Archives for November 2006

How to Increase Your Freelance Income During the Holidays

Following are three ways to increase your freelance income during the holidays.

1. Holiday Card: Because it’s the holidays, most people open mail that seems like a holiday card. This alone gives you a leg up, eg, the potential client OPENED your mail.

Inside include a holiday greeting, of course, and an invitiation for them to try your services. Including a holiday discount or coupon is a nice incentive.

To increase your chances of having them call you, pile on the amenities – eg, last minute service, late hours, discounts for future orders, etc.

2. Be Generous: As the holidays are all about giving, take this chance to show your business’ generous side. Eg, let clients know that you donate a certain part of your proceeds from projects to a local charity.

Or, even better, tell them that you will donate a percentage of any order they place with you to a charity of their choice in THEIR name. Be sure to spell out the benefits of this kind of PR long-term. You could even tell them that you’ll throw in a free press release and post in on one of the free PR sites like PRWeb.com for them.

Helping a business get FREE PR – alll for just giving your services a try? Ingenious!

3. Be Proactive: What I mean by this is, let businesses know that you are thinking about their needs beyond the holiday.

Lay out a marketing campaign that shows how you can increase their business by X% in the next year.

This will involve a little research, but, BECAUSE of the effort you put into it, you will stand out to clients, and they will be much more likely to remember you.

For example, I target realtors and mortgage brokers with my freelance writing services. An idea that occurred to me (I simply don’t have time to implement it though) is to do a “State of the Market” report.

Pulling together a 10-12 page report would be very easy. This kind of research would be very valuable to realtors because in it, I would outline specifics like interest rates, foreclosures, what sold the most, what sold the least, future “hot” markets, etc. That way, they would know where to target their marketing dollars.

I guarantee you, if you spent a solid week pulling together a report like this for a niche market and distributed it as a free e-book, you will knock the competition out of the water.

Why? Because most are not willing to spend time putting together a report like this for “no pay.” The reason no pay is in quotation marks is because the payoff long-term for your business could be HUGE.

As a matter of fact, in the 1980s Barbara Corcoran of the powerful real estate agency, The Corcoran Group, built her company using just this method (this was before anyone called it “content marketing“).

In short, she wrote and published a report on the real estate market in New York. She dubbed it “The Corcoran Report.” Once she wrote it, she sent it to reporters at The New York Times. When they needed a quote about real estate in New York, who do you think they called? Her, of course.

This report got mentioned in the coveted real estate section one week. That began her meteoric rise to the top of the NYC real estate market. She had, in fact, branded herself with this published report. It is published annually and is a “bible” of the NYC real estate market – and also a couple of other places like Miami.

FYI, she went on to sell her company for upwards of 70 miillion dollars to Cendant in 2001 – and she’s only in her mid-50s (plenty of time to enjoy the dough!).

The holidays are an excellent time to bring in new business – if you’re willing to think creatively and work when the competition is sipping eggnogg! By the time the competition is thinking about marketing again, you’ll be busy reaping the benefits of the marketing you did DURING the season, not after it.

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