Early in my career, I did something smart. (An event that doesn’t occur nearly as often as I’d like!)
I recommended a white paper (aka special report) to a client. And, as a result, tripled my project income.
Here’s how it happened …
A prospect called me to enquire about getting a sales letter written. He wanted to generate interest in his company’s new consulting service. Basically, this was going to be a lead-generating letter, so I said, “You should offer something valuable in that letter for free, like a special report. That will certainly increase your response rates.”
“Okay,” he said. “Quote me on writing that special report as well.”
I ended up getting both jobs — the sales letter and the special report — for a total fee that was three times what I would have charged for the sales letter alone.
It sure pays to make recommendations! If you’re not familiar with white papers (and their close cousins, special reports), they’re simple to understand. A white paper is essentially an educational piece, usually 6-8 pages long, that explains a new innovation or best practice. An example might be: How to Leverage LinkedIn to Shorten the Sales Cycle.
White papers are very lucrative projects for writers. The going pay rate is $3,500-$7,000 each.
So whenever you’re discussing a project with a client, or are asked to quote on a copywriting job, look for the opportunity to recommend a white paper or special report. Chances are, you’ll get that job too and substantially increase your income.
By the way, don’t just assume that clients will know you write white papers and special reports. You have to say so.
I learned that the hard way.
Again, early in my career, I did something dumb.
I was asked to write an email promotion. When the email was written, the client got back to me and said, “Sorry, there has been a change. We decided to offer a white paper in that email. We have a freelancer writing that white paper right now.”
Well, that hurt! I’m sure I could have landed that white paper writing gig, if only I had made the recommendation in the first place.
It’s the recommender who gets the work.
As I said, white papers and special reports pay very well. (And they’re fun to write, too.) So learn to write them. Then start recommending them to your prospects and clients.
Editor’s Note: Want to know more about writing white papers? Steve Slaunwhite and Ed Gandia show you how in their program How to Write White Papers that Command Top Fees. Don’t pass up the opportunity to recommend this profitable service!