Paul Masson became known as the “Champagne King of California” after his California sparkling wine won an Honorable Mention at the Paris Expo world fair in 1900.
Eighty years later, in a TV commercial aired during Super Bowl XIV, Orson Welles famously turned down the volume of the music he was listening to and poured himself a glass of white wine. He then turned to the camera and said:
“Took Beethoven four years to write that symphony. Some things can’t be rushed. Good music, and good wine. Paul Masson wines taste so good, because they’re made with such care. What Paul Masson himself said nearly a century ago is still true today: We will sell no wine before its time.”
Now, I couldn’t find note of who wrote the copy for that commercial, but that last phrase — “We will sell no wine before its time” — became iconic.
Some things really can’t be rushed. Whether it’s music, wine, or landing web-writing clients… you MUST plant the seeds before you can harvest and reap the rewards of your efforts.
There are a wide variety of seeds we web writers can choose to plant for a future harvest of projects that put money in the bank. Here are 13 of my favorites…
One-to-Many Marketing Seeds
When you plant these seeds, you’re putting yourself out there to the masses and trying to attract the attention of your ideal prospects.
One-to-many marketing seeds include the following:
1. LinkedIn Profile
For optimal harvest, you should update your LinkedIn profile regularly. Make sure you use keywords and phrases your ideal client may be looking for so it’s easy for them to find you.
2. LinkedIn Content
Write original content and publish it on LinkedIn. It adds to your LinkedIn credibility, and your article will have a URL you can share during one-to-one follow up with prospects outside of LinkedIn.
As a web writer, you really need to have at least a basic website up to promote yourself. Have you heard the phrase, “Never trust a skinny chef”? Founded or not, the same thinking applies to us web writers.
Writers write, and so it’s natural for clients to expect web writers to have a blog. Take the time to write just three to five blog posts to publish at the launch of your blog. Then add content regularly. Even once a month on a regular basis is better than nothing at all.
5. Curated Content Shared on Social Media
Show that you stay on top of new and noteworthy things happening in digital marketing and/or in the niche industry you write for by sharing content published by other people. Add your thoughts on the content to start a conversation with your social media followers.
When you curate content, you “borrow” some of the authority of the original content creator. Of course, be ethical and provide proper attribution. You share some of their authority because you’ve shared their content. You’ll do the opposite and hurt your reputation if you try to pass off their content as your own.
6. Published Articles with Byline
If you work within a specific industry niche, it’s likely there are trade publications within that niche that need content. YOU can write that content! Now, it only becomes a planted seed for your own marketing purposes if your name is attached to the content. So be sure you’ll be named as the author.
7. Webinars and Workshops
Webinars and workshops are a great way to showcase your expertise and get prospects excited about a specific kind of project you can help them with. Especially when you can show why working with a professional will get them even better results than doing it themselves.
For example, if you’re doing a webinar about writing social media content, show how it is most effective when social content is intentionally part of the overall marketing strategy. Talk about the importance of staying on top of all the algorithm changes constantly happening on the social platforms. Let them see you as the expert resource you can be to them. And, of course, end the webinar with an offer to help them further.
8. Podcast Guest Interviews
There’s been huge growth in podcasts over the past several years, and there are currently two million podcasts out there. When you’re a guest on someone else’s podcast, you get exposure to an audience that may not know you yet. You get instant expert status. But, remember it’s not about you; it’s about how you can help the podcast host help their audience. Keep that in mind when you reach out to a podcaster with why they should consider bringing you on their show as a guest.
Industry associations and business organizations of all sorts need speakers for the events they hold for their members. So, reach out to the leaders of these groups and offer to talk about digital marketing… specifically the type of project you specialize in. For example, if you write e-newsletters, give a presentation about the benefits of sending these newsletters and why companies should consider it. Then offer a free 30-minute consultation for anyone who wants to learn more.
One-to-One Marketing Seeds
When you plant these seeds, you’re talking to a single person instead of the masses.
It’s important to keep in regular touch with people you know — friends, business acquaintances, prospects, and clients. Because, you never know when they may experience a life or business change and need your help… or know someone else who does.
One-to-one marketing seeds include the following:
In addition to your personal emails, I suggest building an official email list for your web-writing business. Put everyone you know on it… with their permission, of course. And, add new people as you meet them. Send a monthly (or more frequent) e-newsletter to keep in touch and provide ongoing value.
11. Direct Messages
Direct messages on social media, as well as direct text messages, can be an effective way to reach new prospects and plant new seeds with prospects you’re nurturing. Be careful not to overuse this channel, though. You don’t want to be perceived as spammy and be ignored, so always provide value.
Calling people and talking to them on the telephone still works. And, it works really well. Cold calling is great, if you’re up for it, but don’t underestimate the value of warm calling, too. Warm calling is calling people you already know to check in on them… to ask how things are going… to see if there’s something you can do to help make their life/business/marketing efforts even better.
Whether in-person or virtual, networking is about connecting with people and having conversations to see if you can help them. Ask a leading question like, “How’s your email follow-up sequence working for you?” (Replace “email follow-up sequence” with whatever kind of project you want to help them with.) And then ask, “What if I could help you make it even better?”
Networking is all about building relationships, and these conversations are the seeds that grow into relationships leading to future work you can harvest.
Planting Seedlings Instead of Seeds
Remember to keep in touch with your existing and past clients. Share relevant news and digital-marketing updates. Offer new ideas.
Instead of planting seeds, this is like planting seedlings. You’re not starting from scratch, because you already have a working relationship with these people. They already trust you. They know what to expect.
So, include them in your marketing efforts, too. Don’t let them become neglected seedlings that wither away and die. Keep watering them. Keep nurturing them.
The Best Time to Plant Your Seeds
You probably know the saying that the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, and the second-best time is now.
The best time to plant your marketing seeds is right now.
If you don’t currently have clients you’re working with and projects lined up, it’s crucial to start planting. But, even if you do have clients and projects, you still should be planting new seeds.
Because, the thing about planting marketing seeds is that you should always be planting.
You may be harvesting now from the seeds you planted a few months ago… but, if you don’t replant more seeds now, you won’t have anything to harvest in the future.
So, pick your favorites, and start planting today.