How to confidently pitch your copywriting services

Presented live on Tuesday, November 13, 2018

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Quick – what’s your gut reaction to this statement: It’s time to call a new lead to pitch your copywriting services to them…

Good reaction to that?

Less-than-good reaction?

Crazy-terrified-and-sweatin’-bullets reaction?

If you’ve ever wished a lead would no-show on a call just so you didn’t have to deal with “selling yourself” – even though you need the work – you need to watch this tutorial.

In this live Tutorial, conversion copywriter, Joanna Wiebe, will show you a super-simple exercise that helps build your confidence so you can OWN calls with new leads / prospects.

And actually land good clients.

So you can get paid good money. And repeat the cycle. (While giving your clients strong reasons to refer their contacts to you.)


Joanna Wiebe: Today, we are talking about stuff for freelancers. So November is all freelancer month. Today we’re talking about that part of your process where you’ve got a new lead, yay, exciting new lead comes in. And then comes the part where you actually have to talk to them on the phone. And this often a terrifying moment for freelance copywriters. The more you do it the less terrifying it becomes, of course. But it’s good to have some shortcuts, some techniques, some things to help you get through those calls with prospects without like flipping. Or like hoping that they won’t show up.

So over many, many, many years of freelancing I developed a thing … Thing and stuff, both of those, hit both those words today in the tutorial. This is a thing, an exercise, something that you’ll do before you get in to a call with a client, actually a lead. And I teach it in the 10X Freelance Copywriter which, side note, reopening at the end of the month. But I’m going to share this with you, I’m not gonna show you the whole thing that I … Yes, Thing 1 and Thing 2, John. That I shared throughout the 10x Freelance Copywriter. But I’ll show you a part that I know has been particularly helpful to a lot of people in the 10X Freelance Copywriter. So let me just start sharing my screen.

Yeah, so if you want to feel confident every time you talk to a prospect, you actually can depend on other tools around you to do that. And before you get in that call, you should have five minutes of time with you. Where you are focusing on building yourself up, on feeling super badass, no matter what. Even if you’re new at copywriting. Find something, and I’m going to share with you how, find something to build yourself up around. Something to bring your confidence up to the next level.

And there’s some … It’s pretty easy to actually cheat at it, using what I’m going to show you today. It’s called “The Cheat Sheet of Awesomeness.” And if you’re in the 10X Freelance Copywriter you already know what this is and you should be using it because it helps a ton. Knowing, of course, that your clients are persuaded by the very same things that other people are. So if you’re a copywriter and you’re interested in persuasion, then you’ll already know a lot about what moves people to say yes. And the same things that move people to say yes, are the same things that will move your clients or leads to say yes.

So we want to tap in to persuasive techniques wherever possible. That brings us to the Cheat Sheet of Awesomeness. The Cheat Sheet of Awesomeness is an actual table that you print out and you fill out, just like this. I have one here, everyone in the 10X Freelance Copywriter prints one out and fills that thing out. The five categories of awesomeness that you’re going to complete are, “Hard numbers,” and that is any actual data that you have for tests you’ve run, for before-and-afters. I’ll get into some examples, but real, hard numbers.

Then comes “Authority,” anything you’ve written, anything that’s out there that will help build your authority. “Social proof,” any testimonials or influencers, people who are … Even social likes on a post. Like, if you had a post that went gang busters, and “gang busters” doesn’t have to mean ten thousand likes, it could mean you had three hundred shares or something like that. That goes in Social proof. “Scarcity,” also a persuasion technique or a persuasion factor. That’s a limited amount of X. So that could be, “I’ve only got one day rate available,” or, “I’m not taking on clients until … For the next two months.”

But that also folds over into “urgency”. So what can you put on your cheat sheet that will help you when you go into that call, to feel really good about the fact that the client needs to move now. Like, we’ve got to act on this immediately because times a-wasting.

So you print out this sheet, and then we’re not giving out a template because it’s as simple as what you’re looking at. You could open up PowerPoint or Keynote, select “table” put five columns in there, and a handful of rows. Hit “print”. Or just fill it in digitally depending on whatever. I finally broke down and bought a printer for the first time in the entire life of Copy Hackers. I did that and it’s actually been okay. I haven’t been too papery, but when you need it, you need it.

And then you just want to fill this in and review it before every call with a lead, and with your client. So no matter what, if you find that you get shaky on calls, you’re a little bit scared, you’re afraid they’re going to ask you for things you don’t have, you need a Cheat Sheet of Awesomeness before you go into it. So, I’ve filled in on my Cheat Sheet of Awesomeness. This is a sample, this isn’t actual stuff for me. This is just to share things in today’s demo.

So, “hard numbers”. We’re looking at hard numbers, we have, I wrote, “A BSL for startup coaches that doubled their client base in one month.” Okay, cool. It’s not a before and after test at all. Or like, a before and after, or and maybe test. But it is an actual number where you can say, “2x, 3x, 10x,” whatever that thing might be. Another one is, I have written, “An average of one long form sales page a month for the past three years.”

That might not seem like hard data at all, right? It’s not anything where you would naturally sit there and think, “Oh, obviously, that’s a major asset.” But it could be a real thing you’re doing. What if you’ve written an email a day for the past two years, and someone wants to hire you to write emails? That could be information that comes in handy during that call.

You might never talk about it, you might not talk about anything on your Cheat Sheet of Awesomeness, but the point is that you know it going into a call. You review it. You’re like, “Yep, that’s actually right. I did write an email a day for the past two years, on average.” An average of one email a day, that’s pretty incredible … It’s like, “So I’ve written seven hundred emails in the past two years. How many other people can say they’ve done that?”

Authority, something like if you partnered on an ebook with somebody. Even if it was a small partnership, you did something. All you have to do is put down there and think, “Oh, I am kind of awesome.” So if you partnered with Heaton Shaw on an ebook for startups, let’s say. Okay, cool. Know that, put it down on your cheat sheet. If you have a client who is particularly … A bigger client, even if they’re hiring you for smaller things … Like, you might be doing copy editing for IBM. IBM is still a client, right? That’s still something for you to put down there so that when your client is like, “Okay, well, sell me on you.” And hopefully it never gets to that point, hopefully you’re leading the call.

You’ll actually be able to. Like, you can have this cheat sheet down below you as you’re on Zoom, and just refer back to it. That’s a perfectly fine thing. Social proof, again, if you’ve got an ebook. This is a reason to build your authority, too, a lot of this has overlap. But if you wrote an ebook and published it, self-published it on Amazon, drove a bunch of people to read it and review it, you could say, “I have … Three thousand startups have downloaded by ebook on Amazon and it’s got 4.8 star rating.”

That’s cool, that’s a pretty good point, right? But this the kind of stuff, if you don’t write it down and arm yourself with it going into a client call, you will forget how awesome you are. You’ll be like … It can be that you have two leads on, two people from one company on a call, both talking to you, and your job is to come off like a total pro. And your brain gets ahead of you and you’re like, “You don’t know what you’re doing, stop, make it stop.” You need this to ground you. It can be a very helpful thing.

So your job is to have this cheat sheet of awesomeness with you when it’s time for you to get on a call. And that is, before you get on the call you review it, you turn on some music that’s going to pump you up, Beyonce goes a long way here. Whoever makes you feel like you’re kind of badass and they’d be lucky to hire you. It doesn’t hurt for you to go into a meeting thinking that. If you feel that way, you’re going to come off as more confident ten times out of ten.

Okay, so there is that. Take a screenshot of that cheat sheet, and it’s going to be of course on the replay, replays are available two weeks after we’re live. But also, while you’re getting ready for that call, it’s a useful thing … I’m going to share my screen again, to have an idea of what you’re going to be able to quote that client, that new lead.

So you’re on a call, things are going really well, your cheat sheet’s paying off. They’re like, “Cool, we want to hire you for a seven part email sequence and possibly a landing page. What does that normally cost, how do you normally charge for that?” Sometimes you want to say, “Well, I’ll get back to you with that.” But it’s often really good to be on the ball, ready to talk to your client about things like price. If they’re want to bring up price now, let’s talk about it. You could delay it, but it’s generally, in my experience, better to dive in when the client’s ready to talk about something.

If you’ve built up enough where they’re ready to hire you and they’re actually excited about hiring you, then you should be ready to talk some about things like price and timing.

So we put together this calculator, it’s at “freelance copy writer quote calculator” that is on the Copy Hacker’s site. It’s basically, you go in, you select, “Okay, they want to hire me for a sales email sequence,” select that. “How many times have I actually completed a project like this?” I look at my cheat sheet of awesomeness, I have written a crap-ton of emails, so let’s say I’ve done at least ten times. And then you fill in your process.

“I’m going to be creating a survey, definitely writing copy, editing it to a final draft. I might audit.” And then I’m going to validate it and participate in. Okay, so we can come up with a rate that’s a quick estimate you can put together right there in the call. And don’t feel that you can’t say, “Hold on, let me run some numbers for you.” You absolutely can. Just pause the client, fill this in. If you’re filling it out while the client’s talking that’s good too.

But you’re allowed to control the call, and you can just simply do that and say, “Okay. Generally, this usually is something I bill out at about 2,500 give or take. How’s that sound?” That’s it. Then you discuss that. And you might actually come through and say at the end, and it’s 2,200 or whatever. But you’re just giving a rough estimate in that call. So having that kind of tool handy for you while you’re figuring this stuff out … And you can go into a call, if you know that the client wants to hire you for a sales email sequence, you know that going into the call, you can fill this out in advance, really think through your process there. And then you can tell them exactly what’s included in that. So that will also help you look like a pro in that call.

So that is how we work to actually get clients to say yes to us in our early calls, and importantly, you keep that Cheat Sheet of Awesomeness handy every time you talk to your client throughout the process. So you don’t ever have to actually say anything on that piece of paper, ever. It might never come up. But you need to know, going into it, that you’re actually kick ass at your job. And people often … I hear freelancers say, “Oh, but I don’t have any hard numbers.” Okay. If the “hard number” category, if that column is empty, fill in the other ones.

And if you’re like, “Well, I don’t have authority, there’s nothing to be urgent about and I have no social proof.” Then you need to work harder on your freelance copywriting business. Which is again, what we’re going to be talking about over the rest of November. But that’s really what it comes down to. Just going to meetings confident, be ready to talk about numbers in an honest, transparent kind of way. And people will feel better about the idea of hiring you.

Join us next week, next week we’re actually talking about how to make your office look more pro, so when you talk to a client, the client believes that they’re actually dealing with someone who is more pro than the typical freelancer. So we’re going to have a couple special guests in, some copywriters you probably know. They’re going to show us their offices, I’m going to walk you a little bit through mine and why we made the decisions we did. And there’s also a little prize next week. This is a ring light, this is a good thing for a freelancer.

Sarah Dlin: Do I get to enter?

Joanna Wiebe: Nope.

Sarah Dlin: Ugh!

Joanna Wiebe: You have natural light coming in, [Sarah], you’re [crosstalk].

Sarah Dlin: That’s right. My ring light is the sun.

Joanna Wiebe: It is the sun, it’s the perfect ring light. But there are a lot of people who do not have that light coming in. A ring light goes a long way as part of this experience of making everything look “the biz.” So we’ll see you next week for that story.

To the person who was waiting on another line for me seven minutes late. But this recording will be available in about two weeks’ time, and we’ll see you next week for more about being an awesome freelance copywriter. Have a good week guys, bye.

Sarah Dlin: Bye.

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