Why Zombies Are A Copywriter’s Best Friend
You’ve started a new business as a freelance copywriter and your content marketing machine is ready to hit the ground running. Helpful blog posts, Twitter, Facebook, StumbleUpon, blog submission sites, e-books, podcasts; you’re using every tool in your arsenal to reach as many potential clients in your niche as possible. As it turns out, you’re an amazing copywriter and you consistently help your clients.
…And here they come. Oh boy do they come. Like a horde of content-thirsty zombies they rampage your home-base because you’ve got the goods and they need it. Here’s the catch: these zombies are also super-smart. They smell benefits and they know where to find them.
Disclaimer: I learned last week that sometimes it’s important to clarify potentially offensive material – in no way, shape or form am I insinuating that the zombie threat shouldn’t be taken seriously. Copywriters the world over must stand unified.
Good Problems For Copywriters
So now what?
As a small business owner you’re inevitably going to place many irons in the fire as you work to secure more and more work from multiple clients. If your business offers a valuable, beneficial service then it may get tricky to balance your inbound marketing energy with the inevitable return of customers who want to pay for your copywriter’s expertise.
Building a business means dealing with a lot of people in a short amount of time so it’s important to follow a few simple guidelines in order to avoid potential (world-ending) conflicts. Fret not, for none of these tactics involve standing on top of the mall with a shotgun. More like baking zombie-friendly treats for everyone to share.
Pay Attention To Individuals
You have a lot on the go – so what? The client you’re about to meet with doesn’t care. This may sound harsh to newbies, but it’s true. In an environment that’s always changing, you need to have a trusty plan of attack always at the ready. Your potential clients have a plan, make no mistake about it (because they’re zombies! Get it? …they’re not actually zombies, this is just a fun, sarcastic comparison). They need copywriter brains and they need them now. Focus on the task at hand, regardless of your busy schedule.
Are you completely invested with the vision for each project? Do you feel like an employee of the client’s company rather than your own? If so, you’re on the right track. This is also called Zombie Flip-Mode: relentlessly pursue wickedly delicious copywriting just like you’re one of the zombies. Your survival depends on it.
Do your research (if you haven’t yet, go download HubSpot’s 120 Free Awesome Marketing Stats, Charts, & Graphs) so that you’re totally comfortable with each prospective opportunity and you can inspire during brainstorming strategies. Demonstrate exactly why each client (and their specific needs) will benefit from choosing you.
If you know your stuff and you’re up front about your business and how you operate then 90% of your conflicts will be solved before they occur. Be honest with the resources you can contribute and the time you have available. Unlike zombies, actual human beings understand that you might not have the time or necessary experience to be hired as their copywriter. Not sure if you can handle a project? If your company packs enough of a content marketing punch to completely overhaul the written identity of Exxon Mobil – don’t worry, you’ll know.
Do your absolute best work and your prospects will grow organically. If you’re honest now then you’ve got a great chance to be hired in the future when your brains have grown super huge and tasty.
It also (literally) pays to be liberal when setting deadlines. Remember this famous quote for the rest of your life:
It’s ok to be early.
It’s Ok To Have A Difference Of Opinion
Not all of your potential projects will work out perfectly – your client’s ideas will sometimes clash with yours, you’re going to make costly mistakes and you might even deliver work that just doesn’t deliver results. Support your research with hard facts and deliver hunger-quenching copywriting benefits and you’ll be able to sleep at night.
Once you’re at this stage it’s also crucial to be up front about costs (thank goodness Jessica Hische is here with the truth about pricing). Your clients might disagree with you and that’s really a damn shame, but that’s the way reality works.
If you’re delivering fresh, influential copywriting and the masses start flocking to your door, it’s ok because these are real people who recognize great work. Simply invest quality time in each individual, be honest with yourself and how much you can handle and learn from set-backs. Pretty soon you may even have a new best friend.
…It’s a zombie, run!
Hahaha running won’t help. Everyone knows the only way to stay safe from real zombies is to subscribe to the blog with the big green button on the right side of the page. Hurry!
Photo Cred: Flickr user State Records NSW
Kelvin is a professional copywriter and content marketing strategist living in Vancouver, British Columbia and the author of the upcoming Functionist Manifesto: How To Build A Copywriting Rocketship.