Is it possible to make a comfortable side income with just ten customers? Yes. The business model is similar to the one used by cell phone companies (or any utility company for that matter).
For the moment, let’s focus on
cell phone companies. Their product
fills a basic human need to communicate.
The prices they charge depend on the specific needs of the customer. Businesses, of course, pay more than the average
consumer. In other words, the greater
the need for the service, the higher and more complex the rate structure.
Now, let’s apply the same concept
to a copywriter who produces copy for a monthly newsletter for several
clients. The monthly charge to the
client is $400 or $4,800 a year. Now,
let’s say the copywriter has ten regular clients for a gross cash flow of
$48,000 a year. Not a lot of money, but enough to live comfortably after all the
necessary taxes and expenses are met.
The cash flow from the newsletter
project creates a baseline, which will give the copywriter a certain degree of
leverage when it comes to taking on one-off projects. S/he can ask for and get premium rates
because of the additional time the one-off projects will require.
There is a third option. The cash flow from the ten clients can create
the means to start a subscription newsletter on a subject that is a passion of
the copywriter. Travel, food,
collecting, antiques, the quality of beer or wine? Al most anything is possible.
As subscription project, in fact,
is how a copywriter can earn six figures.
Own the product and market it to a like-minded group of
subscribers. A subscription price of
$600/Year for 400 subscribers can produce a nice, six figure cash flow, and can
be life changing. All from ten clients.
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Those are two words I use to
challenge a marketing idea. If I can
read the copy and say “So What~” there is no connection to the needs and
interests of the market. No positive responses,
In order to get past the so what’s,
the product needs a Unique Sales Proposition that convinces the target market
they NEED the product or service. Why? Because the product adds value to the quality
of their lives. It solves a burning
problem. It creates a sense of health
and well-being. It makes them feel that
the world is a safer, more loving place.
Not long ago I was watching two
guests at the front desk of a hotel. The
first was shopping price and debated with the front desk agent over
pennies. The guest wanted a room, but
didn’t need it, since there were several other options, some with lower
prices. Eventually, the guest left.
The second guest had just ended a
day of hiking in the Olympic Forrest and was dead-dog tired and needed a place
to sleep and recover. She did not debate
the price and, in fact, willing paid it.
I’m sure if the desk agent told her the night would cost her $1,000, she
wouldn’t even blink.
When customers perceive that (your)
product is the first, best option, they will pay whatever it takes to make that
purchase (within reason, don’t get greedy).
When the need is ongoing, so is their willingness to buy month after
month, year after year.
I’m reminded of the line in The Godfather. “I’ll make him an offer he can’t refuse.” Debate and points of negotiation disappear. Accepting the God Fathers offer placed the product
he was selling in a Unique Selling Proposition.
He believed in the value of his product and wanted the buyer to agree
unconditionally. So what becomes an
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A few weeks ago I was asked to
develop a marketing plan for an independent hotel. They told me they had a 15,000-name email list
and wanted a campaign that would bring in business. Their expectations were quite high and a bit
The challenge for this type of
marketing technique is attrition. Out of
15,000 emails sent out, the average return might be one-percent or 150 initial
buyers and, perhaps, 450 in the after-market.
The remainder of the list may or may not respond over the course of
A second challenge is knowing who
is responding to the email release and, more important, separating their names
into a specialized buyers list, which would be surveyed and the information
used to improve the future response to a marketing campaign.
My suggestion was more focused and
systematic. I suggested segmenting the
list by the dates the guests came to visit.
Those who came around Thanksgiving or Christmas would likely come again
around that time. Guests who came from
Canada around the time the Blue Jays were playing the Mariners would make the
trip again and again.
Once these lists were separated,
then a highly focused marketing campaign would be created to encourage them to
visit again. As the guests responded,
the list would be segmented again, separating those who made reservations from
those who didn’t. After several
campaigns using these techniques the goal is to establish a powerful, positive
relationship with a group of loyal guests who will come time after time.
So far, the hotel management is
not open to making this kind of commitment.
Building this marketing process requires considerable resources and
expense. Maybe next year.
Copyright © 2019, Moody Publishing Co.,
During my college days I worked
local art shows. The artists spent the
summer moving from one art show to another throughout the Northwest. For some it was a part-time experience for
extra income and the opportunity to travel.
Others were full-time, who took on commissions during the shows so they could
continue to work through the winter months.
One artist in particular came to
mind the other day because of how he marketed his toys. Kids loved them and he was able to sell out
his inventory by the end of the season.
What made his marketing interesting was how he kept in touch with his customers
with a monthly postcard abd newsletter.
Starting in mid-October, he sent
out an invitation to buy Christmas-oriented toys to his most loyal
customers. Keep in mind this was during the
1970s, before the convenience of an internet site and email distribution, so
his marketing techniques were expensive.
The sales he realized, however, off-set the expense nicely.
He would also send out birthday
cards, anniversary cards and congratulation letters for kids who graduated high
school or college.
Over the course of time, he
developed a mailing list of well over 5,000 loyal customers who kept him busy throughout
Over the course of the art show
season I worked with hundreds of artists.
Only a handful did any kind of year-long marketing.
Ongoing marketing is the keystone
to success for artists and anyone who owns a micro=business. It’s all about connections that lead to
2019, Moody Publishing Co., LLC