- By Cathy Goodwin
- Published 04/23/2009
- Writing for the Web
Every year, thousands of independent professionals promise themselves, “This will be the year I get more clients and really start to make serious money online.” Or they say, “This is the year I will use the Internet to do the work so I can enjoy serving clients, relaxing with my family and doing what really matters.” But about halfway through the year (starting somewhere in April), most of these business owners begin to feel discouraged. The challenge seems overwhelming. You have to get more subscribers. You need to recruit clients to sign up (not just ask for a free call). You need to maintain your social media presence, write articles and maybe overhaul your website. So they stop trying. Maybe they invest more time in their day jobs or turn to live networking. Or they work with so-so clients because hey, the good ones seem to be going somewhere else. Others decide to hang in there and wait for the economy to get better. Or they vow to burn more midnight oil. Or they lower prices and offer more free stuff. But “free stuff” and “fear” won’t lead to success in any economy. Often they are related. Feel scared no one wants what you offer? Just give it away.
Now you’ve got a vicious spiral. You’re know
n for free stuff. So you attract weak clients (or no clients). You get even more scared. Now you really don’t want to raise prices. What’s the alternative? Create a game plan, piece by piece, with a solid foundation based on delivering value, not reacting from fear. Make sure your market is hungry. Learn the basic skill you need to survive and thrive on the Internet: online copywriting. It’s different from other types of writing, such as tech writing and even how-to books. Online copywriting is different because website visitors aren’t strolling past a storefront in the local mall. They don’t walk past a shop window and think, “A new type of cookware! I never thought of buying those things for my own kitchen. But I’ll go in and see what they’ve got.” Instead, visitors arrive at your site for a reason. For example, their dog has been chewing up the furniture. They are searching for specific solutions to this specific problem and they want answers to specific questions. Will your product or service solve their problem?
Your online content has to reach these hungry clients by mirroring their emotions. They aren’t looking for the word “free.” They’re looking for strong sentences that relate directly to their own challenges. If you can respond, you’re on your way to making significant money on the Internet.