Writing positioning – the secret to writing less and charging more.
Often, what separates experienced writers from beginners is their writing positioning. The online freelance writing world is like a shaken-up snow globe. Thanks to technological advancements, writers, editors, and businesses from all over the world are mixed together.
This global mesh has resulted, among other things, in a complete lack of pricing standards. As a result, you can find writers charging anywhere between 1 cent and over 1 dollar per word, which is over a 10,000% difference! How is that possible? The short answer is leverage.
In this article:
Table of Contents
The essence of leverage in writing
How much does someone need something, and how good is the next best alternative?
Competition is one of the cornerstones of freelancing. To succeed, freelancers need to stand out from the competition and look like the best alternative or, even better, the single solution.
But more than beating the competition is required. It’s equally important to figure out how much the other party needs to solve their content problems now. Then, if there are no consequences to remaining inactive, they won’t be in a hurry to move.
Think of businesses like locksmiths, plumbers, and electricians whose clients usually rush to solve their problems and are willing to pay disproportionately high prices to receive a speedy solution.
No one wants to sleep on the doormat in front of their apartment, nor chill while their toilet is clogged or their heating is broken during the winter.
Leverage in writing
As a writer, you can create leverage by educating your target audience about the opportunity costs of content and why taking action in the short term will bring them long-term benefits. I love this because it’s true.
You can find out the organic traffic of the top competitor and take a low conversion rate to highlight the potential benefits of creating content.
A scenario to create leverage
If a product is worth 50$, its page is attracting 100 visitors a month, and there is a low conversion rate of 2%, that would mean two sales are made every month and would net the owner 100$ of profit. If you want to take advantage of cognitive biases, you can go on and explain how every week of procrastination ends up costing the business 25$.
Writing positioning through content.
Is J. K. Rowling a good writer? Knowing her name is on some of the most famous children’s fantasy novels of all time eliminates the necessity even to ask this question. The proof is already there.
Content cements your authority. You don’t need to write seven volumes of Harry Potter to be perceived as a subject expert. Generally, you need to be better than your top competitors. To own a niche, you need to become the go-to source of information for it.
Dealing with competitors
If your competitors already seem to be seven volumes ahead of you, don’t try to write eight. Instead, pick your fights, change your angles, and niche down further. If you create content strategically, it can transform you from a generalist into a specialist.
A generalist tries to present himself as an authority on puzzles. A specialist focuses on a single piece at a time until they finally master the entire mystery.
Instead of trying to be an authority on sustainable development, which is a vast topic with many subtopics with limited overlap, try to master the subtopics one by one.
Example of writing positioning
Take sustainable development, niche down to sustainable economic growth, then to sustainable business development, then to sustainable fashion, then to sustainable fabrics, and finally to Dragon Bamboo.
Dragon Bamboo is a small enough topic to start building authority. Only when you feel you’ve saturated your subject can you grow out of it and into the next one, like Linen, Hemp, Organic Cotton, and ultimately out of the sustainable fabrics and into other topics within Sustainable Fashion.
Charge more and write less through writing positioning
How much someone wants to do business with you is directly correlated with how valuable they perceive your service to be. For writing, that boils down to the dream outcome the person wants to achieve, the certainty of them performing it, and the time and effort they will save by hiring you.
- How much will their dream outcome benefit them or their business?
- How certain is it that they will achieve it if they work with you?
- How much time will it take to achieve their outcome?
- How much effort do they need to make to achieve their result?
The higher the desire and the certainty, and the lower the time and effort, the more valuable your service is, and hence the more you can charge for it.
Experienced writers leverage these aspects to charge a premium.
Experts prioritize and orientate themselves to get a running start. They work quickly and effectively, and you can rely on them to deliver a supreme quality service. Moreover, they can help you clarify your dream goal and see new opportunities to create value for your business.
Beginner writers get these wrong all the time.
Beginners pester owners with repetitive questions that end up in back-and-forth ping-pong exchanges. They fail to deliver a service up to the expectations of the client. Novices overestimate their ability to execute and end up being late. They fail to see the big picture of the dream outcome and focus exclusively on themselves.
If you are a beginner writer, you need to choose a small enough niche to write in and create a name for yourself. Resist the temptation of jumping into wildly different projects and build up expertise. This will help the certainty with which you deliver tasks and lower the time you need for them. Ultimately, you will become a convenient asset for owners, and they will be willing to pay more to keep you around.
Final Thoughts on Positioning Through Writing
To charge more while writing less, you need to position yourself in such a way that creates maximum leverage for you in a business negotiation. This involves showing you are the right person for the job before the conversation even takes place, removing any doubts about the possibility of failure, and helping the clients understand how much benefits their business will get.