Rummaging around the other day in the cobwebby back of my freelance writer portfolio, I came across a campaign I used to drum up freelance writing business.
I thought I’d share it with you as an example of how humor can be used to promote your own freelance writing services.
This was a direct-mail campaign. However, it can be easily refashioned into an email outreach.
COUNTDOWN LIST MAINTAINED INTEREST
The strategy was to deliver to targeted prospects five mail pieces over a two-week period. The pieces had similar dimensions and formatting (which allowed recipients to recognize that the five pieces were related to one another).
As for content, each mailer featured to two main paragraphs of text. The first graf was humorous; the second was a features-benefits pitch played straight.
The two grafs were set up as part of a larger countdown list.
The countdown list started at 10 and ended with 1. The idea here was that recipients would look forward to receiving each subsequent mailer just to find out how the countdown would proceed and ultimately end.
Atop the two grafs of each mailer was a header. The header never changed from mailer to mailer. The header read: “Top 10 Reasons to Hire ME!”
Immediately below the header was a deck. The deck was different each time. It described a specific freelance writing service that I could provide.
Here’s a sampler of what appeared on each mailer.
Top 10 Reasons to Hire ME!
For on-demand newswriting
Reason 10. My parole officer says a long-term freelance writing relationship with you should – repeat, should – help rehabilitate me and smooth the way for my eventual reintegration with society.
Reason 9. Communications developed by you and me as a team will penetrate people’s brains deeper than you ever thought possible.
Top 10 Reasons to Hire ME!
For on-demand brochure writing.
Reason 8. Your expectation of receiving completed freelance writing projects electronically will force me to switch from technologies with names like Crayola and Ohio Art.
Reason 7. Writing you request will land on your desk way faster, in remarkably cleaner condition, and at a surprisingly lower cost compared to what you may be accustomed to receiving.”
You get the idea. So, let me end the demo right there.
I know. “Awww, Rich Smith is a meanie. Show us the rest of it, you fink.”
Actually, I’m ending the show here because I think those examples make clear what I was talking about earlier: each mailer making the recipient eager for the next one to arrive.
The reason the recipient will be eager is because he or she wants to see if the subsequent reasons are funnier than the ones that came before.
It doesn’t matter if they are or aren’t funnier. What matters is that the recipient is in the thrall of anticipation. That’s a very good place for a sales prospect to be, whether you’re selling aluminum siding or freelance writing (which, of course, some people view as the functional equivalent of aluminum siding).
Bottom line: Humor can be an effective technique for promoting one’s freelance writing availability and prowess.