Build Your Team with Freelancers (Or, How I Recruited My Copywriter)—Part 1

by | Feb 1, 2011 | How to Become a Business Coach

Back in 2009, as the Coaches’ Coach was picking up speed, I knew I needed to build a team to help me scale the business. I also knew that the company was too young to afford full-time, salaried employees. So I decided to leverage the skills and expertise of contractors who had their own businesses and could help me grow mine. Because the Coaches’ Coach was an online business, I knew rock-solid sales copy would be key, so I started looking for a copywriter.

I went to E-lance (now Upwork) and created an ad for a direct response copywriter. I received several applications back, including Katie Langston’s—the contractor who, twelve years later, is still one of our go-to copywriting contractors!

The relationship has been a fruitful business partnership—and has become a meaningful friendship, as well.

As you’re building your business coaching practice, I’d encourage you to identify areas where you can leverage contractors to help you grow faster and more effectively. Your focus should be on selling, coaching, and strategic planning.

Ask yourself: What are you doing now that you aren’t great at, or that is tedious and could be better handled by someone else? Where do you need additional expertise?

There is always a contractor who can help you.

In this two-part series, I’ll share with you the ad I wrote to attract Katie, the response that made me hire her, and what you can take away from what I’ve learned as you recruit and engage your own contractors.

In the second post in the series, I’ve invited Katie to share what has made the relationship successful from her perspective!


Ask yourself: What are you doing now that you aren't great at, or that is tedious and could be better handled by someone else? Where do you need additional expertise? There is always a contractor who can help you.

The Ad

Here’s the ad I used to attract the right kind of contractor. Feel free to swipe and modify as you see fit!

I need a writer to help me complete a 50-page ebook with some very strong “buy now” sales letter-type copy at the end.

The writer should have strong direct marketing/direct sales copywriting experience in the tradition of Claude Hopkins, Perry Marshall, etc.

I’ve already developed a draft of the ebook with a table of contents in place to provide a framework for the ebook. There’s a fair bit of content already loaded into the document. I have several other documents of my writings that can be drawn from to fill out the rest of the e-book including a 22 lesson email course. I also have several samples of the kind of sales letter that I’m looking for and details on what we’re selling into at the end of the document.

I will send these files to a shortlist of applicants:
• 22 lesson email course MASTER doc
• Sample sales letter_SHORT SALES
• Sample sales letter_Perry Marshall
• Draft of ebook

Many more projects in the pipe beyond this one if this project goes well!

Please send your BEST representative sales letter showing me how well you can sell in print!

The Response

This is what Katie sent back.

I’m Katie Langston, direct response copywriter.

One thing I really appreciate about your listing is that by invoking the names of Claude Hopkins and Perry Marshall, you’ve made it clear that you understand the value of effective, hard-hitting, emotional copy to drive sales. To that end, I think you’ll be interested to see some of the RESULTS my copy has produced for my clients…

A newspaper advertorial generated a 4 to 1 Return on Investment for a client in New Jersey

•One of my online, long-copy sales letters generated a 3% sales rate
•Squeeze pages that have generated 45% opt-in rates
•Email headlines I’ve written consistently receive 40%-65% open rates
•And more

You asked for my BEST representative sales letter. Let me send you one of my recent controls (attached).

In addition to direct response sales copy, I have experience writing ebooks, multi-step email mini-courses, and other long-form “advertorial” pieces that provide just enough tantalizing information to whet your prospects’ appetite–and then hit them with a strong call to action that moves them to RESPOND. I’d love to help you do the same with your 50-page ebook.

Since you’ve already written a draft of the book, and it appears as though you have more projects in the pipeline, I’m bidding this project at just $XXX. I think this could be a great opportunity for us both to get to know one another and see if a long-term relationship could come out of it.

Please feel free to contact me back via Private Message if you need additional information. I look forward to hearing from you soon!

To your success,

What made this compelling?

Here are a few things to keep in mind about why this was a great response, so that you can look for the same things when you recruit your own freelance talent.

She read my posting.

I could tell that this wasn’t just a boilerplate bid she sent to everyone. She tailored it specifically to what I’d written in the ad, and even referred back to it in multiple places. She took time and care to individualize her application for me—which told me she’d want to get to know our target audience and provide the same level of care in her work.

She offered proof points.

Whether you’re hiring a contract copywriter, salesperson, digital marketer, designer, virtual assistant, or any number of possible freelance positions, look for people who are results-oriented. I wanted a direct response copywriter, and this direct response copywriter took the time to demonstrate that she knew what I meant by that and could deliver results. Look for applications that are peppered with specific examples of success.

Her samples were great.

Always ask for samples. This is one of the best ways to gauge the kind of quality of work you’ll be getting. If someone doesn’t have a solid portfolio, pass them by.

She was willing to invest in the relationship.

Because I’d mentioned that this was an ongoing opportunity, she dropped her usual asking price for the chance to work together. Be wary if the price gets too low—this can be an indicator of poor quality—but I appreciated that she took it into account in her bid. And, indeed, she was willing to invest in the relationship, as twelve years of partnership demonstrates.

Being able to find, recruit, and retain top-tier contract talent is part of the “secret sauce” that helps high-performing coaches grow their practices. Begin to think about how you can build your own team with the help of freelancers!

For more great business-building strategies like this, download our FREE ebook, How to Become a Business Coach.

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