”

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The technique to get noticed

I first learned this technique, and about Twitter lists, from Alexis Grant. She suggests creating a private “Notice-Me List” on Twitter and adding people who you want to notice you.

Simple, right? I’m still using lists like this today and find them QUITE helpful.

Here’s the jist: create a private list on Twitter, figure out whose radar you want to get on to or who you want to meet and add their handles to the list.

Make sure to pay attention to this list, and the tweets, and interact with tweets/people as it makes sense.

Wondering how to interact with tweets? Here are a few ideas

  • Retweet tweets your followers would be interested in
  • Jump in on a conversation if you have something valuable to add
  • Are they asking for help? Can you help? Be helpful!
  • Be a literary citizen as much as possible (or in this case, a good Twitter citizen)
Use Twitter lists

What not to do

  • Don’t be desperate. No begging for attention, no DMing and no trying too hard (be cool!)
  • Avoid asking for things. Don’t ask people to check out your website or if they hire freelancers (or asking for favours in general—you’re doing the favours here)
  • Don’t overdo it. Yes pay attention to the people on your list but try not to retweet every tweet or tag them too much. You want to get their attention in a positive way, a way that makes them want to check out your profile and perhaps follow you. If you overdo it you’ll just annoy them and end up blocked

Pretty simple, right? Figure out who you want to connect with on Twitter, then pay attention to their tweets, then be helpful/useful/fun/valuable.

They may notice you, they may not. It may take a while, be patient. They may never @reply to you, that’s OK. But at some point, someone will start a conversation with you. They’ll be curious about who you are and what you’re about. Be ready.

And that’s how to get noticed on Twitter! Straightforward, right? While it may sound too simple to work I’ve practiced this technique for the past five years and I’m living proof that it works.

Using lists on Twitter is one of the best ways to get noticed by influencers (or anyone really). Here is a quick overview and tutorial + best practices.

One more thing. I think you’ll enjoy my free resource library. This is where I keep my files, downloads, ebooks, worksheets and whatever else I manage to create. I love sharing what I learn and want to keep adding to this library so it becomes a wealth of helpful goodness.

This is a free resource but I do require a password to access the library itself. You can get access by popping your email address into the form below.

Get Access to My Free Resource Library

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Using lists on Twitter is one of the best ways to get noticed by influencers (or anyone really). Here is a quick overview and tutorial + best practices.

How to Write Great and Persuasive Marketing Copy

Writing persuasive marketing copy is both art and science. And takes creativity and skill! But before you get intimidated by the idea of crafting compelling content that motivates people to take action let’s break it down.

How to Write Great and Persuasive Marketing Copy

Engaging copy not only works for inspiring action, but it adds to a great SEO web. The question is, how do you write such great copy?

Solid copywriting can be boiled down to a few basics including style, tone, angle and, of course, target audience.

How to write persuasive marketing copy

Here are a few ways to write start writing persuasive marketing copy.

conversational writing

A big part about writing effective copy is understanding who you’re writing to and connecting with them.

Essentially this means you’re figuring out what you want them to do, what they want to hear and how that message should be delivered.

So, even before your copy begins to take shape, you should have your audience’s persona in mind.

Would you like free writing tips? Sign up for my weekly tips & tricks, from one writer to another at robynroste.com/writing-tips.
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Copywriting is writing that sells

Here’s the most important thing you need to remember about copy. Copy sells. Anything else is content.

Now, the word “sell” doesn’t always have to mean money, sometimes you’re selling your reader on an idea or a brand or even the hint of a concept.

The point is, there has to be a sell. A call to action. A “buy this,” or “do that,” or “click here.”

Before you begin to write, ask yourself who it is for and what you’re trying to achieve. Once you answer these questions, you can put your copy in the proper perspective and sell it well. That, my friend, is the nuts and bolts of writing persuasive copy.

Persuasive marketing copy Differentiates between benefits and features

When you’re selling something, you often think of the features. However, when you’re buying something you’re looking at the benefits. How will this product or service solve a problem for you? How will it meet a need? When writing copy, think about the reader, your buyer. The best copy knows how to differentiate between benefits and features and keep the main thing the main thing.

Keep it simple

Many early career writers feel like they need to write using big words and formal language so they can impress their readers. The truth? More often than not you end up alienating people that way. Be relatable. Be friendly. Keep it simple.

Writing persuasive marketing copy is both art and science. And takes creativity and skill! But before you get intimidated by the idea of crafting compelling content that motivates people to take action let's break it down.

One more thing. You may be interested in my free resource library. This is where I keep my files, downloads, ebooks, worksheets (like the worksheet from today’s training!) and whatever else I manage to create. I love sharing what I learn and want to keep adding to this library so it becomes a wealth of helpful goodness.

This is a free resource but I do require a password to access the library itself. You can get access by popping your email address into the form below.

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