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How Freelancers Can Expand Their Business Using Personal Coaching

By Chris Marlow
Posted Sunday, January 2, 2005

Back in 1985 when I first started copywriting, the only help I could find on the subject were books by Herschell Gordon Lewis, Bob Stone, David Ogilvy, and a few others. I didn’t even look for books on how to build a copywriting business because it never crossed my mind that one would exist.

Since that time copywriters have access to some very fine books on how to build their businesses, most notably books by Bob Bly, Steve Slaunwhite, and Peter Bowerman. But even these books can’t help you when you’re confused about how to make a project move forward that’s “stuck,” or what to do with a client’s new hire who doesn’t seem to want to work with you.

These are problems one of my coaching clients had last week, and I was able to solve both of her problems with one document that I have refined throughout the years and which has kept my direct response campaigns on target 100% of the time.

This particular client reported back at our next session that everyone was thrilled with “her idea,” and the new hire became warm and friendly, and offered lots of eye contact.

This is just one real world example of how personal coaching by a veteran copywriter can increase a copywriter’s business success. My clients come to me with all of the challenges, issues, and problems I encountered on my own for so many years — challenges I’ve overcome the hard way by making mistakes, spending too much money, and growing ever so slowly toward success.

Today I’m enjoying the benefits of working with some of the world’s most prestigious companies, of having many contacts in the industry, and being able to choose the projects I want to work on and reject those I don’t.

In recent years I’ve helped many copywriters, mostly those who became friends. But now I have gone one step further by offering my services on a professional basis. Today I am coaching a seasoned copywriter on the best way to get more clients; for another, I’m getting her on track for earning more money; and for a third — a newcomer to copywriting — I’m helping him create powerful marketing materials.

Rarely does a copywriter come to me with a single issue. Usually they’re trying to achieve a short- or long-term goal, so we set up weekly one-hour phone sessions with 24/7 support in between. After each session, the copywriter (or graphic artist) completes “homework” that pertains to his or her goals.

Issues common to the business of freelancing include making more money, getting more clients, getting paid what you’re worth, and working for the companies or industries that respect copywriters and designers, and that pay well.

Marketing is another area in which coaching is helpful. Copywriters grapple with getting samples and getting the results of their lead-generating or order-generating campaigns. They wonder how to go about doing a successful lead-generating campaign for themselves. And they wonder how best to sell themselves to a potential client once they do have a “hot” lead.

There’s also things to know about copywriting that a writer may never find out about. For instance, do you know how some copywriters are able to make millions of dollars each year? (They create their own products and use their master copywriting skills to sell them.)

Did you know that in some industries, you can get paid royalties for writing a direct mail piece, just like book authors do? (Publishing and alternative health are two big ones.)

And did you know that many “high powered” copywriters don’t do all the work themselves? (Most of the famous guys use “copy chiefs,” sometimes as many as five, to go over an order- generating piece, until it has its best chance of winning in the mail, on the Internet, or in the case of a print ad, in a magazine.)

If I had known what I now know when I started out in this fascinating business, I might have made different choices. But even if I had not, one thing is for sure, and that’s that I would have achieved success much sooner.

If you’re ever in a quandary, or if you’re goal-oriented and want to build a successful freelancing business as quickly as possible, now you know someone who will give you the support and information you need. For more on personal coaching for copywriters, designers, and other business freelancers, visit (

About the Author
A veteran freelancer and award-winning copywriter, Chris Marlow offers business coaching to new, aspiring, and seasoned business freelancers who want to accelerate their success. She can be reached via ( or via email Publishers please respond to: © Chris Marlow, 2004 All rights reserved.


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