350 episodes and over 1.5 million downloads later, Rob and Kira sit down to chat about… pitching (and phones?). From setting intentions for a new season to setting your business up for success in Q3, you’ll walk away from this episode with ideas and actionable steps you can use right now in your business.
Catch up with Rob and Kira to find out:
- The sure-fire way to gain clients in Q3.
- How Kira’s flip-phone project is going.
- Creating a theme for a new season.
- What summer on this side of the globe means for Rob and Kira.
- What’s new with TCC this summer?
- The do’s and don’t’s of pitching and why copywriters need to focus on this instead.
- Is your ego getting in the way of new clients?
- What business activities can help you come out of a slow season?
- How are copywriters getting paid right now?
- What’s new on the AI for Creative Entrepreneurs podcast?
The people and stuff we mentioned on the show:
The Copywriter Underground Annual Membership –> Get P7 for Free
The Copywriter Think Tank
The Copywriter Club Facebook Group
The Copywriter Underground
Free month of Brain.FM
AI for Creative Entrepreneurs Podcast
Rob Marsh: I am Rob Marsh.
Kira Hug: I am Kira Hug, and we are the host of the Copywriter Club podcast. We are the host who did not introduce ourselves for 350 episodes or at least 340 episodes. We did not ever introduce ourselves.
Rob Marsh: We fixed that. We’re here. This is just a conversation between you and me, Kira and Rob, and hopefully if you’re tuning into this episode, you’re interested in some of the updates that we have coming up, but we also want to talk a little bit about what’s going on in the economy and the industry and what’s working for people right now. We’ll get to that in just a minute as well. Kira, let’s kick this off. I was talking to our team just the other day. We literally hit 80 degrees for maybe the second time this year a couple days ago, Summer finally started here. Let’s just talk about our summer plans. What’s going on with you this summer?
Kira Hug: Yeah, I will have some travel in July. I know you and I are both traveling in July and my travel includes actually staying within my state and staying at a couple cabins in Maine, in the woods and just having more of a rustic experience. I know you have a trip. I think the same week I’m gone. I don’t even know where you’re going.
Rob Marsh: My daughter is playing in Junior Olympics water polo tournament. We are going to turn that travel into a little bit of a beach vacation. We’re going to spend a couple days at the beach, maybe check out an amusement park one day. My kids are older. The Disney Land, Disney World type thing doesn’t really work for us anymore.
Kira Hug: That’s so sad.
Rob Marsh: Rollercoasters are still fun and paying for overpriced amusement park food, we might do that one day, but I think we’re going to spend a lot of time sitting with our toes in the sand listening to the waves crash on the beach because we don’t get that here a whole lot in Salt Lake.
Kira Hug: Yeah, that’ll be nice. It’s really sad to think that they’ve already outgrown Disney like that. I don’t know, that crushes me.
Rob Marsh: It happens, but it’s good. Different things, different strokes for different times of life. It’ll just be me, my daughters and my wife and I will be sitting on the beach reading, splashing around a little bit and having a good time.
Kira Hug: What is your vacation style. When you’re on vacation, some people are really well planned and they have every moment planned, lots of activities. Some people just kick back and just want to chill on the sofa with the book.
Rob Marsh: I’m the chill. I do not love to go into it with tons of plans. I’m okay with a, “Hey, on Tuesday we’re going to go to the beach. On Wednesday, we’re going to go see the Angels play.” Or whatever. I hate having everything scheduled out and I do not feel like every moment of a vacation needs to be doing something. The point of my vacations is to rest. I like to just lounge around and do nothing. How about you?
Kira Hug: So many questions about how to vacation properly because I think vacationing is hard. It takes me a while to get into vacation mode and by that time it’s over. So do you just flip a switch and you’re like, “Cool. I’m on vacation mode. Everything feels good.” I really struggle with it.
Rob Marsh: I don’t know. I’ll still write emails while I’m on vacation. I have a really hard time stepping away from that stuff.
Kira Hug: You enjoy that.
Rob Marsh: Yeah, I enjoy it. It’s okay. What’s bad is when you’re on vacation with another couple or another family or another person whose vacation style is not your style. We have some really good friends that we’ve spent several vacations with and they are active, they want to be doing things all the time, and I’m just like, “Wow, let’s just sit down and-“
Kira Hug: That sounds awful.
Rob Marsh: “… Grab some food and sit down and just talk and hang out.” Matching up with people. Well, and I’m sure there are partnerships, marriages where the spouses have different styles, so there’s spouse there. My wife and I both relaxing. You have a hard time relaxing, but you are a relaxing vacationer.
Kira Hug: When I relax, it takes me a couple days. Once I get into that mode, it’s hard to ramp up and get back into the work mode. My vacation is not truly a vacation at this stage in my life, really. It’s family time. I would say it’s better described as family time, which is important. Having time off from work to be with my family is very important, but it doesn’t feel like vacation. It still is work, it’s just a different type of work and I’m okay with that. I’m not complaining. It’s just the reality of going into it. When I go into it, I’m like, oh, I’m going to be able to read five books this week, then I’m disappointed because the reality is I can’t do that with a toddler and two kids. But if I go into it and I’m just like, “I just want to hang out with them and have fun.” Then it’s going to be a more positive experience.
There’s a lot of reframing I have to do around vacation so that it just feels really good. That’s not to say there aren’t moments where I can go on a run and have some alone time, which is really important to me. I think it’s just thinking through what the purpose is, what do you need to get out of it and making sure you’re realistic.
Rob Marsh: Yeah, I agree. I agree. Once you get back from vacation or before you leave, what’s going on this summer?
Kira Hug: Still working on the flip phone project. That’s still going strong. I don’t know what strong means with that, but there’s still a flip phone. I’m still living life. Actually, right now I’m living life phone free because I’ve already told you, but Homer broke my phone. I went from having my flip phone, which I love to having no phone, and I’m also kind of loving that. I’ve been reluctant to get my new phone. That’s been really nice and I’m going to continue with that project through the summer.
Rob Marsh: We need to talk about the negative side of that too, because you got lost because you didn’t have GPS.
Kira Hug: I got lost because I took one wrong turn, which you could say GPS would’ve helped me prevent that, and that’s legit but also I’ve had GPS and still taking wrong turns. It’s just missing it in that moment for one second. So you could argue that I would never miss a single turn if I had GPS, and that is fair. I would say what I learned from that was I should have left 20 minutes earlier. That’s it. There are downsides. There are definitely downsides. Communication is trickier with a lot of people in my life. I know it’s trickier with our team because they can’t always reach me, but there are a lot of upsides for our mental health, happiness, presence. I feel lighter, I feel better. I’m just trying to figure out the whole thing.
Anyway, that will continue and I’ll hopefully have more time to write about it. I think the whole purpose of it is around learning and reflection, and I haven’t been able to write about it as much. That’s a goal for the summer. What else is important to you when you think about this summer? Do you have specific goals or anything that’s really important to focus on?
Rob Marsh: I’m not getting rid of my phone, so that’s not a project for me.
Kira Hug: You’ll never do that.
Rob Marsh: I will say this, I absolutely love summer, it’s my favorite season, but I love summer mornings. We’ve talked many times about how I get up early to go to run or to lift or whatever, but having the sun up early means that when I get back from exercising, which it’s light outside, when I’m doing that at five o’clock in the morning here, I’ve got time to sit on my porch and read. Before anybody else is up around my house, I don’t have little kids, so they’re not getting up early. I’ve got older teenagers.
Kira Hug: They’re sleeping in.
Rob Marsh: Sometimes they’re not up before noon some days just because that’s what young adults do. They like to relax when they don’t have commitments in school and work or whatever. Mornings are absolutely golden. I’m just enjoying that. I actually, I sit down to do work earlier in the summertime, which is maybe counterintuitive. You’d think, oh, it’s not early, relax a little bit more. But because it’s light, because it gets so much done in the mornings by 7:00, 7:30. I’m like, okay, let’s just get started on what’s going on today. So it’s kind of nice and I absolutely love summer. It’s my favorite season.
Kira Hug: Yeah. Well, do you have a theme?
Rob Marsh: Okay. Summer summer’s the theme.
Kira Hug: Fun. Summer fun. Summer mornings, that’s the theme. That’s great. I’ve created a theme. It’s hard, not heavy. That is my motto for summer, is that when things get hard, not to make it so heavy, to keep it light, especially during summer when you want it to be fun. If business feels hard to just not obsess over it, over overthink things, but just to keep it lighter and be more in the moment and tackling problems, issues in the moment rather than letting it consume you because you overthink. As an over thinker, that’s something I have to keep reminding myself of, especially during the summer when I don’t want to be consumed by anything that feels heavy. That’s my motto. I have a T-shirt.
Rob Marsh: I think that comes pretty naturally to me where I don’t, stuff that I can’t control, don’t pretty good at not obsessing over it. I’m pretty good at letting go of things like that. I mean, there are definitely things that bug me and that kind of thing, but yeah, I’ve developed, I don’t know if that’s a skill or what, but I’ve developed that ability over the last decade or two to just let things go.
Kira Hug: It wasn’t always that way?
Rob Marsh: I don’t think so. Yeah.
Kira Hug: Okay, so there’s hope.
Rob Marsh: Maybe.
Kira Hug: Okay.
Rob Marsh: There might be.
Kira Hug: Well, what is happening in the Copywriter Club?
Rob Marsh: A couple of things going on. When this episode goes live, we will still be talking about the P7 client attraction pipeline, our system for finding and pitching clients. We’ve gone back through that. We’ve added an additional training. When we created that last fall, we basically stepped through everything that you need to do to identify your ideal client, identify the problem that you can solve for them, write a pitch, an outreach, and there’s all kinds of different ways to do that, DMs, emails, in person, and we’ve put together a bunch of templates to help with that process. Then also I mentioned it’s a process. We created some tracking sheets and shared some tools that help you turn that into a daily or weekly habit that systematizes it so it can go on and on and on it. It doesn’t become this hard thing going out and pitching clients.
We put all that together last fall and then this spring, obviously a lot of things have changed. ChatGPT came online at the very end of the year and there are literally thousands of AI tools out there now, and some of them are actually really good at helping with these pitches. We put together an additional bonus training that shows how you can use a tool like ChatGPT to speed up that process of identifying your ideal clients, of figuring out the problems that you can solve and to create even a back and forth that will help you identify some of the things that you want to think about when it comes to niching. More importantly, if you use the system that we show in that training and you’re tracking everything, your problems, the contact information in the spreadsheet that we give you, you can connect that spreadsheet to ChatGPT using one of the plugins that’s available there and there are a few that would work, and literally write 150, however many you want to pitches in less than two minutes.
There are pitches that are unique, they’re specific to the problems that you are finding when you’re doing the research or that you’re having a VA help you find, and it can speed up that pitching process. Now we’re not talking about sending love note pitches or pitches that are pages long. These are just initial connections so that you can start relationships that you can build on, but we put that training in there to make it even easier, even faster for people to succeed in pitching clients. We know the system works, we’ve seen other people use it and copywriters who’ve gone through it and literally responded back and said, every single pitch that I sent out got a response this time, or just booked two clients 20 minutes after sending out my pitch.
We’ve seen those kinds of responses and AI will just speed that up. We’ve put that together. That’s available right now. In fact, you can get it for free when you’re an Underground Annual member and we will share a link in the show notes where you can find out more about that. Check your email if you’re on our email list because I’m sure that we’ve been telling you a little bit about that and how you can get that system for free just by being an annual member of the Copywriter Underground. Then being a member of the Copywriter underground, there’s all kinds of other stuff that’s included in that I haven’t even scratched.
Kira Hug: Just to talk through real quick, the seven, because for my brain needs to know the seven steps. Why do we even call it P7? Just run through it. The first step is prime your prospecting behavior with pro habits. Rob already mentioned that. We’re not just throwing you a bunch of pitch templates and systems and AI tools. We’re helping you actually shift your behavior so that this doesn’t become a daunting chore that you have to do. That never happens, which is what typically happens with copywriters. They’re like, “I just don’t have time to do this.” But if you can just build it into your routine so it feels natural and part of your day or your week, it becomes that much easier. We have a whole training and masterclass on that so that you could develop the habits.
Step two is nailing your X factor positioning statement, and this is something new that we’ve added to P seven because if you don’t know your own positioning, it makes it really hard to pitch anyone if you don’t know what you can do for them, how you’re different, how you’re better. So that’s a core piece of P7. Three, creating your Ideal Client Profile. We already know about that. You all do this for your clients, but of course you need to know who you’re pitching before you actually focus and build out that list. Four is creating your starter offer to get an easy yes. We actually will help you develop a unique mechanism and create an offer that includes that so that when you’re pitching, you’re like, you actually know what to pitch to your ideal clients rather than saying, “I can do everything for you. I’m a generalist.” You can have a real solution that will make it so much easier to feel confident when you’re pitching.
Number five of P7 seven is what Rob already talked about, creating that perfect pitch, knowing what to put in it, having a problem statement, having connection content. We have templates for all of that so that you can just create these really easily and like Rob said, have the ChatGPT tools so that you can automate it and do it faster. That’s part of step six in the system, which is all about automating the whole system, which I won’t go into because Rob already talked about that. The final step of P7 is to patternize your pitching habit so it feels easy, and that’s where we really kind of finalize your habits so that it’s just part of your regular routine and it no longer becomes this kind of outside chore that you have to do that feels just so overwhelming. Those are the seven steps in the system just to make it really easy. We have updated it because we’ve learned what works, what doesn’t work. This is a system that has now been updated and is even better than what it was in the fall.
Rob Marsh: I mean there’s just so many ways that you can use what we show you, especially those templates in making those connections to create. We’re not always just talking about, “Hey, I’ve got to land a project.” Sometimes you do need to land a project, but the real power in it is creating relationships that pay off over time and pay off with referrals in the future, possibly future projects, but contacts that become your network for growing within your niche, your industry or whatever you want to ultimately do with your career. It’s the baseline for all of that. And so it’s a really powerful tool and like we said, you can get it for free when you are a copywriter underground annual member.
Kira Hug: The good promise, like a good marketer, we have a promise it’s book one new client per month and about 30 minutes a day. That’s really being conservative. Rob and I went back and forth on this for a while, just what is realistic? What have people been able to do with his system? Actually a lot of copywriters have been able to book more than one, but we just wanted to keep it really simple. This is something that you could use to book more than one client per month, but at least that’s our guarantee and that’s what we can guarantee you with this system.
Rob Marsh: When you say 30 minutes a day using ChatGPT or another AI tool, it can actually be significantly less. you could take the system, have an assistant or a VA or somebody else because you know exactly who your ideal client is. You could have them find those ideal clients, you could have them identify the problem, and so you’re almost doing nothing. The tool, like I said, it will create 50, 100, however many pitches in minutes that you can then send out. It could be significantly less than 30 minutes a day using AI. Now, obviously some people are just going to do it on their own and that’s totally fine too because it works either way.
Kira Hug: You don’t have to use AI tools and if you’re overwhelmed and you’re like, I haven’t really tried any of them, we will show you how to do it. Even if you’ve never used ChatGPT, you will have instructions that will help you figure out how to use it for your pitching system. I think the important thing here is that this is available this week only at this rate before the price does increase. It will be available in the future, but it will be at a higher price point because we’ve added so many other offers to that annual membership in the Copywriter Underground that we’re not even talking about today. This is the last week that it’s available at this current rate where you get P7 included and then everything else is included in the membership.
Rob Marsh: Yeah, I know you said we’re not really talking about it, but we have upgraded the Copywriter Underground. In the past, we’ve done all these events, live events where we’ve had amazing speakers, amazing presentations. We’ve had several retreats with the Think Tank and all of that content has kind of been buried in our vault, not that we really have a vault, but it’s been buried. It’s been really hard to find. It’s not been previously available. We are digging all of that stuff out, dropping it into the Copywriter Underground in a new organized format to make it easier to find, easier to use, and there’s just so much in there that’s helpful for copywriters. All of that stuff is in addition to the P7 program that you get. I’m teasing that, but check out the link that we’re going to link to in the show notes. There’s a little bit more information there.
Kira Hug: Last thing I will say about that, because I’m excited about our guarantee, this is a guarantee Rob came up with, and I love a good guarantee. I think this is what we need for all of our clients and our own sales pages, but we do guarantee that if you are not able to book one client every month, you can get your money back plus an extra $10, which is kind of nice.
Rob Marsh: We’ll buy you a couple coffees.
Kira Hug: I mean it’s really just to prove that we know the system works and everything is designed to work for you, so we believe in it that much to have that type of guarantee.
Rob Marsh: Okay, so enough about that. In the past, we’ve talked about the podcast that you’ve really taken the lead on, Kira, the AI for Creative Entrepreneurs. Do you want to talk about just the episodes recently that we’ve had there and what’s been going on over at that podcast?
Kira Hug: Yeah. This new podcast is an experiment and we’re trying to figure out what makes it useful. I would say check it out if you haven’t yet, just so you’re up to date on what’s happening in this space. We can’t ignore what is happening and the shifts that are happening as creatives and copywriters. I would check out the most recent episode with Teddy Garcia. He is a CTO for top marketers, one of which is Todd Brown.
Rob Marsh: Rich Shaffron is another. He works with some really well-known marketers.
Kira Hug: Not only is he a great guy, he’s just so smart and he understands the AI space and is working in it, and it’s just a podcast episode worth listening to. It will change the way you’re thinking about what you can do. It’s empowering in many ways. It can also be hard to hear about the changes that are happening because it can feel so rapid, especially from Teddy’s perspective that changes are happening even faster than we thought. I do find something positive in it because he gives us some specific ideas about how we can take action and what else we can do as copywriters in this changing environment. I would listen to that one. It’s really good.
Rob Marsh: Yeah, that’s good. There are a lot of really good experts. If you haven’t checked it out, be sure to just scan through. You’ll see some unfamiliar names because a lot of people who these aren’t necessarily copywriters we’re talk, they’re talking about AI and what AI is doing not just for copywriting, but for marketing and for business as a whole. The changes are happening so fast. I get a notice every week of somebody sends out there were this many hundreds of new tools this week it’s like 200, 300 a week for the last three or four months. There are literally now thousands of tools, hundreds that will help you write copy. It’s impossible to stay ahead of all of them. By listening to a few experts that we bring it to the show, talking about the tools that they’re using may just give you an idea of what you might do differently in your business, the tools that are worth checking out.
Of course, if you do find a tool that works, buy it, use it because we want the tools that are good tools to last because the industry will consolidate and won’t. There won’t be thousands of AI tools for writing emails. There might be five or six and we get to help figure out which ones are the best ones by trying them out.
Kira Hug: We’ll have a new episode coming out soon on that podcast with the two of us. We’re going to talk about kind of what’s happening in that space, the latest and takeaways from a recent retreat that you and I were a part of where there were a bunch of different trainings on AI. You and I can share our top takeaways from that in an upcoming episode. You can check it all out at aiforcreativeentrepreneurs.com.
Rob Marsh: Okay, so that’s the AI podcast. Then coming up in August and really launching, or starting in September, we’re going to be running the Copywriter Accelerator for the second time, last time of the year. We do it twice a year. This last group that we put through the accelerator was phenomenal, amazing. The community that they built, the back and forth, the lead sharing, the way that they supported each other was just, it was phenomenal. It was, it’s just really fun to watch that group grow. That’s in addition to all of the things that they’re doing to their websites, to their businesses, creating projects and services that their clients want to buy, all of that stuff. That is coming up this fall. What else would you want to talk about or say about the accelerator?
Kira Hug: I just think that the writers that go through that program are just some of the top, just most impressive people I know and the alumni from the Copywriter Accelerator, if you think about the copywriters you admire, I would guess that the majority of them have been through the Copywriter Accelerator. It’s worth thinking about, well, what do they all have in common? They built their business intentionally working through the eight components we teach and implement in the Copywriter Accelerator because those are the building blocks of any business. Doesn’t even matter if it’s copywriting. Those, that’s what you need to build a solid business that’s profitable.
I just don’t think there’s any other programs like it that walk you through it step by step. It’s a program that will continue to give back to you as you pivot, and we’re all going to pivot. We’re going to just pivot faster and faster. If you have this blueprint to follow, it’ll make it so much easier for you to be agile as an entrepreneur, as a writer, as a creative moving forward. That’s what we’re going to n need. The business owners that stick around and the copywriters that stick around are going to be the ones who are the most nimble and have the foundation to make those shifts as the market changes.
Rob Marsh: Yeah, it’s not a course. It’s a cohort based program with coaching, a lot of time with you and I, a lot of time with the others in the community. Everybody’s working together, building things at the same time, supporting each other. I think the combination of the community, the coaching and the eight modules that you’re talking about is unique and it’s a different way to build your business. I’ve seen lots of other start your business or how to get started in copywriting.
I’ve even taken some of those kinds of courses in the past, and this one’s more comprehensive and helps you build the network from day one. Because it’s not a course, you’re not just left to figure it out on your own. You don’t have to worry about how am I going to find time, because we actually build it right into your calendar. If you show up, if you do the work, you come out at the other end with services that your clients want to buy, a website that talks about you the way you want to talk about, and a plan for how you’re going to build your brand and your business in the future.
Kira Hug: So if you are interested and want to learn more, we will include a link to our wait list and the show notes so that you can jump on that list and hear updates about it as it approaches.
Rob Marsh: Yeah. Okay. We’ve been talking about what’s coming up. Let’s just talk a little bit about what’s going on. What are we excited about? What are we seeing happening in the copywriting world?
Kira Hug: Yes. So I think it’s really important because things have felt really hard and heavy for many writers, not all writers, but for many and writers that we’ve worked with too, where they’ve lost retainers, it’s harder to get projects. It’s been a tough time for many service providers in general. I think it’s also important to focus on what has been working because there are copywriters who are doing well and figuring things out. We have worked with those copywriters as well. So I’d love to just share what activities are currently working based off the last month or two. This is pulling ideas that are real from real copywriters. We know we’re not going to list all their names, but this isn’t just the two of us saying, “Oh yeah, you should just pitch more.” It’s, “Well, here’s something specific you can do and we’ve seen it work for another copywriter over the last two to three months, so we know it could work for you too.”
Rob Marsh: Yeah, and having said that, we have seen plenty of copywriters who had five figure a month businesses and have lost almost all or all of their clients and then rebuilt that. And yeah, it did take some time. In a couple of cases, it took three or four months of really struggling or really figuring things out. By doing the work, by sticking to the stuff that does work, they’ve rebuilt that client flow and those, that project list and their back succeeding. Just know this stuff does work.
Kira Hug: Yeah, one recently, yesterday a Think Tank member told us that she hit her first 20K month, which is something that she’s wanted to do for a long time. She even said she doesn’t know if that’s going to happen necessarily next month, but she understands how to do it and how to get back to that number. That is the most empowering part is when you understand what goes into it and how you can do it makes it easier to get back to it. Even if you can’t hit it three months in a row, you have the ingredients you need to get back to it. That was exciting to see. I think the key is resilience. The copywriters I’ve seen who are recovering after a couple rough months, they just keep at it. It doesn’t mean they don’t have a rough moment.
It doesn’t mean they haven’t lost a client, but they pitch like crazy. They have gotten over themselves, they’ve gotten over the fact that they’ve been ghosted, even just worked through their own ego about “Why do I need to do this? Clients should just be attracted to me. I shouldn’t have to pitch.” And they’ve started pitching consistently. I can think of one copywriter who started doing it, and she mentioned this week that she has landed a past client that she reached out to, has a conversation with them, and then another client she pitched. Pitching is key, which goes into P7 and everything we shared about P7. If you don’t have a pitching system, that is a system you could use.
Rob Marsh: When we talk about pitching too, we’re not just saying, oh, you’re out there asking for work. Yes, that may be the end goal, but that’s not really what you’re doing when you’re pitching. You’re building friendships, you’re helping other people, you’re making suggestions, you’re commenting on the things that they’re writing in ways that add to the conversation and help. I know we spent a lot of time earlier talking about P7. We show you how to do all of that stuff in that program, but just think if you’re like, “Man, I can’t stand pitching. I hate sales. That’s not who I am.” Don’t think of it like that. You’re creating friendships and these friendships do pay off, and we’ve seen it work. Going outside of that normal range of people that you might be thinking of, like you said, reaching out to past clients. We saw one copywriter who reached out to a past client. The project didn’t actually go all that well.
The things weren’t great for some other reasons, and we’ve actually seen two copywriters do that recently, and they’ve reestablished connections and moved forward with new projects and things are better because they were able to set different boundaries or a different person was involved, that kind of stuff. Even those past clients that weren’t perfect fits can be a source for projects in the future, but you’re looking for new ways to connect with people. There could be in-person networking groups. We know somebody, a few people who have used BNI. You’ve done that in the past, Kira.
Kira Hug: Yeah.
Rob Marsh: BNI groups, some of them are good, some of them are less good. Try it out, see if it works. BNI is not the only way to get out there. There are groups that need speakers, and I’m not just talking about conferences and formal events, but lunch groups that are looking for people to just come and talk about some of the things that they do or new ways to think about things. There are all kinds of opportunities out there to make new connections in. Then of course, there are standard conferences in advance. Some of them are online, some of them in person. All of those are ways to get yourself out there in front of people who are looking for help with copy and marketing.
Kira Hug: Just getting back to the whole idea around pitching feeling uncomfortable or just kind of too salesy. I think of it as there’s so many awful pitches out there that we all are, that are landing in all of our inboxes. It’s overwhelming. When I receive a good one that is clear, it’s well crafted, they’ve obviously paid attention to what I’m doing and are trying to solve a problem, and it seems like they’re coming from a good place and it’s not overly aggressive, whether or not I work with that person, it is a gift to me. I will congratulate that person because they’ve done well, and that’s creating a connection. So I mean, it’s going to feel good to the person who’s receiving that, even if it’s not a good fit right now, if it is done well and you have put some thought and consideration into it.
I agree with you as far as all the groups. It’s exciting now that so many in-person events are happening. I think that in some ways I forgot about that. This is an opportunity to book clients and find clients, and now we have all those opportunities back that you can consider even if you haven’t been able to consider them over the last few years.
Other activities that have helped, prioritizing or new offer and expertise. I’ve seen a handful of copywriters we’re working with who have finally decided to kind of focus on their own expertise and offer and build their list even though they’ve been growing a business for eight years or five years, they’ve put so much time into their client work that for the first time they’re saying, I am now going to prioritize creating my first course or writing my first book. I’ve seen a lot of writers really create some boundaries. It doesn’t mean they’re quitting or firing all their clients. They still have to figure out that juggle. I do see a lot of writers setting more boundaries so that they don’t feel like they’re being taken advantage of and they feel better about what they have to offer and leaning into that as a new arm of their business.
Rob Marsh: We actually posted in the Copywriter Club free Facebook group a post and just asked people what’s working for them. We saw people repeating over and over the same things. A lot of people having success with referrals, and there’s a bit of a trick with referrals. It’s not just waiting for them to come, but a lot of people actually ask for referrals. You reach out to your clients. Some people we’ve seen even build it into the contract where if you’re working with me, you’re required to give me a referral for because that saves me time on marketing, and I can put that time into working on your business and helping you succeed. There’s an art to that asking when clients are happy and reaching out, just saying, “Hey, is there anybody in your network that I can help with this kind of thing that I do?”
And again, over and over following up, the biggest part of the entire process of finding clients is that we will pitch once or twice, and because we haven’t had an answer, we give up or forgetting to reach back out to those no’s that we get three or six months later because the no isn’t that they’re not interested in what we have to offer or that we’re the wrong person to work with. The no is almost always, “This isn’t in my plan right now.” Or, “I don’t have time to work through this project.” Or, “It’s not in the budget.” But, at some point in the future it will be. And so remembering to follow up, and that will help as much as almost anything else we’ve talked about.
Kira Hug: Yeah, there’s nothing worse than talking to someone who has pitched a handful of clients and then they’re frustrated because it’s not working, and then you ask them if they are following up and there’s just no follow up, no follow up game at all. And it’s just like, how can you expect to just land a project by sending one pitch and only sending it to maybe 5 or 10 people.
Rob Marsh: Especially if you don’t know those people.
Kira Hug: Yeah, it is a numbers game and relentless follow up is needed today to get someone’s attention. Again, I appreciate when people follow up with me if it’s done respectfully and it’s well thought out, I think it’s a gift because otherwise my inbox is crazy. Rather you follow up respectfully and then I can always say I’m not interested. Again, it’s a gift that you can give people if you do it well.
Rob Marsh: I know we mentioned events. Another copywriter that we talked to just this week mentioned that she went to an industry event, so it was not a marketing event, was not a copywriting event, but focused on the niche that she wants to serve. She was the only copywriter in the room. She had several conversations with people who needed help. I know so oftentimes we’re going to events thinking, what can I learn to grow my own business, my marketing business, my copywriting business? The secret sauce of events is going to niche focused events where you can help the people there solve their problems. If you can speak at those events, even better. If you can find opportunities to ask questions to the people who are speaking, that’s great. Just being there and not standing up against the wall, but creating those relationships, industry events are amazing.
Kira Hug: Clearly there are a lot of things that are working today. Again, I think the key is just being nimble and open to trying new things, getting over yourself, which is hard to do. I have to do this constantly. It’s a struggle to just be like, well, maybe in the past I could attract these clients and I didn’t have to pitch, or I didn’t have to go to in-person events. Now I have to and that’s okay, but here’s how I’m going to do it. Then just being relentless about doing the activity, consistently building those habits so it becomes part of your routine so you don’t stop and you can really build out your pipeline.
Rob Marsh: If you’ve been doing this stuff and it’s still slow going, you’re not connecting with clients, then you can think about other things that you can change too. Obviously you want to make sure that your pitch is dialed in, so have another copywriter or a copywriting coach take a look at your pitch, what you’re sending out to make sure that yeah, it is putting you in the best light. You’re doing all of the right things, for sure, do that. But maybe you need a different offer. Maybe you need to be thinking about a different problem that you can solve for your clients and those needs change over time. If what you’re offering or what you’re pitching isn’t connecting, find something else, another problem, an easy yes, even if it’s just sharing ideas to start that conversation, change something else up. A lot of the copywriters we talked to is like, yeah, I’ve been pitching. It’s not working.
We’ll say, “Well, how many pitches did you send out this week?” And they’re like, “Two.” Well, okay, if pitching is a numbers game and you know have a 10% hit rate and you’re only sending out two pitches a week, that means that you’re only going to get one potential contact to respond back every two to three months. You need to be doing more. You need to be getting out there and doing more and letting go of your pride, letting go of your ego and making those friendships, creating those relationships, and starting those conversations.
Kira Hug: All right, so as we wrap, we’re just going to share the link again, if you are interested in the P7 client attraction pipeline, which is available this week only at this rate before it actually jumps up, you can find a link in the show notes and check that out. If you have any questions, you can reach out to us. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rob Marsh: That’s this episode of The Copywriter Club podcast. The intro music was composed by copywriter and songwriter Addison Rice. The outro was composed by copywriter and songwriter David Mutner. I’m glad I can remember both of you guys after having said this 150 times. If you’ve enjoyed the show, like what you heard, please visit Apple Podcasts and leave a review of the show, or if you listen on some other podcast app, wherever you can leave a review that helps us out. Be sure to check out that other podcast we mentioned about artificial intelligence and how you use it in your business. That’s at aiforcreativeentrepreneurs.com. Thanks for listening. We will see you next week.