6 Simple Marketing Ideas for Motivated Freelance Writers

Carol Tice

By Rabbi Issamar Ginzberg

Why have I asked a rabbi to guest on my freelance-writer blog? Well, he’s not just a rabbi — Rabbi Ginzberg is also a noted business-marketing expert. Every time I talk to him, I come away with a great idea that helps me start earning more right away. So I wanted him to share a few tips with you. Here they are:

1) Charge more

So you think this makes no sense? That it is not possible? Here’s a trick that will immediately increase your income: Say you are now charging $300 for a small freelance project. You know you are worth more, and the client might know that as well. However, the client cannot pay you more right now because they don’t have it.

Here is what you do:

You think to yourself, “What is the absolute minimum I could do this for?” Say the answer is $150. Instead, you switch to charging them via PayPal for $150 now, $150 in 30 days, and the final $150 30 days after that.

You’ve raised your prices, given the client less immediate out-of-pocket expense, and given yourself a cushion of sorts in case you can’t work or want to take off later on and still have an income that month.

It IS possible that the client will stop the payments and you can lose the money you have not yet received that way. That’s why I say to make sure you get the minimum you’d do it for upfront.

2)    Upsell

Simply think, “What other services can I offer this customer?” They know me for my writing, but do they know that I can also transcribe music into notes? Do they know that I also can translate between Spanish and English?

3)    Raise your perceived value

It’s not at all hard now for you to put out an eBook. Your reservoir of knowledge can be tapped to write an information product that will help your Google results, show that you can “ship” a finished product, and also give you an expanded skill set. By the time you finish putting together your first eBook, you will have gained insight and connections with people that can do the parts you can’t, such as graphic design.

Another benefit to this is that you now have a product which you can give away to others, which includes links back to you and your site. This allows the sharing of the file to help widen your sphere of influence, as more people hear about you and see your plug for your services in your eBook.

4)    Stop wasting time looking for the magic pill

Stop wasting so much time on the social networking sites, the “how to” ebooks and the forums looking for the magic wand. YOU ARE NOW HOLDING THE MAGIC WAND. FEEL EMPOWERED.

You know enough. You see articles written that you know everything written in them about that topic, and more. You just need to decide that 2011 has started, I’m fed up, and I’m going to take action right now and move my business forward.

5)    Set goals you control

If you decide to call 50 targeted leads a day, then you have set a goal you can control. If you say, “I will make a sale today,” that is a goal you have no control over and is asking for failure.

Remember what they teach life insurance agents: The goal of the call is to get an appointment. If the appointment doesn’t work out, that is NOT a function of the call. This means that no matter what the outcome of the appointment is, whether or not you sell anything, the call has done its job by getting you a meeting.

Start tracking your successes at each step of the process. See which steps you are good at and which ones you aren’t. Once you know this information, you can start focusing on those portions of the call.

If you can set up meetings easily, stop trying so hard to set up meetings and focus on why the meetings aren’t leading to business! There is nothing wrong with calling a declined prospect and asking them not for their business but for their honest candid feedback for why you didn’t get the job.

This will go a long way in helping you and may very well lead to future business for you. People are impressed with that kind of spunk!

6)  Seek PWM

I learned this from Harlan Kilstein, who heard it from expert copywriting genius Gary Halbert himself.

If you sell a product, say an organizer for coupons… sure, you’ll make a few sales, but not that many, and not for a high dollar amount. Why?

The people who clip coupons are people who are not looking to spend more money! They are frugal.

This also means they are probably at the lower end of the financial spectrum. When you want clients, you want People With Money…lots of it…so you can deliver quality and get a top price. You don’t want to compete on price, because there is always someone out there that can do it for less.

Cater toward potential clients that have money. Say, transcription — for attorneys, not college students.

Of course you should give to charity…but learn to separate the two. Work for money and give charity to those organizations or individuals that you feel worthwhile in supporting. Does the CEO of the charity work for free? Why should you?

Good luck!

Rabbi Issamar Ginzberg is an award winning business consultant who has built his successful career and reputation on knowing how to create winning strategies that are stunningly simple to implement. Learn more about him at www.issamar.com.

I pay guest bloggers $50 a post. Details here.

Illustration: stock.xchng – raja4u


  1. Tammi Kibler

    Thanks for tip #5. I have been learning this intuitively, but it is affirming to see it in writing.

  2. Anne Wayman

    Works for me. I work with a Sufi Master who is a Marketing Genius… Mark Silver of Heart of Business dot com.

  3. Karen

    Love the idea of ‘goals you control’. It can be disheartening to set a goal you can’t control (sell my book) but a goal you control (pitch my book to 20 publishers) is actually achievable. Can’t believe I never looked at it in quite that way before!

    • Rabbi Issamar Ginzberg


      I’m so glad you found this helpful. its one of those simple things that totally reframes how you look at something… and it truly does make a MAJOR difference.

      Rabbi Issamar

  4. Ahlam

    I particularly enjoyed #4, looking for the magic pill when you already have all the tools is a waste of time. When you’ve educated yourself to a point of preparedness – it’s time to move forward, which is often the hardest part of getting started and succeeding in practically anything.

    • Rabbi Issamar Ginzberg


      Exactly so! I’ve sat at seminars at met people that know much more then the speaker did on a topic… and yet, they still have “information-itis”, a well known malady affecting people that makes their guts and spunk turn into jelly.

      Get a mentor (hint: a certain one names Carol comes to mind) for the final push and for accountability… PAY for good information from an expert to move up… or, if you can’t do that at the moment, stay where you are… but go and DO!!!

      (waves magic wand again)

      by reading this post you are now officially qualified… stop reading and GO DO!!!!

      • Carol Tice

        After the Free-for-all call with Peter Bowerman today, he and I were talking about how writers are always asking us, “What is the best way to break into copywriting?” or even better “What is the one best, easy, low-cost way to break into copywriting?”

        More search for the magic wand, for the one, universal answer that will make this journey quick and painless. But there isn’t one, because people and their interests and life experience are not alike. And only doing one type of marketing doesn’t usually work as well as doing several things at once.

        There isn’t one more piece of information to know, and then you know it all and you’re ready to begin. Beyond a certain point, you can only get more information by DOING, and learning from what happens.

        To me it’s a way of saying, “I’m not really up for the hard work this will involve…can’t you show me the magical shortcut through the woods where I skip all the soul-searching, and rejection, and I can just fast-forward to the part where I make six figures?” But that’s a fantasy. Everyone has to follow their own road and see what works for them, where the world responds to what they’re putting out.

  5. Krissy Brady, Writer

    I especially like “Set goals you can control.” Focus on submitting a certain amount of writing, as opposed to saying “I’m going to have three new publishing credits in XX months.” It’s definitely a refreshing way of thinking, as you can see your progress much more clearly.

    • Carol Tice

      And you can guarantee you’ll check off some to-do list items, rather than setting goals out of your control and then being crushed when they don’t happen. To me when you do the marketing, you know sooner or later it’s going to bring more work your way…you know you’re making progress and sticking to your commitment to market your business, which is a confidence-builder.

      • Krissy Brady, Writer

        I totally agree! It gives you a huge sense of satisfaction. My favourite thing to do is check things off that are totally in my power to complete. It gives me a visual measurement of what I’ve accomplished that day, and gives me more motivation for the following days to come.

  6. Brandon Yanofsky

    The point to work for customers with money seems so obvious, but few businesses follow it. I have problems with this a lot.

    One thing I was confused about was your point about wasting time on social networks. I’m guessing you mean in the sense of looking up crazy cat pictures.

    But do you think twitter and Facebook and other social networks provide great business networking?

    • carolt

      I liked Peter Bowerman’s take on social media on the Free-for-All call yesterday — that it shouldn’t be the center of your marketing strategy, but might be a valuable add-on. But the point is it can’t eat too much time.

      I find it’s actually very hard for many writers to follow the PWM rule…we tend to follow our muse to topics we love and publications we like, and we just wanna write for them…and they pay $75 an article, and the next thing you know that’s what you’ve been earning per article for 5 years. If you work from the start asking “Where is the money?” and make an effort to target those markets, you can really skyrocket your pay.

      I have one mentee who reported to me recently she now makes 2 1/2 times what she was making before, after dropping a few lower-paying clients and targeting a few more better-pay markets…it can really make a big difference!

  7. Ann Goldberg

    I was at your session on Monday at the Jerusalem Business women’s conference and was amazed at how much information you packed into such a short time – but wasn’t sure how to translate this into my freelance writing career – now I know.

    #4 is especially important nowadays – I cancelled my subscription to an excellent writer’s forum because however much information I might learn into wasn’t translating into more money and I was wasting way too much time on it.

    I’ll have to think seriously about an ebook and the other idea you mentioined on Monday – teaching what I know about writing.
    Thanks again

    • Rabbi Issamar Ginzberg

      Whoo! thanks for the kind words (and if you’ve just discovered this blog via me- stick around here! Chock full o’ good stuff and good people!)

      I’m glad you were able to mesh the information at the seminar with these tips together to help you build your business. (Carol- if any readers want to hear it, i’d be glad to share it.)

      It’s NOT about “cancelling your memberhsip and going it alone.” it IS about thinking before you spend, limiting the amount of time you spend there to a set amount of “continuing education”, and most importantly, not feeling like just because others in that same forum know things which you don’t somehow make you unqualified to do what YOU do- think about how many things you know that THEY don’t!

      To quote Erasmus “In regione caecorum rex est luscus.” or in English, “in the land of the blind, the one eyed man is king.”

      (you might want to print that quote. it’s an instant self confidence booster!)

      Compared to another writer, do you know everything there is to know about writing? No! Compared to an expert in whatever field you write about, do you know as much as they do, as a Tax Atorney knows about the Tax Code? No!

      But compared to your readers… you know so much that it is amazing. it is your own inner voice that is holding you back, not a true lack of information.

      To your readers, you are like the only MD on an airplane in mid flight. you have the creds.. the fact that they have terrible heart pain and your are a podiatrist is irrelevant for all practical purposes.

      Before you move on to the next blog post or to a writers forum, Why not take action now and do somehting that until this moment you were to scared to try? I challenge you!

      Oh- but please Share/Tweet this post before you do! 🙂

  8. jonathanfigaro

    These are fantastic TIPS, n waiters . Number 3 is very important. Focusing on writing is the best way to go. All you have to do is write and market. Let tour work speak for you. Everything else comes together from what you have achieved with your works of art.

  9. Luke

    I don’t want to repeat what already written in comments above me, but this is good solid posting. From me i want to add a practice that can clarify basically any plan or idea.

    It amazing how knowing the solution we don’t apply it ! Our inner beliefs creates some sort of a trans. To get out of this negative feelings and get a real image of the situation i simply ask myself simple questions like : “What are you doing”. “What you need to do to earn more”. After that “interview” with myself i of course get the answers, and the solution i always knew is somehow more convincing and easier to apply.

  10. Ron's SEO Copywriting Blog

    One of the best articles I have ever read. Yes, look for clients with money, NOT frugal characters. Remember, people with money do business. People with no money do begging or stealing. So beware!

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