Smiling Tree Writing, like most businesses, is constantly evolving. When I first started, I only wanted to write newsletters, and my rates were just about laughable. I quickly discovered there is a much larger market for writing services than email newsletters, and that my time and knowledge are valuable, and adjusted accordingly.
As time goes on, I am learning more about the problems businesses face that I can solve. More importantly, I am learning more about who benefits most from my services. It’s one thing to read about how important it is to find your RIGHT people, or to learn about addressing all of your business communications to your ideal customer but it is entirely another to actually find a couple of those folks. Business communications are important in keeping everyone connected to your business in the know about what is going on. Telecommunications plays a big part in business growth and connection with other businesses, click here to find out more about this and see how it can impact your business.
In the first few years after college, I applied for hundreds of jobs. I could visualize myself working happily in any of them – from managing a retail store in a mall to working in an office, answering phones. I imagined that any decent paying occupation would suit me just fine. It took a long time to realize that is not the case.
In a similar way, when I first started Smiling Tree, I imagined that I could work with just about any client who was honest, had a business that needed stuff written and would pay me. It did not take long to realize working with clients is similar to finding a job where you can be happy. Most often clients who have found working with me boosts sales and saves time are business owners who:
understand the value of great content.
know a bit about content marketing and establishing relationships.
enjoy sites like Facebook.
are perfectly capable of doing what I do themselves, but
respect my expertise.
are willing to relinquish a modicum of control, once trust is established.
I have worked with other writers, for sites like Textbroker and for people who just need one article written or who just want a little advice. None of those are bad, but I have found that when a small business owner allows me to work with them as a partner, in an intense way, I have fun and they sell more stuff.
I now have two clients who fit the description of “ideal.” In each case, the business owner has begun by hiring me to provide just one or two services, felt good about what I brought to the table and hired me to work more as a member of a team. Both have chosen to pay me on a retainer basis for a set of services that I provide monthly.
In 2011, the business model for Smiling Tree Writing is changing. Instead of simply writing proposals and endlessly marketing my services, I am going to accept 12 retainer clients. Each one will get 1-2 full days per month of my time, plus be able to contact me as needed for consultation.
Limiting the number of clients I accept will allow me to provide stellar service, and will leave flexibility in my schedule so that clients can contact me when they need to. Depending on what is needed, I will write blog posts, web content, articles for print publications, newsletters, set up and maintain business Pages on Facebook, help you understand if Twitter should be part of your strategy, or whatever else comes up.
Retainer clients can expect help in developing and executing a marketing strategy that includes fantastic written content. I have already filled two of the 12 retainer spots. That leaves space for 10 Special People.
Are you looking for a professional to work closely with you? Someone who cares about your business, yet sees things from a more objective viewpoint than an employee? Are you aware of a business that could use some help with putting together a marketing plan?
These retainer spots will fill quickly, so if you are even vaguely interested, please contact me. I will be happy to talk with you about your needs and my services.