The Easy Fifteen-Minute Marketing Plan

You wake up, get that cup of caffeine, go through your morning ritual, then work through your daily ritual of writing. Marketing? Yea, that doesn't happen because you're busy. Yet if you have fifteen minutes to play Facebook games, you have plenty of time to locate new clients and more projects.

Just fifteen minutes – that's less time than it takes to run to the bank, get your mother off the phone, eat lunch, or exercise. With such a minimal investment in your career, why wouldn't you make time for it?

Here are just a few ways in which you can spend that fifteen minutes:

Send a letter of introduction.

There's at least one client you've always wanted to work with, right? That Holy Grail client, the one you think of as unattainable, is the first one your introduction should go to. Spend fifteen minutes writing a four-paragraph note.

The first tells that client why you're writing – to inquire about using you for freelance writing/editing project. The second is your background (briefly—and make it relevant to that client's business when you can). The third mentions something specific about that client's business, website, communications, whatever. The fourth asks for the job.

Fifteen minutes later, you have the bones of some ongoing communications.

Find potential clients on Twitter and LinkedIn.

You're spending time there anyway. Why not put that time to the best use? Use hash tags (#) in Twitter to find clients in your area of expertise. Join LinkedIn groups where those clients hang out.

Use something like a 15/2 rule – for every 15 messages you send, only two should be promotional. The rest should be interacting, retweeting others' good news, and getting to know your potential clients.

Follow up on your most recent sales.

This takes less time – five minutes perhaps. Go back to those clients whose invoices were just sent and ask if there was anything else you can help with. You might even suggest projects, such as "Have you ever considered a blog to get the word out to your customers?"

Send a "thank you" note.

If you've finished a client's project within the last month, mail them a handwritten thank-you note. Have your business anniversary coming up? Send a thank-you note to your regular clients and those with whom you'd like to work regularly. If you want to increase business, include a one-time discount in that note.

Add a signature line to your email.

How simple is this, yet how many of us include even the most basic contact information? Create a signature and add your slogan to it. One company I work with has their slogan as part of their email signature: "Enhancing your brand from every angle."

How would you spend your fifteen minutes of marketing?

Profile image for LoriWidmer
Professional writer and editor with over 15 years of experience in trade and business writing. Specialties in risk management and insurance.

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10 thoughts on “The Easy Fifteen-Minute Marketing Plan”

  1. Great post, Lori. And you’re so right that instead of playing games on Facebook for 15 minutes, you could easily be dropping a few emails or joining various LinkedIn groups. I’d also add that you can take some time by reading and commenting on other blogs (like this one!) in related industries. It’s a virtual form of networking.

  2. Thanks, Andrew! You’ve justified my blog habit. I owe you one. 🙂

    But you’re right — blog comments are a great way to build an online presence, and gain the attention of potential clients. I’ve actually gotten work from comments I’ve left on industry blogs.

    Ah Cathy, sorry to ruin your fun. LOL

  3. Good read; simplicity itself. Still very new to this writing industry. I am trying a new concept (for me anyway) called ‘Mental Parking’, where I take ideas for a marketing plan and mentally park them for later attention. Of course, this may well be that I’m a senior citizen and battle to maintain a train of thought without nodding off in front of the computer!

  4. All good points and I don’t really know which hashtag to use to find coaching clients, not other coaches, or people who want ghostwriting… not other ghostwriters… but other than that you’re right on and it’s a good kick in the rear for me.

  5. One of the things I struggle with most is marketing. When work slows down, I go out and do what’s needed but then I forget about it once work picks up.

    I’ve always struggled with creating a daily marketing schedule. A 15 minute schedule sounds completely doable though!

  6. Richard, I need a few more mental parking spaces myself. 🙂

    Anne, have you tried directories like Twellow? That can help you locate folks, too. And you can see what hash tags they’re using.

    Samar, it’s a struggle, I know! I was marketing like mad and juggling two projects and a proposal last week. The fifteen minutes paid off and the new projects are coming in, but that doesn’t mean I can rest. That’s the tough part — being consistent!

  7. This is useful information, and I’d certainly bookmark it for future reference.

    I spend time writing letters of introduction through ‘warm’ email marketing. However, it’s important to know and understand ‘who’ your ideal client is. Sending out many letters of introduction could backfire on you if you don’t know who your ideal client is.

    I also recommend LinkedIn too. I haven’t had time to check out the job listings today, but it’s on my schedule for this week. I also agree that it’s important to join groups where you know your ‘ideal clients’ hang out.

    In general, I think it’s important for writers to be helpful and considerate. Get to know people and then ask how you and your writing can help grow someone’s business.


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