Landing New Clients

BoxingGlovesYeah, yeah, it’s been a while.  I’ve been busy, go fuck yourselves.  I came by to tell you about my day.  Today I landed a client, and I thought maybe you intolerable cunts could use some schoolin’ in that department.

What I found particularly interesting about this client was what she said to me during our conversation.  Namely, that she had been given a list of referrals, but after looking each candidate over, she thought I was the overwhelmingly correct choice.  NOW, I’m going to tell you how to do that.  Sit the fuck up and pay attention.

Here are All the Ways You Suck

I’ve seen your portfolios and your professional images, and I gotta say, you guys suck.  You suck hard and this is why: you’re not you.  You’re a fucking cardboard cutout of yourself, a smiling fucking face on top of a pile of some really uninteresting shit.  Since I feel like it’s my moral obligation to fix that vomitous pile you call a resume and LinkedIn profile, I’m giving you some pointers — for free.  You can thank me later in the form of cold, hard cash.

1.  STOP BEING SO GOD DAMNED BORING!  You don’t have to be the next Chuck Wendig, but you should be someone.  You’re not a fucking robot, are you?  If you are, then ignore this because you’re already doing what it takes — it’s all those other cunts pretending to be you that are fucking it up for you.  Be somebody, be yourself, and do it loudly and proudly.  Sure, you’re going to offend some people, and you’ll not be some people’s bag, but you don’t have to be all things to all people.  There are a fucking gazillion people who need freelance writers — and trust me, you can only handle about 10 of them at once — being you means you’ll attract the people who really inspire you to be your best.

2.  We have to talk about your samples.  You absolutely should have some samples that showcase your technical writing skills, a formal tone and all of that happy horseshit.  You also need samples that add to that vision of loveliness you created under item number one.  Add your blog to your LinkedIn, give people some idea of your range.  Casual voice is becoming the currency of the Internet — if you can’t prove you can loosen up, I promise you you’re missing out on the premium jobs.

3.  There is no number three.  Take some fucking risk, be a unique and precious snowflake.  You’re not interviewing for a job at a bank, for God’s sake.  You’re looking for a gig that may or may not pay enough to cover your time, and will certainly never pay enough to compensate you for your loss of sanity.  You’re beholden to nothing but your deadlines, so fuck ’em all.

Let Me Give You an Example

My LinkedIn profile raised some eyebrows when I shared it with some Copywriting Groups that I belong to on Facebook.  In fact, those little piss ants had the tenacity to tell me that I’d never land a client using “that sort of language” on LinkedIn.  This is the sort of language I used in the summary section:

“I’m sure a lot of the other writers on here use this space to talk about how they love stringing letters together to make sentences and how punctuation is just icing on the fucking cake of lies they’ve built about the things they claim to care about. You know what I’m passionate about, LinkedIn? Cutting out the bullshit and getting straight to the point.”

You can go fact check that.  I’ll wait.

I’m more proud of those three sentences than anything else I wrote in 2014.  You know why?  They’re not regurgitated feculence that was once the five course meal of a better copywriter.  People gasped, people reprimanded me, told me that sort of thing was career suicide — and guess what?  It wasn’t.  In fact, it pushed me to another level — and earned me the spot I’ve deserved for a long motherfucking time.

You know what else?  I don’t have to hunt and beg and grovel for work.  I actually have to turn clients away on a regular basis.  That’s a fucking incredible feeling — that’s mad power.  You can have it, too.  You really can, I’m not shitting you at all.  You don’t even have to curse like a sailor to do it, though it clearly helps.

You just have to be yourself.  When that next potential client calls you, don’t be afraid to speak up, don’t be afraid to drop some f-bombs, just be you.  If they’re calling you, I can promise that they’ve already put you on the short list — now it’s time to show them why you’re there.

You Should Start Dropping the F-bomb #BombsAway

FbombAs of late, my new, in-progress LinkedIn profile has raised a few eyebrows in the copywriting community.  No, I’m not sorry.  I’m also not anything shy of a total writing professional, as was implied by more than one person in these small circles.  I’ve never had a hard time getting work, I never miss deadlines, I never fuck (oh, there’s one now!) around about work.  As far as I’m concerned, that means you can be grizzled and still be beloved.  In fact, if I were to really throw all my cards on the table, I’d have to argue that you SHOULD drop a few f-bombs here and there.

Why it Fucking Matters

Now, if you’re a Fortune 500 CEO or looking for an office job, the f-bomb isn’t recommended, just to be clear.  This is strictly for writers and those people who might want to consider getting into this upside down profession.  We’re in a strange position — people want to believe what we do is art, when we all know that we’re strictly master craftsmen.  That means a thing, it produces expectations.

For example, if you peruse freelancers on oDesk for any amount of time, you’ll go blind from all the repetition.  “I’m this kind of writer with blah blah experience and I like to author things blah blah.”  Seriously, it’s like the Borg have taken over.  Although this may seem like the right approach, it really isn’t.  All it does is turn all these clever folks into an endless sea of BLAH.  BLAH BLAH BLAH look at me…. but no one will because they’ve done nothing to differentiate themselves.

Don’t Be BLAH

Before you leap to that conclusion I feel squirming between your ears: NO, using the f-bomb indiscriminately isn’t the way to get positive attention.  Sure, you’ll get attention, but it won’t be the kind you’ll like.  Instead, what I’m saying is that you need to be real.  Be the real person you are, whoever that is.  Are you a dainty little proper poet with a teeny mousy demeanor?  Well, you’re a fucking writer, show the world who the fuck you are.

I’m the kind of person who is intense and passionate, if you’ve not noticed yet.  So I use fuck a lot because it’s a fucking intense word.  Fuck is a punctuation mark that rips people out of the fucking comas they develop while reviewing the BLAH BLAH BLAH.  Their little brains say, “Wait a minute, did I just see the word ‘fuck’ on a professional LinkedIn profile?”  Whether they love it or hate it, that f-bomb gets their attention.

Again, I’m not advocating for constant use of the f-bomb, but there are places where it and its discouraged friends belong.  We’re writers, these little words are neglected far too much.  They’re WORDS with real power.  Sure, it’s a risky proposition to show that side of yourself to the professional world, but let’s face it, we’ve all got the same skill — the only thing different between us are the deep inner workings.

Pick a Patch of Personality

Certainly, your potential clients are looking for someone with a great deal of skill, but they may not realize they’re also looking for a personality.  If they don’t do it consciously, they’re doing it subconsciously — once they’ve weeded out the writers who can’t do the job, they’re left with a seriously large number of writers who can.  How do they choose from that stack?

Whether they know it or not, they do it by personality.  Will this person be a good fit for my brand image, do they seem capable of bringing the bang I need for my buck, do I think they’d be fun to work with?  Although some do ultimately choose the BLAH BLAHs, I’d be very surprised if that number wasn’t relatively small, especially when it comes to the higher paying jobs.  After all, humans are drawn to each other in a magnetic way we can’t really explain well and cookie-cutter robots do not equal Homo sapiens.

If you had a project near and dear to your heart that required a professional writer, would you go for the bran flakes and business suit boring type?  Of course not.  You’re paying good money, you expect a big personality and someone willing to take a risk now and again.  After all, you don’t want your blog to sound like all the other boring blogs out there.

This is why I believe in the power of the f-bomb.  For me, it works.  I take a fucking chance of offending some folks, but trust me on this, if they’re offended, that means they’re reading.  The thing is that there are too many different types of writing jobs out there to craft a one size fits all online personality, so you might as well just be whoever the fuck you are.