It’s 3 am and I’ve just about finished writing my last article for today.
Looking at all the projects I have aligned for the week, I snicker and think to myself just how blessed I am to have an amazing pool of clients (they’re now close friends) that are giving me these constant articles to work on.
Reminiscing about my early beginnings in freelance writing while heading to my bed, I can’t help but think about what made me who I am today. What was responsible for drawing in all these clients when I didn’t have any credentials to begin with and the competition before was just as tough.
My mind was almost immediately directed to two words… Cover letters!
Indeed, cover letters are portals that make the old “clientless” (just made up this word) you, to a rockstar writer that clients seek for all their writing tasks.
It’s almost safe to say that your cover letter’s quality is one of the make or break points of your being hired.
Having said that, allow me to share with you some of the techniques and verbiage I use that help increase my job applications’ positive response rate to 30%+.
- Don’t Talk about Yourself
You read it right! Although selling yourself is the key here, 80% – 90% of your cover letter shouldn’t talk about you but it should talk about the clients’ problems and how you can solve it.
To clearly illustrate this point, try to compare these lines…
I am an expert in SEO vs. I will get your website ranked.
I am a social media expert vs. I will get you more followers on Facebook, Linkedin, etc.
I am an experienced writer vs. You’ll get nothing but the best articles ONLY…
Boring the client about your achievements or your past experiences (which they don’t really care about) are a good way of getting ignored. Whether you’re a newbie or an expert in SEO, the client couldn’t care less. What they want is to get their problems solved so that’s what you should emphasize on. If you want them to give you 100% of their attention, then talk about their problem and how you can solve it.
“The client doesn’t care about who you are or what you did. They just want their problems solved. PERIOD!”
- Free Add-on Services
Amazingly enough, most people aren’t using this technique no matter how obviously simple and enticing it seems to the client.
The thing is, this strategy doesn’t only solve the problems that the client’s are consciously aware of, it also solves an underlying problem that they might not be fully aware of.
Imagine. If the clients’ job description talks about hiring an article writer, you can add this in your cover letter.
“More than just sending quality articles your way, I can also help market the articles by posting them on my social media sites (or whatever additional offer you can give) to get you more traffic and visibility for free…”
Now what does that statement do? It reminds the client that what they really want isn’t really just an article, they want traffic and visibility and the articles are just the means to achieve that goal. It reminds the client of what their original problem is and that you are going an extra mile FOR FREE to help them solve it. Now that’s quality service at its finest!
If the client doesn’t want your added free service, they can easily say no to it. But if they get reminded of their underlying problem (or another critical problem) and see that you are offering a solution to it, your offer becomes ridiculously hard to turn down.
“If you remind the client or help them realize an underlying problem PLUS offer them a solution FOR FREE, saying no to you doesn’t become an option.”
- Use Mental Pictures
If a picture paints a thousand words (just like what the song says), then why not use images (mental images at that) to paint a thousand words of benefits?
If you can successfully paint the thousand words of benefits to the clients’ mind, how on earth can they turn you down?
Instead of saying…
“I’ll send quality articles your way (which is what I used above)”, you can say “You’ll ONLY receive CAREFULLY written articles while you relax and spend quality time with your loving family…
Notice the phrases “you relax”, “quality time”, “loving family” and “CAREFULLY written”? Those key phrases convey a positive and a hearty feeling to the client. It induces a state of mental positivity that makes your services the portal that the client needs to experience those hearty benefits that you painted.
Mental pictures will help the clients visualize the benefits (maybe even feel them happening if you’re that good). If you’re able to successfully induce that feeling of want in them as they read through your cover letter and you carefully craft your words to make your services the portal for them to achieve it, your chances of getting hired dramatically shoots up!
“A picture does in fact paint a thousand words to your clients mind. If you’re able to paint a thousand words of benefit, they’ll have a thousand reasons not to say no.”
- Convey Sincerity and Genuine Concern
Everyone’s always saying that they’re the best and that they’re the perfect fit for the job. You’ll rarely find someone that’s focusing on the emotional side of things like the feeling of trust and genuine concern.
The thing with the whole online outsourcing idea is that there’s no question that you’ll definitely find someone skilled enough to do the task. The question is, can you trust that certain someone? Can you expect a sense of urgency of completing the job from the freelancer that you want to pick?
If you’re able to convey a sense of sincerity and reliability, then chances are the clients will choose you over the rest who ONLY talks about how good their skills are. Remember that people normally buy based on emotions. If they can FEEL your concern for them and they FEEL that they’re in good hands with you, then it’s as if you’re 100% guaranteed to get the job!
“If you’re looking for someone reliable and genuinely concerned about your welfare…”
“Handle the emotional side of things when trying to convince a client. Once you win the “emotional warfare”, you’re on your way to success!”
The things I’m sharing are based on experience. I have found these three techniques among many others have played a key role in making my services more enticing to the client.
If you’ve been getting a really poor response from your online job applications, then these are the techniques you can use to help you get a better footing in the freelancing world.
Although I had no credentials whatsoever when I first started applying online, getting picked for a job even with the thousands of competitors has never been an issue for me. These techniques will separate you from the crowd and give you an overwhelming advantage against the other online applicants.