Have you ever been watching a TV show and suddenly see one of the characters take a swig of Pepsi with the logo conveniently facing directly into the camera?
It’s product placement, and it happens more often than you probably realize.
Companies pay big bucks to get your eyeballs on their products and logos, especially when characters you love (even fictional characters) are seemingly endorsing these products by using them.
Because they know that it will subconsciously entice you to buy and use their products as well. You see your favorite character eating fries from a bag that features those golden arches, and suddenly your mouth is watering and you’re calling your spouse to pick up some McD’s on the way home from work.
Did you know that you can use this same principle to target your ideal clients?
In this easy step-by-step system, which I am going to call “The Product Placement Method,” I’m going to show you exactly how to get your product (i.e. your writing) in front of the people who you want to entice most (i.e. potential clients).
And here’s the best part…
If you do it right, they will come to you. Instead of having to fill out job applications and send inquiry letters to land gigs, clients who are interested in exactly the type of writing you love to do will be filling your inbox!
Step 1: Think about Your Ideal Client and Come Up with an Avatar
One of the easiest things you can do to get yourself on track to make six figures as a writer is to start marketing yourself to your ideal client. Your ideal client is going to be someone who values good writing and who wants to work with you. Your ideal client will also have a need for the type of content you like to write.
Think about what your ideal client is like and come up with an avatar or profile of what this person would be like so you can get inside their head. If you don’t know how to make a customer avatar or need help figuring out your ideal client, there’s a workbook covering this in my Freelance Writer Starter Kit.
Step 2: Brainstorm a List of Specific Places This Client Frequents Online
After you’ve made an avatar, it’s time to think about how this person likes to spend time online. Specifically, what kinds of blogs do they read or websites do they visit (other than social media and search engines).
Try to get inside the head of your ideal clients. It isn’t always easy, because remember: you are not your ideal client.
When in doubt… find a Facebook group filled with people who are similar to your avatar and ask what websites they like to frequent (just make sure it is not against the group’s rules to post a question like that).
Step 3: Reach Out to Partner with These Websites
Here’s the “product placement” part of this process… you’re going to reach out to these blogs that potential clients read and ask to write a guest post!
Make sure you search to see if they have guest post submission guidelines before emailing. Some bloggers prefer to receive pitches; others want full posts. Others don’t allow guest posts at all, so they are not worth your time to contact.
Follow their rules.
Step 4: Create a Too-Good-To-Pass-Up Offer on a Landing Page
Now, most people stop at step 3. They just add a little bio at the end of their guest post saying that they are a freelancer and linking to their site. This is a missed opportunity!
You are getting a platform, a stage, a mic to say whatever you want specifically to the people who should be hiring you! Don’t just give them a dinky link to your website homepage!
Instead, create a landing page exactly outlining an offer that will appeal to them.
A “landing page” is just a page on your website that isn’t linked in the navigation bar (usually) and that gets right to the point about your offer.
For example, my landing page might cover some packages put together at a discount, or it might have a discount code specifically for readers of the blog where I guest posted. I might outline some of my particular experiences or link to some related samples. It depends on what I think my ideal client will like best, but you get the point.
Then, add your contact information. Do not make them hunt for it on an About page or Contact page. Put it RIGHT THERE for the reader to see, so they can get in touch with you.
Step 5: Write Content for Your Partners Linking to Your Landing Page
Once you’ve pitched successfully and have built out an awesome landing page that will appeal to your target client, it’s time to write the guest post.
Your guest post should be top-notch. Guest posts are basically your portfolio pieces, so you want them to be the best posts you’ve ever written. Make sure you follow the blogger’s rules and present your clear voice well.
Yeah, I know you’re not getting paid (in most cases) when you write a guest post, but do it right and the post will pay for itself in the end.
Then, end with a short bio and link back to your landing page. This is your call to action, so you want it to be strong.
Annnnnnd… that’s it! Pretty, painless, right?
The best case scenario is to create several guest posts that all go live within a few weeks of one another across many of the blogs your ideal clients read. Studies have shown that if someone sees something (like you name) three times, they are more likely to check it out. In other words, the first time they might not even notice your name consciously. The second time, they might think, “hm, that sounds familiar.” The third time? Ya got them hooked! They need to find out more information about you.
Once you’ve successfully placed your product (your landing page with an irresistible offer) directly where your clients will see it, don’t forget to also promote the guest post on social media and add a link to your website sidebar or portfolio. These guest posts play double duty, because when you apply for gigs, you can link to them as writing samples. (Work smarter, not harder, yo!)
This is just one of the marketing techniques I use to land clients year-round. If you’re interested in learning more, check out my Market yoU course here.