As web writers, it’s our job to know about online marketing — and if you spend much time around Wealthy Web Writer, you likely already know a lot …
But, for some reason, when it comes to explaining “marketing” to our clients, many of us freeze …
- What if they already know the techniques I’m about to share?
- What if I sound like a beginner?
- What if I give them too much information and they think they don’t need to hire me?
These questions plague even the most experienced web writers. But, when you have a system in place, you won’t have these worries.
Let me explain …
By knowing just a handful of marketing techniques you can recommend, you’ll never fumble for advice.
In fact, I’ve relied on a simple conversion funnel for nearly every consultation I’ve booked since I began as a freelancer.
Feel free to steal my “go-to” advice. By the way, many marketers charge $150+ for a half-hour consultation … and you can add your writing fees on top of that — which we’ll talk about in a moment.
The Basics of Conversion
From the Wealthy Web Writer Web Copywriting Glossary, a conversion rate is,
“The percentage of site visitors who take a specific action. This action can either be purchasing a product or service, downloading software, enrolling in a membership, or signing up for a newsletter. It’s calculated by dividing the number of site visitors by the number of times those visitors take an action.”
So, if your client has 100 visitors per day and 10 of those sign up for their free offer, their “lead conversion” is 10%.
If they have 100 visitors per day and one person buys something, their “sales conversion” is 1%.
The goal of every marketer, business owner, and client is to increase those numbers (their conversion rates) — whether they understand them or not.
We all want more leads and more sales — right?
So, the first thing is to explain the conversion rate to them — or at least ask if they know about it and understand it.
Then, you can tell them how to increase it. Here are five surefire ways:
1. Make sure they have a compelling headline.
You probably already know the importance of creating a compelling headline, right? But, did you know that if your headline doesn’t draw the reader in, they could hit the “back” button and be gone forever?
If your client’s site isn’t performing well, this could be the issue. Maybe no one is reading the headline so they’re not bothering to read anything else. Hard to make sales that way.
Here are four ways to immediately enhance a headline (if you’ve studied the Accelerated Program for Six-Figure Copywriting, I’m sure you’ll recognize them):
- Add Urgency. If their headline doesn’t give the website visitor a reason to act now, it should. Remember, you don’t have to give your prospects specific headlines — that’s what your writing services are for. In the initial consultation, you should just tell them what to do … not how.
- Make Sure it’s Useful. Your client’s headline should tell the website visitor, “What’s in it for them?” What use will they get out of reading the home page, landing page, or signing up?
- Make it Unique. Also, is the headline unique? To determine this, consider if the headline would work on another similar website. If so, it’s probably not unique enough. Today, website owners can’t succeed with a “me-too” attitude. Instead, they should brainstorm all the ways their product or service is unique. (If they don’t know this, they probably don’t have a Unique Selling Proposition and could benefit immensely by figuring theirs out and using it in their copy. That’s yet another reason to hire you.)
- Be Specific. Is their headline specific enough? Don’t just say, “A lot of people love this service.” Instead, how many people love it? If it’s 128,921 say so. The more specific, the better.
Also, remember to recommend that they should test all changes they make. Keep in mind, you don’t have to explain how to do this — just let them know they should. If you do want to help them with their testing, start here.
For more headline writing help, be sure to check out this article: Read This Article Now and Write Better Headlines Immediately!
2. Make sure they offer an effective lead-capture device.
I can’t tell you how many clients either don’t have a lead-capture device — or they’re not using it like they should. This is a great way to instantly enhance the effectiveness of any website.
First, remember a “lead” is someone who gives you their information — maybe just an email address — so you can follow up with them later. Earlier we talked about if your client has 100 visitors per day and 10 of those sign up for their free offer; their “lead conversion” is 10%.
Well, if they don’t have a free offer:
- They can’t have a lead conversion.
- They can’t follow up with people who visit the site and don’t buy immediately. And, there will be a lot of people who aren’t ready to buy immediately.
To follow up with these folks, we need a lead-capture device. It’s easy to recommend — and you don’t have to know how to do the technical side of it. Instead, you can simply recommend that they have their web guy do it for them.
If they’re just getting started, they may want to try MailChimp. They offer a free account for newbies to get their feet wet with email marketing.
For more on lead capture — including how to choose an effective topic — read How To Choose A Topic For Your Bait Piece.
3. Make sure their offer is irresistible.
When it comes to their offer — whether for the free opt-in or a purchase, it must be irresistible. That means the target market must be practically defenseless against the offer.
Of course, a lot goes into crafting a compelling offer — namely, a lot of research. So you probably don’t want to start telling your client other offers they could use … unless you’ve done your research, of course.
One thing you can do is tell them other offers you’ve seen work well, explain why their offer must be irresistible, and ask them the reason behind the current offer.
If they tell you their current offer is because, “we had this leftover copy so we turned it into an e-book” or “our competitors are doing it so we are, too,” there’s probably a ton of opportunity to enhance their offer …
Ask a few compelling questions (especially those found here) to get them thinking, but save the real research and ideas for once you’ve been hired.
4. Make sure they have a follow-up autoresponder series in place.
Like I mentioned above, many customers aren’t ready to purchase when they land on your client’s website. Instead, they may want to sign up for more information and make a decision later.
For this reason, it’s important to have an effective autoresponder series in place. An autoresponder series is set up so emails go out automatically on a certain schedule — usually something like Welcome/Day 0, Day 1, Day 3, Day 5, Day 8, etc.
The autoresponder (AR) series should build rapport with the reader, encourage them to revisit the site, and eventually ask them to purchase again. (All while providing value.)
If your client doesn’t have a follow-up system like this in place, they’re likely leaving a ton of money on the table.
Remember, at this point, you don’t need to impress your client with the actual words for their emails. That’s something you do once they hire you to write the series. For now, you’re simply telling them that an AR series will increase their conversions.
To learn more about ARs — including why more autoresponders equals more sales — be sure to read this article: DRIP, DRIP, DRIP … How To Increase Sales, Every Time.
5. Recommend that they send a monthly e-newsletter to their list.
Autoresponder series — like the one mentioned above — don’t last forever. Typically they’re set up to run a week or two. After that, what happens to your leads?
Well, if your client has a list and hasn’t been following up, this one suggestion alone could net them thousands of dollars in income.
You see, an effective e-newsletter allows your client to contact present, past, and future customers. With an e-newsletter, they can connect, build rapport, establish trust, and deliver value at a minimum expense.
Then, when someone on their list is ready to buy, they’ll know where to go.
E-newsletters are also a great way to find out what customers are looking for, sell other products or services, or get referrals.
And, of course, if your client doesn’t have a monthly (or weekly) e-newsletter, they can hire you to write it for them.
The Business of Increasing Business
You’ve probably heard all the advice above before … But, if you’re not using it, why not?
Just by taking the five suggestions above, you can create a complete plan for your web-copy business. It might look like this:
- Initial consult. Many web writers offer this for free to get on the phone with qualified leads, but you could easily charge $150 or more for a half hour. You could also sell a “Site Audit” where you cover each of these things and charge $1,000-$2,500 (and up for larger sites).
- Recommend the five things above — or more, if you’re doing a full Site Audit.
- At the end of the call, say something like, “Based on what we talked about, I can see several ways we can easily grow your business. I can create a proposal for you and have that to you tomorrow/early next week.”
- Prepare the proposal based on your conversation. If you’re not sure how much they want/can afford to do, ask what their budget is before ending the initial call. You might also consider creating several different packages at different price points so they can choose the best one for them. Pam Foster often breaks her proposals into “work phases” for clients to help meet their budget needs.
- Remember to include in the proposal specific numbers for how much these techniques can increase their business — when done correctly, by an expert such as you.
- Follow up until they give you an answer. (Make sure to add them to your own AR series and monthly e-newsletter list.)
Pricing These Services
So, what can you charge for each of these services? Well, here are the current going rates:
If they need new headlines and a more irresistible offer, they probably need the bulk of their web copy reviewed and optimized. For rewriting the home page plus five to seven basic pages, such as About Us, Contact Us, and a few sales pages, you could expect to make $1,500-$3,500.
For the lead-capture device or bait piece — typically 6-8 pages, approximately 2,000 words, you could charge $2,500-$6,500 (depending on how technical it is).
For the follow-up AR series, expect to charge $150-$350 per email (if you’re a beginner), $200-$500 per email (if you’re advanced), and up to $1,000 per email (if you’re a superstar)!
Add all that up and you get $4,750 on the low end and $15,000 on the high end!!
Then, for the monthly e-newsletter, which is typically one 500-800 word article and a few other blurbs of copy, you could expect to charge $900-$2,000 per month!
Get just one or two of these each month and you’ll hit six-figures in no time.
And, the best part? Simply follow all of the above advice for your own website. Then, that will serve as your marketing platform, follow-up system, and even samples of your work.
Be sure to check out the special report, How to Price and Land the Top 7 Web Copy Projects, for more advice on pricing.
So, what about you? Do you use a system like this to capture leads and follow up with them? If not, why not start now? Let me know if you have any questions by commenting below.