Sales Strategies for Freelance Business Journalists: Day Two


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Maya Payne Smart presents the free business journalism Webinar, "Sales Strategies for Freelance Business Journalists: Day Two," hosted by the Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalists.

For more information about free training for business journalists, please visit

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Sales Strategies for Freelance Business Journalists: Day Two

  1. 1. Day 2: Branding, Marketing and Networking Presented by Maya Payne Smart
  2. 2. Today ’s Agenda <ul><li>How are you going to capture prospective clients ’ attention? </li></ul><ul><li>How are you going to build relationships with them? </li></ul>
  3. 3. Goals for Today <ul><li>Consider numerous ways that real freelancers connect with prospective clients </li></ul><ul><li>Learn how to reach prospects consistently and effectively </li></ul>
  4. 4. Seven Habits of Highly Effective Market Research <ul><li>Start your day marketing </li></ul><ul><li>Schedule a set amount of marketing time each day </li></ul><ul><li>Track your time </li></ul><ul><li>Cast a wide net </li></ul><ul><li>Be findable </li></ul><ul><li>Ask for referrals </li></ul><ul><li>Diligently record leads and follow-up attempts </li></ul>
  5. 5. Brand noun ˈbrand <ul><li>What it IS </li></ul><ul><li>An emotional or psychological connection that you have with your customers </li></ul><ul><li>The key characteristics that you are known by in the marketplace </li></ul><ul><li>The foundation of your marketing activities </li></ul><ul><li>What it ’s NOT </li></ul><ul><li>Something you make up </li></ul><ul><li>What you say it is </li></ul><ul><li>A logo or other graphical representation </li></ul><ul><li>An expensive marketing campaign </li></ul>
  6. 6. Brand Components Work Quality Experience (years and/or # of articles) Clients Skills Education + Intangibles Reputation
  7. 7. Freelance Marketing
  8. 8. POLL <ul><li>How much do you spend on marketing each year? </li></ul>
  9. 9. Creating Your Marketing Budget <ul><li>Remember you have to spend money to make money </li></ul><ul><li>Most small business marketing budgets account for between 2% and 10% of sales </li></ul><ul><li>Measure return on investment in order to refine your outreach </li></ul><ul><li>Typical marketing expenses for writers: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Business cards </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Websites </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Conference attendance </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Professional group memberships </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Freelance directory listings </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Elevator Speech
  11. 11. Friends & Family <ul><li>Explain what it means to be a “freelance writer” </li></ul><ul><li>Describe your ideal client so they know it when they see it </li></ul><ul><li>Share your writing successes </li></ul><ul><li>Pursue leads—and follow up on them </li></ul>
  12. 12. Networking Tips <ul><li>Find out where your prospects and referral sources hang out </li></ul><ul><li>Join and actively participate in at least 3 groups </li></ul><ul><li>Build trust by giving referrals </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on building a relationship vs. closing a sale </li></ul><ul><li>Be a greeter </li></ul><ul><li>Master graceful exits </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Make a date and circulate” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Great chatting with you. I ’ll keep you in mind. </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Professional Groups
  14. 14. How to Make Conferences Pay <ul><li>Have a plan. </li></ul><ul><li>Be social. </li></ul><ul><li>Speak up. </li></ul><ul><li>Pay attention. </li></ul><ul><li>Follow up. </li></ul><ul><li>Give thanks. </li></ul><ul><li>Share what you ’ve learned. </li></ul>
  15. 15. Writer Strategy Group Tips <ul><li>Purpose </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Great source of ongoing referrals and information on new market opportunities </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Structure </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In person or via teleconference </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Members may write in distinct or related niches </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Best Practices </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Relational vs. transactional </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Select members who are similarly productive, well-connected, generous and personable </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Keep numbers small, encourage confidentiality, emphasize accountability </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Business Cards <ul><li>Old School </li></ul><ul><li>Print </li></ul><ul><li>Email, phone, address, URL </li></ul><ul><li>New School </li></ul><ul><li>Digital and print </li></ul><ul><li>Photography </li></ul><ul><li>Social media profile links </li></ul>
  17. 17. POLL <ul><li>Which social media site has helped you win the most business? </li></ul>
  18. 18. LinkedIn Tips <ul><li>Flesh out your profile and keep your status bar updated. </li></ul><ul><li>Reconnect with current and former colleagues, including editors and fellow writers. </li></ul><ul><li>Join groups. </li></ul><ul><li>Check the job boards. </li></ul><ul><li>Research new markets in the Companies section. </li></ul><ul><li>Seek and give advice in the Question and Answer sections. </li></ul><ul><li>Adjust privacy settings to avoid spamming your network. </li></ul>
  19. 19. Facebook: Formal and Informal
  20. 20. Twitter <ul><li>Keep tweets newsy. </li></ul><ul><li>Put your spin/angle on everything. </li></ul><ul><li>Post less than 20 times a day. </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on one thing. </li></ul><ul><li>Use descriptive keywords and include you URL in your profile. </li></ul>
  21. 21. <ul><li>Learn to make and post video to your site or blog </li></ul><ul><li>Create your own channel </li></ul><ul><li>Register the .tv version of your sites </li></ul>Tips
  22. 22. Website
  23. 23. Search Engine Optimization <ul><li>SEO starts at home </li></ul><ul><li>Use key words </li></ul><ul><li>Make your site mobile compatible </li></ul><ul><li>Add fresh content </li></ul><ul><li>Put navigation at the top of the site </li></ul><ul><li>Add social sharing buttons </li></ul>
  24. 24. Public Relations <ul><li>Announce business openings, service offering shifts, location changes </li></ul><ul><li>Publicize awards and fellowships </li></ul><ul><li>Conduct polls and surveys </li></ul><ul><li>Create tip sheets </li></ul><ul><li>Host contests </li></ul>
  25. 25. Why Blog? <ul><li>Share compelling information and insights and build credibility </li></ul><ul><li>Keep your web presence fresh and boost your search engine traffic </li></ul><ul><li>Build a readership or community of your own </li></ul>
  26. 26. Blogging: Two Approaches <ul><li>Informative </li></ul><ul><li>Trends in your niche </li></ul><ul><li>Interesting reporting that didn ’t make it into your story </li></ul><ul><li>Behind-the-scenes audio, video, photos and commentary </li></ul><ul><li>Links to related industry news and blogs </li></ul><ul><li>Promotional </li></ul><ul><li>Case studies </li></ul><ul><li>Testimonials </li></ul><ul><li>Advice on how to work with freelancers effectively </li></ul><ul><li>Your story—why you do this work </li></ul><ul><li>Work samples </li></ul>
  27. 27. Pay-per-click Advertising
  28. 28. Questions? <ul><li>Please e-mail me at [email_address] . </li></ul>