Two days ago I received an email that started with ”I’m contacting you today for a rather unusual reason.”
Well, that didn’t sound like a regular business inquiry. But since the email had not been banished to my spam folder, I gave the author the benefit of the doubt.
He introduced himself as a technical writer, who also received a rather unusual request. A potential customer approached him to write copy for nutritional supplements. As he had zero experience in writing for the health market, the writer was surprised by the inquiry.
He turned to me because I write for the health industry and asked if I was open to helping the client in exchange for a finder’s fee.
My Answer: “Yes.”
I’m happy to pay a 15 percent referral fee of the total project cost for the first assignment.
However, there are a few caveats:
(1) The potential client and I must reach agreement on terms, such as price and deadlines. In addition, the client must sign my quote and pay a deposit.
(2) I reserve the right to decline a project for any reason. But here are some examples on why I’ll say “No.”
- A few years ago, a prospect asked me to write copy for an energy drink named after an illicit drug. I declined. I didn’t feel comfortable with the idea. So I may pass on writing for a product that’s makes me uneasy.
- I’ll decline a project if the prospect wants to include copy that violates FTC, FDA or similar regulations or laws.
- The prospect has a bucket full of unresolved complaints with the Better Business Bureau. Sorry, but if he treats customers poorly, he’s not going to treat vendors any better.
“What about writing beyond your specialties?”
Occasionally, I’m asked if I will write for markets outside my niches of B2B and health. It depends on the product or service. I don’t write for the fashion market because it just doesn’t interest me — much to the chagrin of my wife.
But I have written for a number of other sectors, including real estate, hospitality, publishing and non-profit. If in doubt, drop me a line. I may be interested.
To sum up, if you’re a fellow writer or other marketing colleague who has received an inquiry for a project you don’t want to take on, then please contact me. You could make yourself some easy money.