HOW TO WRITE A PERFECT FOREWORD

I’ve written dozens of books over the years.

(For both myself and clients.)

Most of these were your standard “information product” or “how to” type books.

For example, “How to write and publish your book on Amazon in 21 days and sell a 1000 copies.”

That type of stuff.

There’s a lot of moving parts which go into something like this.

One of them is writing your introduction or foreword.

As you can imagine, a lot of people struggle with this part.

This is usually because they have no idea what they should write, so most of the time they write some half-assed thank you, or “congratulations: for buying the book. But believe it or not, there’s a better way to do this…and also turn your introduction into a powerful selling tool.

You see, what you really want to do is get someone else to write your forward.

Preferably, you’ll want someone in your industry who is well known, and has at least a small following. Ideally, this person should be a type of “celebrity.” What they should do is write a foreword which reads almost like a type of bio. It should mention how the person met you, who you are, your achievements, and then briefly go over what the reader will to learn in the book, as well as the benefits they’ll get from doing that.

Now, at this point you may wondering why this is necessary…

Why go through the time and trouble of finding someone to do this for you?

(After all, unless you’re connected in the industry, this can be a major hassle.)

Well, the reason why is simple.

Writing this type of foreword creates MASSIVE credibility for you as a teacher.

It’s almost like a type of endorsement.

So instead of reading some boring, dorky introduction which doesn’t really mean anything…

…the reader starts your book off with a feeling of goodwill, and most importantly belief.

They believe in you as a teacher and also in what you have to say.

Not only that, it makes the material seem a lot better than it might actually be.

Alastair Walton

HAVE YOU DONE THIS TYPE OF JOB BEFORE?

From time to time you’ll get the following question:

“I’m looking for someone to do X, do you have experience with this type of project.”

If you haven’t done X before, then what do you say?

You obviously want to avoid lying…

On the other hand, you don’t want to say no and miss out on the opportunity.

So what you need to do instead, is “reframe” your experience.

For example:

1. The client asks if you’ve done X before

2. You tell them that you haven’t, but you’ve done Y.

3. You demonstrate that X and Y and similar…

…therefore, if you’ve done Y, you can pull off X.

Along with this, you should mention anything else that makes you the best choice for the project. This could include personal experience, experience with the topic or audience, or even previous experience with other clients.

Taking all this into account, you could say something like the following:

“I haven’t written an advertorial before. That being said, I’ve written dozens of pieces of long-form copy which follow a very similar structure. With this experience I could probably put together a decent advertorial for you.”

“What’s more, I also have experience in the XYZ industry which is highly relevant. I understand your customers and their challenges, and know this market inside and out. I’m more than happy to send over some samples which demonstrate this.”

Now, this doesn’t always work.

A lot of the time you’ll be up against people who do have the relevant experience…

…but a lot of the time you’ll actually get the job.

And this only needs to work once.

You see, the next time someone asks, you will have what they’re looking for.

Alastair Walton

DO YOU NEED TESTED RESULTS TO GET STARTED AS A COPYWRITER?

Getting started as a freelance copywriter is TOUGH

(No doubt about it.)

One of the biggest obstacles is having a proven track record of results.

It’s sort of a catch-22 situation.

You can’t get work if you don’t have results…

…and you don’t have results because you can’t get work.

So what’s the solution?

The solution is to quit worrying about this.

It isn’t nearly as important as you think, and you shouldn’t let this hold you back.

In fact, you don’t actually need results.

You see, copywriting clients generally fall into 3 categories:

1. Discerning Clients

About a third of potential clients are extremely picky. They vet copywriters rigorously, and if you lack experience, you’re highly unlikely to be hired. These people ask a million questions, conduct multiple interviews, and need a great deal of assurance. Unless you have a reputation (meaning the client is presold), you’re unlikely to get the job.

2. Easy Clients

Another third of clients are easy. These people want copy written and really don’t care who writes it. They’re looking for something quick and nasty, and preferably cheap. These are the people who you want to initially target. As long as your rates are low enough, you’re likely to get a shot with them.

3. A mixture of Both

The final third of clients are a mixture of both. These people aren’t going to make you jump through a million hoops. At the same time they’re a bit more discerning than the abovementioned clients. They’re not looking for some high powered copywriter, but they don’t want a complete amateur either. These are essentially your middle of the road clients who will consider working with you, even if you’re a total beginner.

That being said, getting hired by these people isn’t easy.

You still have to sell yourself and do a good job of it.

This means giving off the impression that you know what you’re doing…

…it also means having projects, samples, and testimonials available. 

Alastair Walton

P.S. The real lesson here is that you should always be working on your chops. Improving your skills should be priority #1. As long as you can write half way decent copy…and present yourself correctly…there’s a good chance you’ll actually get work.