Reduce, Re-use and Recycle – Helping Build a Commercial Writers Portfolio

recycling symbol on old paperThe three “R’s” of environmental conservation are “Reduce, Re-use and Recycle” but the application of this trio can just as easily be applied to getting your commercial portfolio built up without having to have a commission from a FTSE 100 bluechip to make you look good.

Reduce the number of writing samples you have in your portfolio that deal with your contributions to the local church magazine or poetry competition. Commercial companies are not going to hire you on the basis of how many words you wrote nor any editorial credit you obtained for this type of publication. When you are looking for paid work, concentrate on targetting the market that your existing portfolio reflects and reduce wasted marketing effort on completely strange and disassociated sectors.

Re-use existing work that you have. I have been working and studying for over twenty years and have a wealth of stored documents that I have authored or had a hand in, and this includes compiling annual reports for publication with company financial accounts, tax guides summarising the Budget, a guide to contract law written by my law lecturer, numerous technical reports on personal and corporate financial matters not to mention my own meanderings.

It does not matter how old these samples are, they can be re-used and you can always polish your samples up by having them printed out on a glossy sheet of paper and some graphical work using a pop art program off the PC. It’s all yours, use it and work related, commercially orientated writing will hold more sway with a hard bitten capitalist looking to commission some copy than a summary of the marrow competition at the village fete.

Recycle your contacts and existing clients. I actively canvass my clients for permission to use them as referees and to use the work produced in my own marketing efforts. Look at this as developing a closer relationship with your existing clients and you will be surprised at how many will actively look to help you get promoted. This is in essence, good business for all concerned and the three golden rules of selling are simply – see the people, see the people and see the people.

Most of my work comes from existing clients so keep in touch with them. I also keep every piece of work I produce as it saves on research. I took a quickie assignment on today regarding cosmetic dentists in London and using a US commission as the basis, I made $18 for 10 minutes to produce 500 words. Never throw anything away on your computer as you can always resell it with some slight tweaking.