Greetings and welcome back! In this week’s SEO copywriting how-to video, Heather addresses 3 separate questions posed to her from the SEO Copywriting Facebook group.
Heather’s initial question to the group was: What are your burning questions about being a freelance SEO copywriter?
Their three responses resounded with relevance for all freelance SEO copywriters, so she answers each one in detail via this week’s video post…
Question #1: How do I find clients?
This is very common question, and an important concern for freelancers, because you want to be able to find and work with folks who value your expertise and are happy to pay you for it!
So one of the tips I have is to find your niche.
- You’ll make more money, faster, if you find a niche.
For example, I work a lot with catalog copy and B2B companies, so people call on me because I have that type of expertise as an SEO copywriter.
So think about what you specialize in, and/or love to write about. Maybe you used to work in-house in a particular type of vertical and you know it through and through. It could be credit unions and financial institutions, or perhaps gyms and health clubs.
- Once you have one, consider where your target audience “hangs out” online and offline.
For instance, do they favor certain LinkedIn groups? Do they read particular types of trade magazines (offline as well as online)? Are there certain bloggers that are big “influencers” in their industry?
The point is, get to know where these folks are, what they read, and what they pay attention to!
- Don’t forget in-person networking!
Yes, this can be scary. You may prefer to hang out behind your computer and do your business strictly by email, but meeting other folks in person can really make a huge impact!
Once you push yourself out the door and start engaging with folks via events and conferences, after awhile it will feel more natural and you’ll no doubt start seeing some leads coming out of it. So don’t be afraid to get out there and mix it up!
Question #2: How can I establish myself (as a trusted authority)?
Again, this goes back to securing that niche specialty…
- This is easier if you have a niche – check out PetCopywriter.com and InsuranceCopywriting.com.
These two sites are great examples of freelance copywriting business owners, just like you, who decided that they wanted to work within a specific industry – so their websites and every piece of marketing that they do reflect that.
And once you’ve honed in on your own niche as these copywriters did, you can consider building your credibility and authority with content creation and marketing strategies…
- Write case studies, e-guides, newsletters – and show up at industry conferences.
Also, brainstorm things that will be useful to your chosen niche industry, then get on Twitter and chirp those things. You could also start a LinkedIn group for your colleagues/audience. And going back to that in-person networking, you can choose to attend industry conferences.
On the matter of attending industry conferences…yes, it will cost some money to get in the door, but that networking – especially when you can say “this is what I specialize in and this is how I can help you” – can prove to be very powerful!
- And just know that this [brand building] takes time.
While we all would love to be able to establish our brand within a couple of months, the reality is that, in most cases, it’s going to take 6 months to a year. Like all good things meant to last, building a brand takes some time.
Try to be patient with yourself and with the process, and go on out there and make those contacts…and you will start to see results!
Question #3: How can I manage client expectations?
This third question from the SEO Copywriting Facebook Group is especially good – especially given that clients often look to the SEO copywriter/copywriting to solve all of their inbound marketing problems.
So, how do you balance that all out? How do you help your client understand what they can realistically expect from an SEO copywriting service?
- Work as a team. Partner with other experts (designers, programmers, social media gurus.)
If you’re looking at a website and can tell that it has “other issues” besides the (SEO) copywriting – for instance, the design isn’t too great or the site owner clearly could stand some social media help – then working as a team with other specialists can be really powerful…and profitable!
That way, you can let the client know that while your SEO copywriting can help them immensely, it isn’t the alpha & omega of website rankings.
You can define what exactly you can do for them with your copywriting; then you can introduce the client to your talented colleagues that can make things happen in concert with your exceptional SEO copywriting…
- Consider an initial inbound marketing opportunity audit.
This is a way to help your client while creating a deliverable that you can make money from: gather your team and look at the client’s site, and determine what the client can do – or what you can do for your client, as a team – to drive more qualified traffic to their site, and convert visitors at a higher rate.
- Educate your clients about how unethical tactics can harm their site.
As you probably know already, client education is crucial.
Explain to your client why keyword stuffing is not a good tactic, edify them about Google’s Panda and Penguin updates and consequences, and then let them know what tactics will really work for them…versus what tactics will get them in trouble.
And around the copywriting itself, it is typical for a (misinformed or simply unaware) client to wonder what their site ranking will be after you’ve written a Web page (or entire site).
The honest answer? “I don’t know.” Because you don’t! It can be different for each client, as there are so many factors at work, such as personalization.
- Focus the benefits on conversions – as well as shares and “likes.”
Stress the benefits of conversions – they are actually more important than the search engine page ranking, because in the end that copy has to generate money!
Emphasize how you can test your client’s copy and discern what is going to convert better, regardless of rankings.
Also, discuss the importance of social media with your client, and specifically, how well-written content is going to be linked to, shared, and liked.
When you focus on the benefits of conversions and social media sharing, it helps move the discussion away from “I need to be #1 on Google, otherwise I won’t work with you” trap. Show the client all the other good things that great copywriting can do, and what you bring to the table.
Thanks so much for tuning into this week’s SEO Copywriting video post! Do you have a question or topic suggestion for the video blog? We’d love to hear from you! Email Heather Lloyd via email@example.com, or give her a 140-character shout on Twitter, via @heatherlloyd. See you next Monday!
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photo thanks to saaleha (Saaleha Bamjee)