Like it or not, being a freelance writer takes a lot of sales skills. Whether you’re pitching an article to an editor or trying to convince a publisher to pick up your column, freelance writers are selling a product. Sean Platt of Ghostwriter Dad recently provided some tips to help reluctant freelancers learn the ways of sales. In an article for Copyblogger, Platt tells writers why they should learn to write sales letters:
Whether you want someone to buy your product, join your email list, retweet or +1 your post, you’re doing one thing — leading your audience down a path at the end of which liesthe action they’ll take.
You want them to do something.
In other words, you’re selling.
Platt is right. Words are a commodity and as an entrepreneurial journalist, it helps to know how to sell your product. If you need more convincing, here is an excerpt from Platt’s 5 Reasons Why All Freelance Writers Should Learn to Write a Sales Letter:
1. Never create crap content again
Some clients want nothing more than keyword-stuffed filler content for their sites, and they’re willing to pay you very little for the privilege. They don’t want to hear anything about how Google’s Panda update has made this approach silly, they just want mountains of low-quality content, stat.
Writing crappy content in bulk sucks. Do it for too long, and you’ll wonder why you thought writing online was a good idea in the first place.
Worse than being paid by the pound is the feeling of indentured servitude that comes with being a breath or two beyond running in circles, but nowhere near where you need to be to break away.
Knowing how to write a sales letter elevates your skill set, meaning you can make more money for every word you write, virtually overnight, whether or not you’re a wordsmith for hire.
2. You’ll only need a few clients a month
Managing low-paying copy usually means juggling a long list of clients because you’re stitching one job into the next, quilting your ends until they hopefully meet.
With the much higher earning average of longer form sales copy, just one or two jobs per month can fund the rest of your writing business.
Every sales letter you write makes you a better technical writer than you were before.
Constantly write, continuously improve, and quickly build a long list of people willing to pay you top dollar for your time.
When you deliver a sales letter that converts, you’re never hired only once.
3. You can develop streams of passive income
Once you know how to write an effective sales letter, you can become your own best client.
Write an eBook, put together a training course, offer a special suite of services, then write a letter to sell it.
You’re doing it for others. Why not do it for yourself?
If you’re a writer, you have the unique ability to synthesize and simplify information.
It’s the next logical step to package what you know and put it online.
To read the rest of Sean Platt’s piece, check out 5 Reasons Why All Freelance Writers Should Learn to Write a Sales Letter at Copyblogger
Have you ever written a sales letter as a freelance writer? Let us know your tips in the comments!