I just wrote a document called "My Ideal Client." Michael Port, who wrote Book Yourself Solid, espouses the notion that until you carefully identify who your ideal client is, you'll be spinning your wheels and finding the wrong clients. I've been awfully lucky to have accepted projects that are within my passions and niche, but I noticed that a lot of potential clients invite me to quote on their projects when they have no idea what I charge, the topics I tackle, or the topics I avoid, so they were losing precious time seeking me out and I was losing precious time explaining why I was declining their invitations: their budgets were too low, their topic not in my realm, etc.
Now that I've taken the time to profile my ideal client, I should start hearing from folks whose projects will inspire me to do my absolute best for them...and they'll know, up front, that I'm not amenable to entry-level copywriting fees. I'm not asking exorbitant rates at all; many clients have told me I charge too little for the value they receive, but I'm not in this field to gouge people: I'm in it to earn a decent living while making sure clients receive more than they expect for the money they pay me.
I'll post the document here. By reading it, you may be able to think of businesses and non-profit foundations that can use my services, instead of having to think "generically" about who to introduce me to. And remember: if you refer someone to me, and they let me know you did, I will send you 10% of the total project when it's completed. So there's something in it for you, too.
I hope the following helps you help me--and the friends and acquaintances you send to me!
Here we go:
1.) Passionate about a benevolent cause (human, animal, environment)
A few examples:
Clean water and other resources, global warming
Elder Care Options
Business Coaches (Brian Tracy, et al)
Self-Help gurus (Anthony Robbins, et al)
Inspirational Speakers (Zig Ziglar, TD Jakes, et al)
Animal welfare and humane education (not “animal rights”)
Habitat for Humanity
Religious causes (non-violent only: missions, inter-faith pursuits, introductions to other faith traditions)
Natural Resources causes (Clean Energy, Sierra Club, Defenders of Wildlife, Natural Resources Defense Council, et al)
Progressive candidates for public office
Christian writers and pastors
Clients who need to have e-books written, ghosted, improved or proofread
Clients who have products or services that truly improve their customers’ lives or businesses (apps developers, spas and salons, weight loss clinics, et al)
Clients who need on-hold messages written for their company phone systems or telemarketing scripts for their in-house or off-shore marketing teams
2.) Driven to help others, with the ability to pay what exemplary copywriting is worth based on long-term ROI
Has researched professional fees for exemplary copywriters and understands what the profession entails and appropriate fees for various services; expects to pay an appropriate price for a professional copywriter and exemplary result. (Example: High- profile copywriters charge from $1.00 to $1.65 or more per word. This is not a typo. I don’t charge anywhere near that much, so the ideal client knows they’re getting a heck of a deal when I charge just $75/hour and produce at least 500 words every hour after I’ve reviewed the source materials and am ready to rock and roll.)
3.) Insecure or unsure about his or her own writing or communications abilities because of unhappy experiences in school English, business communications, and other communications classes or because of ESL difficulties, dyslexia, etc.
Although great at what they do for a living, most business owners aren’t well-trained writers and haven’t the time (or the inclination/passion) to become copywriters for their own purposes. Some sweat bullets writing a memo; others fret only when writing for their customers.
4.) Too busy running a business to be involved in the day-to-day aspects of public outreach via written communications: sales pieces, web content, brochures, flyers, slogans, taglines, articles, blogs, Social Media outreach, etc.