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I read “Client Acquisition” by Chris Orzechowski and I learned how to get (copywriting) clients without sending a single cold email, even if no one has ever heard of me

Clients on-demand (as an introvert) – as promised by the book “Client Acquisition” (Chris Orzechowski)
Clients on-demand (as an introvert) – as promised by the book “Client Acquisition” (Chris Orzechowski)

If self-help/how-to books come alive by taking action, then the outcome is both a mindset shift and an action list. That’s what you get below. But before, an overview and a tiny summary of the book in one paragraph.

Tiny Book Summary:

Chris describes a predictable, repeatable system for finding high-paying copywriting clients, and he has developed it over the course of the last 11 years as a generalist copywriter, email copywriter, and automated ecommerce email marketing authority. This is his point of view based on his unique business experience, and his teachings are applicable to other industries and creative fields where client work happens.

Chris has sold over 1,000 copies of his book “Client Acquisition”
Chris has sold over 1,000 copies of his book “Client Acquisition”

Mindset shift

Chris is challenging your current belief system and says 1,

A day job is okay:

It’s okay to have a day job to support you financially while you work nights and weekends on your passion. Sean McCabe’s “Overlap” book 2 also comes to mind.

Solving client acquisition once and for all:

You can leave the day job you hate, be a full-time creative, and do what you want for the rest of your life, if you do the hard work now:

Put all your focus on learning how to get clients.

Understand client acquisition, master the skill, and benefit from it for the rest of your life.

Because…

When you know how to get (more) clients, you’ll “never have to worry about where your next client is coming from ever again.”

And then you can have anything you want in life.

So…

If you want to have a business, people have to know who you are.

And…

Client acquisition is a problem you only have to solve once.

So, reach out to prospects and win clients.

But how?

Well…

There are two ways to get clients:

  1. You go to them
  2. They come to you

Keep in mind, though:

The offer is king. You can’t sell a bad offer, even if you’re the best creative or copywriter in the world.

Cold email can work, but you don’t need it:

Cold email can work “when you have a more developed business”, with work samples, case studies, testimonials, results, actual client experience, and a deep understanding of your prospects’ pain points.

But…

You can have a thriving, huge multi-six figure, copywriting business without ever sending another cold email ever again for the rest of your life.

The war inside your head is holding you back:

You can be seen as an expert who charges what you’re worth.

The more you publish about something, the more content you create about a certain topic, the more people are going to know that you’re an expert in that thing.

You can become the most in-demand person in your industry, because you have a unique angle: there is ONLY ONE YOU, even though other people offer services that are similar to yours. Don’t lower your self-worth because of imposter syndrome.

Get over your self-limiting beliefs about what you can do and what you’re worth.

Because…

YOU are the prize:

It’s not your loss, if you didn’t win the gig.

If a client says, “No”, it’s their loss.

You need to believe, with every fiber of your being, that […] you are more valuable than you give yourself credit for.

The client can’t solve the problem without YOU. The opportunity to work with you is worth a LOT of money.

The work you produce is worth a lot of money.

You need to realize what you’re worth, otherwise you’ll always have a problem with client acquisition.

However.

Once you experienced that someone who was a stranger before paid you for your creative services, whether that’s copywriting, voiceover, or graffiti art, your belief changed. You went from zero to one. 3

Win:

“Winning takes care of everything.”

This is my favorite takeaway and a reminder of the human psychology:

When you’re starting out, people, even friends and family, may not understand what you’re doing.

You tell them that you’re offering your services as a freelancer to business owners you’ve never met, over the internet. They don’t get it. But once you’re swimming in an ocean full of clients and money, then people get it.

Which means, and this is true because I’ve seen it happening with reactions from my brother and father:

As soon…

…as you start bringing in cash, everyone will be on board with what you’re doing.

In a sales call, “have the client sell themselves on why they should hire you”. You ask questions and listen. You don’t babble. You sit back, listen, take notes, and ask more questions.

Questions like:

Kill the NEED to close the deal:

Don’t be needy when you’re closing the deal. “Neediness is the ultimate deal killer.” This is true for any form of relationship I can think of.

That’s why…

The person who needs the deal less is always going to win.

Consistency helps you get better:

Get started and improve 1% each week.

And…

Demonstration is how you get clients.

Build your network, demonstrate with content and stay consistent. You will be booked solid in no time.

‘Fast money’ and social capital through job boards:

Incorporate job boards in your acquisition strategy.

As a freelancer, you can flip full-time jobs from job boards into retainers 4. Clients who post on job boards are in IMMEDIATE need of help. That’s your chance, because established companies that post on job boards can pay you good money.

Every single person you meet can become an asset sooner or later.

Social capital is an insanely valuable asset, probably on par with the content you create to market your brand.

You just have to turn working relationships into friendships.

Pick winning horses:

Some people work with shitty clients, but it doesn’t have to be you.

Take on every single gig (whether it’s a good fit or not), when you’re starting out. But emancipate from that mode and leave it as you advance your career.

As a copywriter, you’re a sales multiplier, not a sales creator. That’s why you have to get good at picking winning horses. You have to get good at identifying which clients are going to succeed, which clients are growing, and which clients are surfing a wave and riding a rising tide.

Learn to decipher client words’ actual meaning:

A prospect may say something initially that makes you feel excited about working with them, but when you send in your proposal, they ghost you.

Sometimes you find out […] that the opposite of what they said was […] the truth.

It’s not only you trying to sell your service to clients, but also them trying to sell YOU on giving up YOUR time to take them on as a client. So, enter the conversation as if you had nothing to lose, so you can win (see above note: Kill the NEED to close the deal).

Contracts and Processes–yes, you need them:

You need a signed contract when you start the client-professional relationship. If the prospect doesn’t want to sign your contract, kindly refrain from working with them (it’s usually a red flag).

He didn’t explicitly talk about SOPs (standard operating procedures) but he was hinting at them by casually saying,

Pros have processes.

You’re doing cold outreach, because you haven’t specialized and positioned yourself in a unique way:

You look like every other freelancer because you’re lacking a unique positioning.

That’s why…

[…] as long as there’s nuance to your approach and philosophy to doing things, you’re going to make a name for yourself.

Specialization is not jail. You’re not locked up in your specialty for the rest of your life. Don’t feel that fear, because you will naturally evolve over time.

You need to pick something and run with it for a while.

Because if you don’t have any specialty, you’re not going to be remarkable.

You’re never going to be able to focus long enough to develop systems and processes that help you get repeatable, predictable results for specific types of clients.

If you want to escape the world of undercutting prices and racing to the bottom, “you need to climb to the top of the heap.”

If you are the only person on Earth who can solve their problem and you could do it better and more reliably than every other freelancer out there, you’re going to win the gig. Even if you charge 2, 3 or 5x as much, that’s just the way it works.

Making predictable income:

Retainers help you make a predictable income.

Do the math by breaking down your financial goal.

For example:

If you break down $100,000/yr down to the monthly level ($8,333.34,), weekly level ($2,083.34), or daily level ($297.62), it makes the BIG $100k less daunting and easier to approach. When you know the number, all you need to do is go out and make it happen.

Can you make $297 a day?

Probably. As a voice-actor, that would be one small gig.

Can you make $2,100 a week?

Maybe. This could be one okay-paid medium voiceover gig, or several small gigs, respectively.

Can you make $8,300 a month?

Hmm. Here it becomes interesting. One of my voiceover friends actually made that much money with one project for an Italian Booking.com commercial. She was very happy, as you can imagine.

So, yeah. Yes, you can!

Can you then make $100,000 a year?

Well, now that we’ve done the homework of breaking down the “holy” $100k, yes, absolutely. You can make $100,000/yr as a voiceover artist. It’s gonna be hard work, though. Surprise, surprise.

Hitting a number you’ve never hit before can be scary, but “it’s just numbers on paper. There’s nothing to be scared of.”

And…

It’s all about the math.

It’s all about breaking down the numbers and finding out how much you need to hit your target every month.

You need to figure out:

If you can figure that out, you’re going to have a very solid client acquisition plan in place that gets you paid and lets you live the best life you could ever imagine.

Don’t burn out:

Take time off.

Daily.

Weekly.

Monthly.

Yearly.

I personally do 7th-week sabbaticals where I take one week off every seventh week. 5

But the 6 weeks prior, I power through: Monday to Sunday.

I also take a month off in September each year and visit an island of my choice to be off the grid and have a month-long personal research trip. 6

Burnout starts creeping in when you stop taking care of yourself because money has become the most important thing in your life.

You are training for your own version of the Olympics:

To make more money and NOT burn out,

...you need to only work with your best clients. You need to take care of yourself. You need to exercise and to eat healthy. You need to go on walks and get outside in the sunshine and step away from the computer.

And you’ll even need to take time off from reading books and listening to podcasts from time to time. You’re not going to function at 100% with a constant stream of noise running through your brain.

[…] sometimes “more info” isn’t what you need.

You need to treat yourself like an athlete.

If you want to make a lot of money,

...you are training for your own personal version of the Olympics. Make sure you train accordingly and take care of yourself so you don’t burn out before you achieve victory.

That’s why the way forward is not to work more, but to…

...figure out ways to get more leverage on the work that you’re doing.

That means working with bigger clients who make more money by doing higher value things for them that produce a higher ROI that you could charge more money for.

Become “publicly anonymous” (or niche-famous):

Here’s the thing…

You become niche-famous by producing content and never stopping.

I published hundreds of articles. I have a YouTube channel. I’ve been on dozens and dozens of podcasts. I’ve written three books. I’ve published over 30 issues of my print newsletter. I have created dozens of online courses. I send out daily emails to my list of 11,000+ subscribers.

[…]

And as a result, I will never have to worry about clients ever again for the rest of my life. I actually give away clients every single week because I have more work than I could ever take on.

[…]

The way you become niche famous is by publishing. By sharing your work and the results you’ve been getting. You publish case studies. That is what’s going to get people to notice you and say that you’re actually good.

You need to become ultra-consistent with your content. You need to bang the drum and never stop.

[…]

This is what compounds over time.

Becoming Niche Famous is slow at first. But it accelerates exponentially. And eventually you reach a point where you have more demand for your services than you could ever fill.

This is not an easy road, but it’s doable when you’re not full of shit and actually doing the work.

Because…

When you do do the work, and you sweat and struggle, then marketing “simply” becomes a matter of sharing what you’ve been working on, or, in the words of Gary Vaynerchuk:

Document, Don’t create. 7

And I advocate for that.

My weekly {Sunday Truth} newsletter is an example of that: 111+ weeks of showing up each Sunday and documenting how I run my voiceover business, produce original stories and building my dream company (suse.la), while trying to survive in a pendulum of existential angst and lust for adventure!

⭕ Action list

Chris is recommending the following to-do items:

And the last action item…

Extra notes

The book clearly serves as a marketing piece for both Chris and his network, which explains the affordable price of currently $5. He mentions his people and links to their websites throughout the book, and at the end there’s an attempt to upsell to his higher-tier and premium offers, which is all fair and okay and smart; you gotta offer what you got in store at reader’s peak attention, right?

His affiliation and connection to Copy Chief (Kevin Rogers) also shines through, which, again, is okay for me, although I experienced the Copy Chief community and their job board as not as great as Chris describes it, which is why I left the Copy Chief community back in January 2022, if memory serves. It wasn’t my place. For Chris, it is, and that’s good for him.

I want to mention the bonus videos that come with the $5 purchase of the book. I don’t know why he included the videos. Maybe out of insecurity that the book wouldn’t be valuable enough, maybe because he really wanted to hit home and go the extra mile. My guess is the latter. Chris has built up his confidence over the past years, so the latter makes sense. But, as he mentions in the book, imposter syndrome can creep in pretty much anytime, even for established and more seasoned professionals in the field. It might as well just be a way to sell his One-Person Agency offer, who knows?

My takeaways from the bonus videos…

Bonus 1: 7 ways to get a client in the next 7 days

  1. reach out to former clients
  2. reach out to unconverted leads
  3. ask current clients for referrals
  4. reach out to other copywriters in your network
  5. reach out to other non-copywriting service providers in your network
  6. search for a gig on a job board
  7. make a post on social media

Bonus 2: The Perfect Portfolio

Explain the context of your portfolio pieces when sending them to a client.

Bonus 3: The Perfect “Client-Getting” Website

Chris presents his own two websites, theemailcopywriter.com and orzymedia.com, and the one of his website designer Eddie Biroun, mrbrandbuilder.com, as the perfect client-getting websites.

Bonus 4: 9 Most Profitable Niches

  1. financial market
  2. health
  3. hobbies
  4. SaaS (and tech)
  5. ecommerce
  6. digital courses
  7. launches (it’s not a type of industry but a type of product)
    • you don’t just have to niche down or specialize by a particular product type or a particular industry type
  8. email marketing
  9. list management

Bonus 5: 5 Best Copywriting Job Boards

  1. Upwork
  2. LinkedIn (and Facebook)
  3. Indeed
  4. Craigslist
  5. Copy Chief

Bonus 6: How to Become a High-Ticket Email Marketing Manager

This was an hour-long video.

And I made these notes.

Value > Your Time:

The value that you’re providing to your clients is not necessarily tied to the time it takes you to do it.

You get paid based on the value you bring to a client.

Copywriters have trouble charging more, because…

If X changes, Y has to change too…

The ONLY way to double your rates is by 2–5x-ing the value you bring to the table.

It’s not about how many hours, words or emails you write.

Some projects are worth 100x more than others.

But…

There’s ONE service clients will always pay a premium for:

Behavior-based email sequences. 23

Become a linchpin (via Seth Godin’s book):

The only way to get what you’re worth is to stand out, to exert emotional labor, to be seen as indispensable, and to produce interactions that organizations and people care deeply about.

Make your service a repeatable product:

You’ll never earn what you want if you’re doing custom projects from scratch each time.

One-Person Agency > Freelancer:

A one person agency is someone who charges for outcomes, not deliverables. They’re someone who gets paid agency fees even if they don’t have a team.

And then he started pitching his One-Person Agency offer from around 38 minutes in to the full hour, followed by a Q&A segment.

Bonus 7: AMA Call Recording

An Ask Me Anything call with students. I only made highlights in Descript while listening. You gotta buy the book to access it, or you can watch it here on Vimeo free of charge 🤷‍♂️. 24

Conclusion: what’s my takeaway?

Chris’ non-bullshit approach to things is what I take away, and it’s what he’s been showing throughout his teachings and marketing pieces.

I bought several things from Chris, like his Quick & Dirty Sales Letters, his Make It Rain Book, Scale While You Sleep, and his flagship course Email Copy Academy. I was also subscribed to his monthly Make It Rain newsletter for a bit, back when it was still a physical print newsletter for international, non-U.S. subscribers like me.

Chris is solid.

His teacher’s past always shines through.

And he wants you to succeed.

His attitude can sometimes seem rough and harsh and maybe offensive, if you are subscribed to his emails (which I recommend) you know what I mean, but it could be the sociocultural upbringing in East Coast New Jersey, where people are or can be like that. Me coming from Berlin (East Berlin) I sympathize with his blunt way, but that’s because Berliners are known for their straight “naughty mouthpiece” 25 and I’m no exception to that. Straight and blunt, but always from the heart.

So…

Buy the book!

(yep, don’t wait. Don’t postpone. Do it. Do it. Do it.)

Okay, that was enough pushy-pushy agitation.

I’m out.

Take care.

And leave Chris a positive review on his book, if it was indeed a positive experience for you. For me, it was.

Thanks, Chris!

Oh...

(One last thing)

The Golden Question (?)

Chris promises to deliver a predictable, repeatable system to acquire clients, so you only have to deal with this problem once, solve it, and never deal with lack of clients again.

Chris is a 7-figure business owner through email copywriting, so clearly his system worked for him.

But will I never have to worry about client acquisition again when applying his teachings to my voiceover business?

Maybe.

We will see.

His approach is not entirely new, and that’s okay.

Because, in a nutshell, he says:

  1. Have an internal list of fans (people that like you and your service) and grow your list
  2. Have one external channel that you consistently serve, interact with, and provide value to (e.g., answers questions) for 12 months straight, and then start serving another channel to eventually build a “Kraken Business”

So, his approach is a mixture of content marketing to new people and pleasing his existence audience (via email).

Now get your copy, while it’s still only a ridiculous five bucks!

Get his $5 book “Client Acquisition”: theemailcopywriter.com/cav2/

You really can’t go wrong because Chris offers a 100% money-back guarantee as well, if you really didn’t get any value out of it, which I doubt.

In the meantime, I’ll try to apply his teachings to the voiceover world.

While having read through it once, or rather listened to it 26, I’ve been enjoying the mindset shift 27 that he’s teaching there.

I hope you’ll enjoy the book too!

Now go make some more money.

And let’s wish each other...

Good success! 🔱 😃 🔆

If you’re in need of my services, please fill out my contact form, to ensure a successful outcome based on my creative process.

In the 4-step form, I’m going to ask for:

  1. Booking requirements
    • 🇺🇸🇩🇪 language: German or English
    • 👩‍❤️‍👨 voice gender and age
    • 👨‍💼 additional services (if needed): copywriting, translation, ready-for-audience (edited + finished) voiceover delivery
  2. Additional details + Script
    • 🐥 project name
    • 📜 project description
    • 📝 script
    • 🔢 script length (words)
  3. Usage
    • 📢 broadcast audience size
    • 🌏 usage of recording
    • 🚚 turnaround time
  4. Money matters
    • 💰 budget

I can help you build trust, create an audience, and establish your brand if you fill out my contact form.


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  1. i’m saying it in my own voice–surprise, surprise–but occasionally i throw in a quote by Chris when i like it a lot and i can’t say it better than he does; and he’s an excellent writer and storyteller! ↩︎

  2. The full book title is “Overlap: Start a Business While Working a Full-Time Job” and Sean has gone offline (nobody knows where he is 🤷‍♂️) and his official website for the book, OverlapBook.com, too. I recommend reading this overview at Goodreads or read the review and takeaways by Austin L. Church or google/duckduckgo “Sean McCabe’s Overlap book”. And if you miss hearing Sean’s voice (I do) you can listen to the interview he did at The Remarkable Business Show Episode 7: Interview with Sean McCabe, author of Overlap Book. ↩︎

  3. I remember, I had my first paid voiceover gig on Voice123 in November 2021–it was my 12th audition, and back then I was doing voiceover part-time. I got paid, which is good, but the communication was awful, a harrowing experience. Still, I convinced someone who’s not my mum or dad about the worth of my voiceover skills, and that was very satisfying. I was proud. The next audition that led to a booking was no. 38 in February 2023. And now I’m in the phase where I’m auditioning every day (if there are auditions), to get the reps, and solidify my strengths and improve my weaknesses, so that my voice-acting becomes as strong as or even stronger than my copywriting. ↩︎

  4. “A retainer is simply a copywriting deal where you are going to do a predetermined amount of work for a predetermined fee every month” p. 96 ↩︎

  5. I’m currently, right now (Sunday Feb 26th) on the last day of my 2nd seventh-week sabbatical. That’s why I was able to indulge into Chris’ book so much. I love that sabbaticals allow me to do that! ↩︎

  6. I’ve done it in 2017 (Cuba) and 2018 (Madagascar). I’ve done it in 2019 (traveling to Morocco, Portugal, Spain, France, USA, and UK for 4 months; although it was a long business trip actually). I skipped 2020 (thank you, Covid), and 2021 (thank you, C.), and I did it again in 2022/2023 (Syracuse, NY, USA; although I wasn’t off the grid, and I was on a love mission. But that’s a topic for another story). In 2023, I wanna to get back into my September trip rhythm, and it’s probably going to be Brazil. Not an island exactly, but still exotic and a friend of mine is going to get married there; so a good excuse to be there. ↩︎

  7. Gary Vaynerchuk: Document, Don’t create: Creating Content that Builds Your Personal Brand ↩︎

  8. a collection of people who like you and the work you do–and grow it ↩︎

  9. and grow your own network, and always be adding nodes to your network ↩︎

  10. even work for-free but ask for 3 referrals instead of payment (ideally both–payment and referrals–of course) ↩︎

  11. a repeatable, predictable system for client acquisition ↩︎

  12. the “Hansel” effect, so people will see and respect your consistency (it’s free advertising for your services) ↩︎

  13. instead of reaching out cold (outbound) ↩︎

  14. actual friends, or business connections, or professional acquaintances ↩︎

  15. content is a great asset that you own and earns you money ↩︎

  16. publish content that demonstrates your expertise ↩︎

  17. which is his way of saying a platform or channel or place where you consistently interact and provide valuable content to, before adding in another platform (another arm of Your Kraken) ↩︎

  18. PICK WINNING HORSES! ↩︎

  19. before you seal the deal ↩︎

  20. so it stands out ↩︎

  21. and break it down: $200k is $16,667/mo ↩︎

  22. a.k.a. super well-known in your industry, but no-one in the general public would recognize you on the street. That’s especially true for voice actors, since nobody sees your fucking face when you’re performing. It’s one of the things that makes voice-acting so appealing to me, as opposed to being a screen actor, where every idiot on the planet knows your dick size and every wrinkle in your goddamn face. I prefer to stay “publicly anonymous”; it is calmer and less stressful. ↩︎

  23. A behavior-based email sequences is an email sequence that is capable of making money for a business forever. It’s a true asset. ↩︎

  24. Vimeo: Bonus #7 - AMA Session with Chris Orzechowski (Client Acquisition Book) ↩︎

  25. or “kodder snout” (German: a Berliner Kodderschnauze as we like to say). There aren’t many resources offering a definition of “kodder” but I found this one at educalingo.com ↩︎

  26. using an A.I. Bart Simpson voice (Nancy Cartwright) via Descript ↩︎

  27. while listening to focus music from lofi.co which makes reading more pleasurable ↩︎