Writer’s Digest recently offered a free webinar titled “How to Land High Paying Writing Gigs in the Christian Market.” Presented by American Writers & Artists Inc., the webinar covered everything from the skills needed to succeed in the Christian business market, to writing and copywriting opportunities available, to tips on how to break in.
I’m not a Christian, but I signed up anyway to find out if a spiritual non-Christian would have a place in the Christian market. Turns out, I really don’t think I do. However, many of the tips shared can apply to marketing and copywriting for companies and non-profits, regardless of any religious philosophy. So if you’re not into the Christian thing, well, take what you want and leave the rest.
Copywriter, speaker and minister Joshua T. Boswell led the webinar. He has 11 children. He makes six figures on a part-time schedule. He’s certainly learned how to make effective use of his time.
Boswell began the webinar by explaining that Christian churches, non-profits and other companies are “losing souls” as people trend away from “typical” Christian values and away from organized religion. These non-churchgoers often seek other sources to provide structure in their lives, Boswell said, and that’s where the opportunity lies for targeted marketing.
Boswell explained that there is a lot of money to be made in corporate writing for the Christian market. Boswell disclosed that he can earn anywhere from $1,700 to $8,000 for one- to three-week projects working part time. Those are figures I’ve yet to see!
Boswell’s Top 5 Writing Opportunities:
- Media scripts. Radio scripts, content scripts, video sales letters. A content video gives information to teach or inform. It may include call to action. The video is used to generate sales leads. Scripts will pay $100 to $500 per minute (per page). Most scripts are three to five minutes/pages long.
- Relationship marketing. Writing e-mails to inspire people to take specific action. This type of marketing develops relationships with prospective buyers; converts “free names” into buyers; will cross-sell and up-sell buyers; will give ongoing value and service. Examples: auto-responders, advertorials, Sales e-mails. Projects pay $100 to $500 per e-mail, three to seven in a series. E-mails are usually less than 800 words.
- Social media. Boswell said that Christian companies need help in the social media arena! Text is short, simple, engaging. Social media targets groups. It is used to attract and engage new prospects; turn followers and “likers” into buyers; to give strong value to existing customers. The work: managing communities, writing messages/updates, write advertisements, leading discussions, turning engagements into content. A social media expert could earn up to $2,000 per month on retainer. Like!
- Internet content creation. Content for websites. Blog posts, web copy, etc. The purpose is to attract donors and buyers; engage readers so the company can keep selling them; develop trust and nurture relationships; educate, enrich, inspire to action. Content creation could pay $100 to $500 per piece, with retainer agreements possible.
- Direct response sales copy. The sales letter targets one reader at a time. This copy drives a person to take action. Each action can be tracked, so results are measurable. Companies could pay the sales letter writer $2,000 to $15,000 plus commission!
How to find these pot-of-gold clients? Boswell outlined a few no-brainer steps:
1. Choose an industry (financial planners, health, travel, etc. If you’re going the Christian route, find out if there is a Christian market in these industries. There probably is.)
2. Find a niche that is capable of cutting you a check; e.g., “real” companies, with professional websites, that are engaged in multiple marketing channels.
3. Find contact information to let those people know you are in business.
4. Contact prospective clients by phone or e-mail. Pitch your skills!
5. Become an expert in your niche.
The webinar continued with a Q&A session (which I skipped) and plugs for other training videos, which is about where I tuned out. However, Boswell shared one last worthwhile practice: identify your top 20 potential clients. I’m currently working on a similar exercise as I transition back to the world of self-employed. What are my dream clients, assignments or creative writing projects? Who knows – some of them just might become reality. Dream big!