There is a type of direct mail that will guarantee a response rate of 80% or better … and even the people who don’t respond feel grateful for having received it.
It’s not conventional self-promotion, but there are lessons from this type of mail that will help you get new clients and happy referrals … and this technique works even better if you’re brand-new.
To understand why this is so powerful, consider two aspects that are nearly universal in human behavior.
First, we like to get personal mail from friends.
Second, we like to be a part of big events.
We feel significant and included when we’re invited to be a part of an event … and sometimes offended and excluded when we’re left out.
So, what kind of direct mail gets an 80% response rate and instantly creates a feeling of connection and significance?
A wedding invitation.
What does a wedding invitation have to do with getting your first few clients?
I’m not about to recommend that you disguise a pitch for your services as a wedding invitation. But, I am going to point out how you can use the same emotion.
Include Your Friends and Family In Your Big Event
Is there is a big event going on in your life that your friends and family would like to know about?
It may not be a wedding, but if you’ve decided to become a copywriter or researcher, then yes, there is. You’re launching a business!
The next logical step is to announce it to the people who are most likely to support you — your friends and family. And, I’ll show you the absolute best way I know of in just a second … but first, you might be wondering why this is such a powerful action to take. After all, your friends and family aren’t likely to need your services.
While they probably won’t hire you themselves, they are the people most likely to promote you before you’ve earned a reputation.
I’m sure you’ve heard of the interesting phenomenon popularized by the film Six Degrees of Separation. In essence, it says that we’re no more than six connections away from every person on the planet.
If it’s true that we’re only six connections away from, say, the Queen of England … how many connections could possibly separate you from the best client in your hometown?
No more than three. Probably only one or two.
What Enthusiastic Friends And Family Can Do For Your Career
It may be that your cousin’s chiropractor is looking for someone to write copy for his website … or your brother-in-law’s boss needs research for a book he’s writing.
In fact, this is how I landed my first client … before I really even considered myself a copywriter.
While I was at AWAI’s Web Writing Intensive, my father mentioned to his chiropractor that I was at an event where I was learning how to write website copy.
This chiropractor said he could really use someone that knew what they were doing for his website. What he had wasn’t generating any sales or leads.
By the time I got home from the Web Intensive, I had a meeting set up that led to a contract for a $1,500 online sales letter … and when that went well, it led to a $5,000 contract to rewrite his entire site.
Not bad for my first two months as a copywriter. But, it blossomed even further from there.
It turns out this client happened to know an author and health film producer who had recently been featured in a celebrity’s book.
This man was going to be on an episode of Larry King and he wanted to improve his website. So, from one referral, I got the contract for that work as well.
Since then, based almost entirely on referrals, I’ve worked with, and continue to work with, some of the largest health publishing and supplement companies on the Internet today …
And, it all started because of one enthusiastic referral from a family member.
How To Get Your Family To Happily Promote You
Your friends and family are your biggest supporters. In the beginning, they’re also your biggest promoters. That’s why it’s important they understand and can articulate what you do.
You don’t want them to have a vague idea of, “My friend does some kind of writing for the Internet.”
That kind of description of your services will never land you a client. It’s better if they can say, “My friend writes web pages for companies that sell financial and accounting services.”
If you only mention your new business in casual conversation without a chance to clarify, your friends and family won’t remember.
That’s why you need put it in writing.
There are two ways to do this … a good way and a better way.
The easiest way to do it is through an email. If you choose to go this route, there are some specific tips you should follow …
Make each email personal. Don’t write an email about your new business and CC your entire address book. Can you imagine getting a wedding invitation that way? It doesn’t feel personal or inclusive at all. In fact, it’s awfully close to Spam.
Don’t be too business-like. Remember, you’re not talking to prospective clients. You’re updating your network about a big event in your life.
Keep it quick. Your friends and family care about you … but they don’t want to read a book about the kind of work you’re doing. Don’t get into a drawn-out technical explanation of SEO, web research, or sales copywriting.
Ask for an easy favor. The email should briefly explain what you’re doing, why you’re doing it now. Then it should ask, as a personal favor, if they would pass your name along to anyone they know that might need your services.
Your friends and family are already inclined to pass your name along. Positioning this simple action as a favor will make them feel even better about it when they recommend you.
For Better Results, Mail Them The Proof
If you want to really step it up a notch, then take the process offline. Here’s what you do.
Go to one of the cheaper printing sites like vistaprint.com or 123print.com and order a set of business cards. You can create one from a template in minutes. It will only cost about $15.
Then, write almost the same message you would use for the email with a slight change. Start your letter with the headline, “Here’s my card.”
Then, continue with a friendly and personal letter. Something like,
As you can see, I have exciting news. I’m sure you would have heard eventually, but I wanted to tell you myself. I’ve just started my own business … ”
And, you can take it from there.
Can you see why this works so well? It’s almost like getting a wedding invitation!
It’s personal mail. It has a big announcement. And, it singles the recipient out as a significant person in your life.
You’ve heard over and over that there are thousands of clients ready to hire you. The biggest obstacle to your success is meeting them.
By building this network of enthusiastic supporters and promoters, you accelerate your success.
The Keys To Success
Once you get over the hurdle of landing those first few clients, you’ve built a launching pad for a six-figure business.
But, the world of web writing is constantly growing. To improve and become a leader and authority in your niche, you need to build a second network. A network of peers. People who you can learn from and contribute ideas to.
This used to be very difficult and time-consuming. When I was building this network, I had to spend thousands of dollars going to industry conferences.
And after that, it would be a struggle to keep up through emails and phone calls with the contacts I’d made.
But now, it’s become much simpler. Now there’s the Wealthy Web Writer.
It’s an amazing benefit to my career to hear from a different expert in web writing every week. I’m never caught unprepared when my clients have a new technique or idea they want to try. And, I have a source to learn about new ideas I can suggest to clients.
It’s also helps to hear exactly what my peers are doing to become more successful. These are ideas I can apply directly to my own efforts … and as a result, I can keep my income growing steadily.
But, there’s an even bigger benefit. Now I can discuss those concepts and ideas with my peers in the industry. These discussions bring the ideas to life. This is where Wealthy Web Writer members really gain comprehension of the best techniques in the industry.
And, that comprehension translates into a vibrant, healthy, and profitable career.
So, let’s say you’re a brand-new copywriter. You land your first clients through enthusiastic recommendations from your friends and family. In a worst case scenario, you only get $1,000 in work your first month.
Doesn’t it make sense to reinvest less than 5% of that income into a network that will show you techniques and skills to quickly double your income? Then double it again …
If you agree, then take a few minutes to learn exactly how the Wealthy Web Writer can be the launching pad for your career.