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HBada
07-17-2007, 12:10 AM
I have gathered an extensive list of prospects, including peope I know who own businesses, plus companies or individuals I have seen in the news or industry literature, and in industry directories. Now I will want to make a direct mail campaign (along with other marketing tactics) but I have a problem. Some good and needy contacts are either missing a contact name, some don't seem to have an address, or a postal code. How is best to approach this issue- start from scratch with a mailing list of my industry(s) plus my personal contacts, or is there a better way?

Tsu Dho Nimh
07-18-2007, 10:43 PM
Only mail to those for whom you are CERTAIN the contact information is accurate and up-to-date, and only if you are reasonably certain they have a need you can fill.

Getting good contact informaiton is extremely difficult, because companies protect their staff's privacy to prevent people like you from contacting them.

I was deluged in advertising emails after one conference carelessly put my full contact information in the conference proceedings. I discarded them all. Even two years after that conference, I was still getting ads from people who bought old lists. I was still discarding them, unopened.

HBada
07-18-2007, 11:45 PM
Would you tell me how you developed your mailing list? I would like some ideas to adapt to building a target list for my region &/or interests. Actually, now that I think of it, I like to meet people face to face. Any ideas what markets may be strong for independent copywriters in my situation?

there's lots of government offices, retirement homes, cars and urban sprawl isuses, forestry operations, 2 major hospitals, marinas, tourism, small business incentives, restaurants and hotels here; motorcycling is also hot here (for Canada) and so is cycling. Some sports too- a national centre for cycling and we just are having soccer stuff this month too. There's also three public post-secondary schools all well regarded, and some private ones too. Ideas ideas? I enjoy and have experience in various functions of all these market types; I want to pick one or two that have potential and are easiest to reach and get repeat business. For any type of business, I like writing marketing plans not just individual ads or speeches (also favorite tasks but not as much as comprehensive plans).

Oh yeah HOUSING is HUGE here too! But I don't think builders buy much from outside writers, do they? I'm to chicken to ask them myself, so far.

Tsu Dho Nimh
07-20-2007, 08:54 PM
My problem is staying off of mailing lists.

The true freelance copywriters I know rely on word of mouth and carefully targeting selected individuals with brochures that are customized for the business they have targeted. They don't do broadcast mailings like you plan.

They do meet and greet and network like mad.

HBada
07-21-2007, 01:51 AM
I was going to avoid networking because I've heard it isn't really appropriate, or doesn't work for copywriters. Yes I network with various professional groups but I wanted to reach a larger market, more accustomed to hiring writers.

Instead I was going to do a direct mail campaign to a few markets I'm interested in, to see what bites basically. My interests are so specialized I would really like to see what directions to broaden into.

What are your specialties and where to you network to meet suitable people for building your clientele or referral system?

Tsu Dho Nimh
07-24-2007, 03:45 AM
What I have heard is that it works, you heard differently.

Your decision ...

Nerak
07-24-2007, 06:08 AM
Well, if you don't mind a second opinion... I've found that networking is the all-time best way to get jobs, meet helpful people, generate ideas, etc. Don't forget it's not really the huge hospital that is hiring you, it's the person who works in the external/internal communications department who is actually hiring you.

Next best thing to face2face is the telephone -- even cold calls. but that's another thread, isn't it?
KJ

HBada
07-27-2007, 12:57 AM
Yes I totally agree, that people (not organizations) have to like you, and they're the ones that will hire. Business people love me, they say I'm a breath of fresh air, I am energetic, have great ideas, and have helped them see solutions they wouldn't have thought of. But they don't hire me for writing. At best, I get offers to become a cashier at their store.

Maybe my town is so small that the people making hiring decisions are so few, and their bosses aren't even in this city. And with so many MBAs and people with graduate and technical degrees pouring out of our three colleges and universities here not to mention numerous private schools, it doesn't seem to matter how much people like me. People constantly try to get marketing advice out of me, but not many people hire me except for babysitting (I'm being sarcastic).

It's all tourism here, and government, remember. Healthcare is growing because it is also a retirement city. I'm not really interested in a lot of healthcare, except for high tech treatments, and I'd end up marketing away from home anyway. Suppose I go networking. Where would I go to network? My nearest city is Vancouver B.C. I'd rather do Bly's and Slaunwhite's various mailout techniques. Someone recently suggested political writing (speeches) but I don't know anything about politics. More suggestions?

dahmnait
07-27-2007, 02:29 AM
I am not in a position where I can effectively network, so I have brainstormed with my sales guru and came up with the following plan.

1. Create a list of target markets.
2. Create a list of services geared towards this market.
3. Create a 5-minute script for in-person calls. (This will be used in #5)
4. Create a cold call phone script. Your script should be kept short, but cover the pertinent questions. Somewhere in the script you need to ask if they would be willing to meet with you for 5 -10 minutes, or if it is ok to send them additional information.
5. If you receive a yes to the above, either send your material or meet with the client. (All people I meet with are clients whether or not they have contracted my services.) Now, on the phone you mentioned a 5 - 10 minute meeting, however you actually want to keep it to 5 minutes. In my case, I am offering a 30-minute free consultation. So, if I have scheduled multiple short greets in one day, I make sure to schedule enough time in between them for the consultation, just in case.
6. Follow up.
7. Lather, rinse, repeat.

For each batch of calls, I determine a geographical area and enter the information into my database. I include the sales type according to my personal service plan so I know which marketing script I am using with each business. I have kept it down to 3 different sale types. For each sale type, I have a different script that emphasizes the 2 – 3 services that would be most beneficial to their business type. E.g., if I contact a manufacturing company, I work the angle of internal procedures and client-end documentation.

Depending upon the services you are offering, this may work differently for you. However, you may be able to modify this to work for your specific service(s).

Remember, in sales, the law of averages figure you will get a sale from about 10% of the people you actually talk with. If not, then you need to reevaluate your marketing plan and material.

Hope this helps.