PS has worked as a freelance writer since 2012. When she's not traveling and writing, she helps people with web design and development.
You are a great writer. You know how to mold your words to stimulate others’ minds. You have effective writing skills, effective enough to help you earn as much as you wish. But talent isn’t enough to sustain in the corporate world. You should also know how to sell it. While clients look for talented writers, they often lack in judging who could write more credibly for them. It’s your job to make them realize you are an ideal candidate for their job.
You would first, understand their needs, then research a bit and then, finally submit an e-mail. It is pretty natural to send follow-ups to receive the response. If you are lucky, you might get fit into the clients’ schedule within the week or so.
Corporate clients are busy most of the time. They may not read your proposal thoroughly. They may not even go through your online portfolio or fix a date to meet with you. It is possible they don’t consider the requirement a priority or they are not yet fully aware of the need. In any way, your desire to get noticed by top-level clients demands more than just submitting a proposal.
The best way to connect with them is through conventions and events. Within a decade, there’s been a significant increase in the number of conventions and events occurring globally. Corporate clients are very much active during such meetings. They are open to networking, new opportunities, and possible partnerships.
Secure your place in relevant conventions and events
Feel nervous to initiate a conversation with others? I’d be skeptical if you’d say no. It’s completely alright to have butterflies in your stomach. Your stress level, actually, prepares you to push beyond your limits.
Join the conventions
Since actively communicating with others and building your network are a crucial part of being a freelancer or business person, you must train yourself and your body language. There are huge chances that you may get only one chance to make an impression on your potential clients. Even if you meet again, the first impression always lingers. Such events can help you build a sustainable and long-lasting writing business. Many entrepreneurial writers emphasize how these meetings helped them find new inspirations as well as long-term clients.
Take part as a speaker
Another step you can take is to join these events as a speaker. Presenting yourself as a business writer is like hitting two targets with one arrow:
- You establish your authority as a writer
- You raise the opportunities for building better connections
To do so, it is important to form cordial relationships with:
- Organizers who can present you with more speaking opportunities
- Other attendees to increase your network
- Other speakers to learn different viewpoints about writing business
- Managers who are well-acquainted with the business owners and executives
Don’t just mumble about business profit and loss. Talk less and listen more to them, so that you can converse about a wide variety of topics and not just business. To build a healthy business, it’s important to have friendly connections rather than just connections.
Prepare yourself in advance
- Keep your business cards ready
- Have your own creative brochure to distinctly present yourself
- Make sure to send your thank-you notes to the organizer. Tell them how grateful you are for the opportunity and you look forward to being working together in the future.
Send a proposal to the event organizer
The crucial step for you is to receive the approval of the event organizer. The best way is to contact them through a letter and a proposal. Clearly mention in your letter that you wish to have an appointment, hopefully, a quick and precise one. Here are some points to remember:
- Your proposal must explain how your contribution can make the event more valuable. How other attendees can relate to your speech? What types of problems can you help them solve? What’s your justification for the provided solution?
- Your next step is to make them understand, why you? Support the claim with your portfolio, resume, testimonials, website, or anything else that adds a base to your words.
- Stay polite and don’t sound too assertive. For example, you can write “Kindly see to my attached resume and portfolio for evaluation if my proposed topic can contribute significant value to your event.”
- Give them outlines of your topic. It needs to be precise and in sync with the interests of the participants. Many speakers like in TED talks make use of props to better convey their messages. If you are planning to do something similar, then mention it in the proposal. It enhances your professionalism and there are chances your individuality may aid the reputation of the organizer.
Even if your speech is for a few minutes, it must be memorable
You can find lots of inspiration from online resources such as Ted Talks, YouTube videos, and so on. Still, it is important to learn a proper structure to better learn the art of speaking:
- Start with an introduction: You shouldn’t blabber about your achievements or your interests. Instead, express how you feel about being with other participants, speakers, and organizers. What makes you honored to present yourself in front of them? What are you going to discuss? Why it’s important? How it’s helpful for them?
- Proceed to the real-world problems with solid proofs: What are the companies' biggest concerns regarding public relations, customer service, marketing, or internal communications as per your research and experience? Discuss it in a precise yet detailed manner and also its short and long term effects. Prove your points using quotations from company leaders, statistics, research and studies, surveys, and any other option available.
- Deliver the solutions based on your observations and accomplishments: How your accomplishments and past experiences have helped you come up with these solutions? How they have benefitted your previous clientele? What were the outcomes? What were the required improvements? Why your previous clients hired you? Here, you prove your authority in the field. You can show videos where your client discusses the new modification and how it affected their company’s growth.
- Explain to them with a story: Don’t just deliver the solutions, but help the audience realize it. Stories are a great way to do so. A winning story can help you build strong connections. Always remember, people don’t value what you do, they value how you make them feel. Your story should make them visualize the situations and fully understand your idea. For example, “It was Sunday afternoon, I was driving my car on a clean highway, there I saw two crashed bikes, and …”
- Give them an action to perform: In all types of businesses, it is imperative to end the details with a call-to-action. Similarly, while delivering your speech, you must ask the participants to evaluate the areas where there’s a scope for improvement. What would be their future expectations with respect to the improved areas? What would be their business vision then? Will there be some improvisation in employee management too?
- Let them strive for more: You’ll always get limited time to discuss your topic, somewhere between 15 to 30 minutes. In case, they have questions you must politely tell them you can’t take the questions at the moment rather they can contact you through your website. Or indeed, ask them to talk about later while you are around to say hi or have a cup of coffee after the event.
Websites for proposal templates
Here are four sites with various examples of proposal templates. You don’t need to write the way they are, but they are creative enough to inspire you.
- Microsoft Office Templates
- Office Templates Online
- Proposify Templates
- Pandadoc Business Proposal Templates
After all this hard work, this is the time to turn the participants into potential clients. Excited? Well, you should be. Building a network is a cumbersome yet interesting part of all. This is the best way to gain insights into how you can build a better business. Also, how you can preserve the premium clients for the long-term. You shouldn’t be just good, but great enough that people can’t effort to ignore you.
© 2020 Prachi Sharma
RIYA DHANWANI from NEEMUCH on September 13, 2020:
Amazing content Prachi.
Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on June 28, 2020:
I never thought of this before. Very interesting and it looks real doable. I never thought of speeches leading to writing. I just assumed it was the otherway.