Eva van Emden, Freelance Editor

Certified Copy Editor and Proofreader

eva@vancouvereditor.com

June 18, 2016

Editors Canada Conference 2016: Jessica Oman on a simple growth plan for your business

Greedy chipmunk
“I’m sure I can fit that in.”
(Photo by Kaarina Dillabough. Some rights reserved.)
“Get Booked Solid” was the title of this presentation. Irresistible. I couldn’t let a conference go by without attending at least one talk about marketing my services.

Four main errors freelancers make

Jessica suggested that most freelancers who aren’t happy with the amount of work they’re finding are making four mistakes:
  1. allowing the feast or famine cycle
  2. marketing in a nontargeted way
  3. applying marketing strategies inconsistently
  4. not having a plan

Some better ideas

Offer value up front. Most people you talk to don’t need you now. To keep them from forgetting you, offer them something of value right away. Talk about the challenges they have in their work, and then offer them something to help them with that problem, even if it’s a link to a blog post. You can also give away a report or a guide, a sample edit, or a free consultation.

Follow up with your leads (a lead is someone who has expressed an interest in your service). Send them relevant information or case studies about people in their industry or find other things you can give them that will be helpful. Jessica suggests that she usually talks to people about five times before they start working together.

Convey the transformation that your service will bring to their business. Always look for ways to communicate how your service will make their lives easier. (This is relevant to price, as well. If a client is convinced that you’re going to add a lot of value to their business, they won’t balk at your rates.) Do this by sharing testimonials about what you did and how it helped your client. You can also share case histories about other companies who improved their business by hiring editors. Or you can share stories about companies who didn’t hire editors and suffered public disasters as a result (using fear to help sell your service).

Identify your ideal customer:

  • editing tasks;
  • medium;
  • subject matter;
  • field;
  • audience; and
  • demographic details of the customer.
Find out where your ideal customers hang out, and go there. Also, introduce yourself as the editor who works for your ideal customer. Many of us are generalists who work on a variety of materials, but saying so is just not memorable. Jessica suggests that you introduce yourself as the editor you want to be for the best chance of having the work you want come to you.

Be consistent in your marketing efforts, and measure the results:

  • number of leads;
  • number of customers;
  • conversion rate (leads who turn into customers);
  • average customer value (how much they spend);
  • length of retention; and
  • whatever else is meaningful to you.

Avoid thinking and acting from a scarcity perspective where you take jobs that are not ideal because you’re afraid you won’t get anything else. Try to run your business from a perspective of abundance where you can afford to give something away, and you can afford to hold out for your ideal client.

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