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By William Ballard
Take a minute to think about the most influential people in your life right now.
They've obviously done something awesome to earn a spot on your list, right? Maybe they helped you achieve something. They've listened when no one else would. Or, they've inspired you to do better.
Maybe it's your mom, your favorite athlete, or a teacher back in High School or College that really opened your mind to new possibilities. Whoever they may be, they've done something that's set them apart from the hundreds, maybe even thousands of other people you've come in contact with thus far.
Now take a minute to think about your freelance writing business. Are you having this type of explosive impact on your potential clients or ideal clients? How are you influencing people and improving their lives?
Just as you often listen to those who you consider to be influential, it should come as no surprise that your freelance writing business needs to have a plan for getting your potential clients and ideal clients to take action and trust that have made the wisest decision for them by choosing you as their writer.
After all, that's how we generate traffic and leads, right? Convincing people to visit our website and choose our resources, correct?
In an effort to help, I'm willing to let you in on 4 secrets that great copywriting marketers know about influencing people to help your freelance writing business win over more deals.
4 Tips to Help Your Writing Persuade Clients to Choose You
1) To Get People to Listen to You, You Must First Start by Listening To Them
Anyone who has ever involuntarily enrolled in an art history lecture or had to sit through a Heavy Medal Rock song is probably well-trained in the art of "pretend listening". Let's be honest, we're all guilty of it.
However, while we've reached a point where information is endless, and extracting value requires actual work, it's important that as service providers we are working to improve our listening skills.
Simply put, if you want to persuade people to listen to you over everyone else, you have to first start by listening to them. What do they want to hear? What are they already saying?
If you want to be a leader (or influential) you must understand that you cannot lead someone where you have not gone yourself. If you want to have people listen to you, you need to learn to listen to them first so that you can show others how to listen effectively.
Social media is a great place to start exercising your listening skills. Listening to what your customers/clients and prospects are saying about your brand online will help you to turn around complaints, follow up with questions, and uncover valuable social proof. It's not until you prove your ability to do all three that they'll be interested in listening to anything that you have to say.
If you're dealing with offline communications, keep in mind that your level of interest can be conveyed both verbally and physically.
To assure the person that you're actually listening them, focus on showing an emotional response to what they're saying. Don't stare blankly at them or pull out your phone and start texting someone else. Make eye contact, or at the very least, nod.
Additionally, don't be afraid engage into the conversation with asking questions or providing feedback. Asking questions helps to ensure the other person that you're not only listening, but actually interested in what they have to say. Not to mention, asking questions helps you to better understand what they're saying.
(Bonus: For more about listening and asking questions I challenge you to have a look at my latest Book Review post, Book Review: Good Leaders Ask Great Questions, By John Maxwell. Believe me, what you will find in that post and in that book is worth thousands.)
2) Customize Your Message to Fit One and Not All
“Personally I am very fond of strawberries and cream, but I have found that for some strange reason, fish prefer worms. So when I went fishing, I didn’t think about what I wanted. I thought about what they wanted. I didn't bait the hook with strawberries and cream. Rather, I dangled a worm or grasshopper in front of the fish and said: "Wouldn't you like to have that?" Why not use the same common sense when fishing for people?” - Daniel Carnegie
I am sure many of you have heard the saying, "If you try to help everyone you end up helping no one". The average person is constantly bombarded with marketing promises, making one-size-fits-all messages seemingly ineffective. In order to influence someone to choose you as their freelance writer or to make a purchasing decision for one of your information products, a sense of customization and personalizaiton is paramount. If they like worms, and you like strawberries and cream, don't be stupid, give them worms.
Worms aside, here is my point, anytime you have an opportunity to tailor your message to a particular segment of your audience, seize it. Customization and personalization promotes a sense of exclusivity, and let's be real, who doesn't love to feel important?
3) Understand That it is Not You That Builds Your Reputation, But Your Past Customers and Clients that Nurture it For You
If you asked a room full of copywriting marketers what they considered to be their most important marketing tactic, it's likely that you'd come across a variety of responses.
Social promotions. Content production. Co-marketing opportunities.
But what about reputation nurturing and building?
In order to provide people with the confidence they need to move forward with a buying or hiring decision in your favor, it's likely that they'll care less about your last tweet or Facebook status and more about their ability to trust you.
For starters, happy customers and clients play a big role in reputation nurturing. If your customers or clients are satisfied, they'll be more inclined to provide you with testimonials and case studies for your website, which might as well be equivalent to gold.
When prospective customers and clients are shown proof that you've delivered positive results for other clients and customers in the past, it begins to eliminate the doubt that often accompanies any buying or hiring decision.
Not to mention, combing measurable proof with a compelling success story will give people something to talk about. If you can harness the power of word-of-mouth evangelizing, now you're cooking with fire.
4) To Make a Connection With Your Potential Clients You Must First Touch Their Hearts
Clients want to work with a writer that understands them. Not a writer that just knows their name and job title, but rather a writer that knows what keeps them up at night and how to bring them peace of mind.
This is where empathy in your marketing messages should be practiced.
You see, prospective clients have grown so accustomed to being treated like part of the "heard", that when a marketing message is able to elicit an emotional response from them, it doesn't go unnoticed.
In fact, one study of 880 campaigns revealed that emotional campaigns outsell information ones by 19%. (Source: Warc)
Marketing messages that make us feel rather than think make it easier for us to connect to the message. Rather than explain the features of your writing services, explain how the features will improve the potential client's life, experience, or business.
Tying your brand to something that resonates with your potential clients, something that focuses on their specific wants and needs, is what's going to get you noticed and bee seen as more influential.
Now Over to You...
Are there any other tips that you could add to this list? Or do you have some thoughts that you could add to one of the tips mentioned on this list? If so, share it with us in the comments below. Let's make this discussion lively!
P.S. Are you a self-published author? Or perhaps, you are looking for a platform to promote your freelance writing business. Get your ad shown in the space below or on the right sidebar of this blog by purchasing ad space. Get more details by downloading my Advertising Guidelines HERE.
Becoming a Person of Influence, By John Maxwell
(Description from Amazon.com)
America's leadership expert teaches that if your life in any way connects with other people, you are an influencer. Whatever your vocation or aspiration is, you can increase your impact with Maxwell's simple, insightful ways to interact more positively with others. Watch your personal and organizational success go off the charts!
Get Yours HERE!
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About William Ballard
Freelance Writer, Copywriter, Blogger, Inbound Marketing Specialist, and Author, William Ballard, helps small businesses and entrepreneurs, like you, broadcast their message across the Internet (and offline) and be seen as experts in their field. He has recently been dubbed the Expert Marketer of Writing.
William, a writer and content creator since 2007, enjoys sharing with others his experience on how to become a successful writer, blogger, and author. View more about William Ballard →