Friday, June 13, 2014

How to Bait Your Hook (Part 2)

By now you may have figured out how baiting the hook, or dangling an attractive bargain in front of potential clients, can make them sit up and take notice of your competence as a freelancing professional. Here are several other ways of doing it:

Harness the possibilities of built-in publishing software.

Home computers usually have built-in software, like Microsoft Publisher, that enables you to create marketing materials like flyers and brochures. The good news is you don't need to invest in expensive ink-jet-friendly paper. White typewriting paper of good quality will do (A4 or 8 1/2" x 11" is ideal).

While a business card can be handy whenever you attend any of those networking events or conventions, a three-fold brochure that concisely states the type of services you offer is more effective when you want clients to remember you should the need to hire a freelancer comes up.

And even in this mobile generation, when most start-up businesses and enterprises in the stage of growth and expansion are realizing that an online presence is essential, it's still apparent that advertising through print hasn't completely gone kaput.

Now, when it comes to creating your brochures (or even flyers), you have to keep your costs low while maximizing the potential of print ads. Think about this: strategically giving away 25 brochures that would generate two to three clients each is more effective than having a hundred brochures printed and getting only several clients in the long term.

Start with a definite plan. One of your best bets would be to get in touch with small companies through snail mail. Small companies do not have big budgets to spare in the way huge companies do. Huge companies can pay for a 30-second TV or radio commercial and launch campaigns through billboards and magazines, and organize events at upscale venues.

What keeps most small companies afloat is carving out their own niche in a huge market, or by consistently meeting the needs of a select group of clients or customers. 

And yet, even small companies can get swamped during certain times of the year, like tax season and the holidays. Outsourcing projects to freelancers has proven to be an excellent alternative in order to keep their workforce small.

In the Philippines, it was reported by the website Entrepreneur[dot]ph that huge companies only make up four percent of the country's industries. What keeps the local economy vibrant, aside from remittances from OFWs, are the profits generated by SMEs.

You can obtain the contact information of most SMEs through Entrepreneur magazine, and any networking event or job fair. You can try "cold calling," or mail them a letter, where you can conveniently insert your three-fold brochure in a legal-size envelope.

In your brochure, an attention-grabbing announcement can look like this:

== Huge Discounts! ==

Make an Appointment
From December 1 to 31, 2014
and Get 20-30% Off Our
SEO Copywriting Services!

Remember that fancy-looking fonts are distracting, so keep it to a two- or three-font scheme, and it's best to use black ink over a white background. Simplicity has more impact on potential clients. No one has the time nor patience to wade through marketing fluff.

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