Before we get to this week’s episode, I wanted to let you know that I’m putting together a coaching group where I’m going to work with a handful of private, six-figure clients to help them earn more in less time—without the stress and burnout that often come with this level of income.
If you’re at this income level, you already know that your challenges are different.
In some cases, it’s a different flavor of challenges you’ve always struggled with. And in other cases, it’s an entirely new set of challenges. And you’re probably not sure how to get around them.
If you’re a six-figure writer and would like to work with me on this, send me an email at email@example.com … put BREAKTHROUGH in the subject line … and I’ll get back to you personally.
Most commercial writers see themselves as just that: a commercial writer.
They describe themselves as writers. They pitch themselves as writers. And they offer writing services to clients who need someone to write their marketing materials.
Nothing wrong with that. I earned a steady six-figure income for years with that model. The same might be true for you.
But that’s not the only way to make a great living as a freelance commercial writer or copywriter.
In today’s interview, you’ll hear from Maureen Farmer, founder of Word Right Executive Career Management. Maureen is an executive career strategist. Much of what she does for clients involves writing. In fact, technically she could describe herself to clients as a writer or copywriter.
But she’s positioned her business and her services very differently. She blends writing, personal branding, strategy, coaching and consulting into a very interesting set of offerings for her C-level clients.
By doing this, her clients see her as much more than just a writer. They see her as a strategic resource. And they’re willing to pay her high fees to help them with some of their most pressing challenges.
Rather than tell you all about what she does, I’m going to let her explain it herself. This is an excellent interview full of ideas. And if you’re an established freelancer who’s looking to take your business up a few notches in the next year or two, I think you’ll get a ton out of it.
The notes that follow are a very basic, unedited summary of the show. There’s a lot more detail in the audio version. You can listen to the show using the audio player below. Or you can subscribe in iTunes to get this show delivered straight to the Podcasts app on your smart phone, tablet or iPod.
Tell us about yourself and your business
Maureen Farmer grew up in Halifax, Canada. Her background is in HR management, and she’s worked in the corporate world of energy, financial and legal services. She also has a degree in business education.
Over the last seven years, she’s operated her own business. Through writing, coaching and consulting, she helps individuals prepare for corporate promotions, board of director positions and outside jobs. This makes up about 70% of her business.
This kind of work is sometimes referred to as executive branding.
Companies also hire her to help their C-level executives get ready for promotions or new positions. This makes up about 30% of her business.
You provide a unique mix of services to your clients that combine writing, career coaching and HR services. Can you tell us more about that?
Maureen has found that charging by the hour tends to stress everyone out. Instead, she offers three main packages to clients. With packages, the fee is set and clients know what to expect.
Her packages are:
1) Executive Resume Success
2) Professions Package
3) Career Navigator.
By offering packages, Maureen shifts the focus from features and tools to deliverables and results.
Did you start by selling packages or is this something that evolved?
Maureen started out by offering resume writing as a service, which she did for about a year and a half. She never identified as a copywriter or freelancer. She always thought of herself as an executive career strategist. But a good part of developing and implementing strategy involves writing.
As her business grew, people started asking for coaching. This is something she’d always done informally. Working in HR, people would come to her with their stories and confidential questions. This gave her a taste for the consultative model.
Eventually, she changed the name of her company to reflect this broader service, from “Word Write Resumes” to “Word Write Career.”
You’ve talked about moving from a one-to-one coaching model to a one-to many model. Tell us about that
As an introvert, Maureen finds that teaching takes a lot of energy so she doesn’t do too much of it.
However, she doesn’t have the capacity to take everyone on as a client with a one-to-one coaching model.
Therefore, she’s looking at information products as a way to reach more people. These info products could include things like scripts, networking letters and other content.
Maureen often finds herself writing the same types of letters for clients over and over again for common situations. She’s started to collect them and is now turning them into an information product.
As an added bonus, people who buy the information product may eventually turn into clients.
Some of your deliverables require writing, such as biographies, resumes, LinkedIn profiles, letters. Do you do the writing yourself or bring in outside writers?
Maureen does the majority of the writing herself. She also works with an editor, proofreader, graphic designer and virtual assistant.
She has access to certified resume writers across the world and will sometimes use them in a pinch.
One of the services you offer is writing job search scripts. Tell us more about that
Job search scripts can include just about anything. Most often, they’re used to follow up on emails or voicemails.
A script can be a powerful tool. Often, people are reluctant to follow up. But you often have to follow up several times to get a response. In fact, people expect you to follow up if it’s important to you!
Scripts give her clients text they can use to make following up easier. Because the script is carefully thought out (and they’re not just “winging it”) they can overcome objections before they’re raised.
Most of your clients are high-level executives. How do find them?
Most of Maureen’s clients find her through referrals and her LinkedIn profile.
Having a consistent presence on LinkedIn has really helped her. She makes sure that her profile is rich in keywords. Sometimes her posts will resonate with people and they will contact her.
Tell us about your new book, CEO Script Vault: Job Search Scripts for Busy Executives
This book consists of a collection of the scripts that Maureen described earlier. It’s designed to help executives to find their voice so they can follow up, close job offers and secure contracts.
The book is available on Amazon Kindle.
Where can listeners learn more about you and your work?
By the way … whenever you’re ready, here are 4 ways I can help you grow your freelance business:
1. Grab a free copy of my new book for writers who are NEW to freelancing.
It’s called “The 3 Magic Levers: How to Get Your Writing Business Off the Ground and Land Your First Paying Client.” — Click Here
2. Download a free copy of my book for ESTABLISHED writers/copywriters.
You’ll discover how to quickly and predictably reawaken dead leads, generate new client opportunities and convert not-yet-ready prospects into freelance writing clients. — Click Here
3. Join our “Get Better Clients Academy”
You’ll get a personalized action plan based on where you are today in your business. Plus all the tools, scripts, checklists, cheat sheets and templates you’ll need to escape feast-or-famine … grow your income … and land clients who love and respect you. — Click Here
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If you’ve been struggling to get your website done … or if you’re not happy with what you’ve got today… let my team and me build you a beautiful website for your writing business. We’ll do all the hard work! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org … put “WEBSITE” in the subject line … and I’ll reply with the details.