#053: Building Up the Courage to Go After Bigger Clients

If you want to generate a high income as a freelance writer, you won’t get there by doing lots of $500 projects for small clients.

Sure, you can work long hours and bring in some big numbers. But it won’t be long before you burn out.

To earn a comfortable six-figure income AND have the freedom and flexibility to enjoy the fruits of your labor you HAVE to start working with bigger clients.

One big client can easily replace two, three or even four smaller clients. Plus, they’re often easier to work with. They have more work. And they’re not as price-sensitive as smaller clients.

So why do so many freelance writers avoid them?

One word: FEAR!

We might tell ourselves that it’s other things. But at the core, the biggest reason we don’t go after bigger fish is just plain, old-fashioned fear.

In this episode you’ll hear from Mary Rose Maguire, an Ohio-based freelance writer who recently broke through these fears and insecurities to go after (and land!) her largest client ever.

She explains how she did it, how the overcame her fears and insecurities, and what she’s learned about herself in the process.

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 or on Stitcher to get this show delivered straight to the Podcasts app on your smart phone, tablet or iPod.

Tell us about yourself

In 2003, Mary Rose was a relationship coach for single women over 40 looking for love. She marketed her coaching services and taught women how to market themselves.

In 2008, a local information security company hired her as a marketing manager. She created web copy, sell sheets, white papers, text sheets, manuals, proposals, as well as some videos and podcasts.

In 2010, she launched a side business doing web design, graphics and copywriting. Eventually, she realized she liked copywriting the most.

After taking some AWAI courses and Ed’s case study course, she left her job to freelance full time.

Tell us how your business was doing before you landed this recent project

Business was rough. Mary Rose had a handful of clients and was charging $250-300 per project.

Tell us how you landed this new project

The prospect reached out to her via LinkedIn, and Mary Rose followed up via email. He introduced her to his creative director.

Mary Rose and the company went back and forth several times on different projects, but nothing came through.

Eventually, the creative director contacted her about writing copy for the company’s new 77 page website. After negotiating a bit on price, the final quote was five figures.

What’s the status of the project now?

The project is just getting started. Mary Rose has turned in about three pages, and each page has to go through about eight different marketing managers. It’s an intensive process.

This project is many times larger than any of her previous projects.

How did you have to shift your mindset to land this opportunity?

1. How much she should charge. Mary Rose was shocked when she learned what others were charging for copywriting services.

Dianna Huff, Why Low Self-Worth Drives Lower Wages for Women Freelancers and What You Can Do About It, International Freelancers Academy.

Episode #008, Negotiating Secrets of a Successful Freelance Writer, interview with Carol Tice.

2. How much she’s worth. It took time for Mary Rose to understand the value of what she does because was so severely underpaid before. She came to realize that her fees were connected to her perception of her worth.

Dan Kennedy – No B.S. Wealth Attraction in the New Economy

Donald Trump and Bill Zanker – Think BIG and Kick Ass in Business and Life

How can you shift your mindset when you’re surrounded by low paying clients?

Have faith that better clients are out there. Stand your ground and learn to say no because you need to make room for higher paying clients.

Episode #033, The Spiritual Side to Freelance Success—A Candid Talk With Pete Savage of ExpandYourself.com

Better opportunities won’t come until you learn to say no to bad opportunities.

If you need it, you can’t have it. In other words, if you tell yourself you really need something, then you’re also telling yourself that you don’t already have it. When you detach yourself emotionally from the thing you want, magic happens.

How do you see your business growing from here?

Mary Rose would like to get more B2B copywriting business, and perhaps focus more on the information sector. She’ll use this project as a springboard to land larger clients.

Where can listeners learn more about you?

Mary Rose Maguire

Website: maryrosemaguire.com

Facebook: Maguire Copywriting


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Till next time,