How to Shut Up And Write Your Way to More Clients in 5 Steps (Even If You Aren’t Perfect Yet)

Perfectionism is the enemy. In my work with coaches, healers, and self-employed professionals, it’s the biggest, hairiest adversary of them all.

The good news is, there is a way out.

A way that neutralizes perfectionism, once and for all.

A way that dramatically improves your marketing results.

A way that helps people doing good work discover the best way of resonating and building rapport with their prospective clients.

We call it Shut Up And Write. It’s a chunk of time where you write marketing every week, come hell or high water.

Think of it as your workbench.

If you don’t show up to your workbench, nothing gets made.

But if you find a way to habitually show up to sit down, write, and learn one thing, why, then over time, you will get better at this ‘spreading the word about your work’ thing.

Why Shut Up And Write works
There are 3 main benefits for scheduling a 30-90 minute shut up and write appointment into your calendar each week:

  1. You get consistent
  2. Teaches you how to think
  3. Connects you with your unique way of doing things (your own wisdom)

More than taking another online course, reading a bunch of free articles, or resisting the fact that we must reach out to other people, and listen and engage with them in a genuine and caring way in order to create new clients, shut up and write works. Let’s take a look:

How to Shut Up And Write Your Way to More Clients

1 – Have conversations with 5 prospective clients every week

We need to talk about the elephant in the room. Sometimes newer coaches come to work with me who don’t have any clients. They’ve been writing an opt in page or a website for 2 years. And think they have a copywriting problem.

They don’t have a copywriting problem. They have a conversation problem! You need to be having private, one-on-one conversations with prospective clients every week to create clients. The truth is, this is scary and a lot of people try to avoid it by writing sales pages or fancy email sequences.

There are plenty of people happy to sell beginners the dream that they, too, can do a million dollar webinar and avoid the very human and often humbling experience of learning to sell in an ethical way. I am not one of them.

What to do instead: Tattoo the motto conversations before conversions on your forehead. Make a list of people who need what you do and make your #1 goal to get on the phone for conversations with them, one at a time.  Listen to what they want and what their challenges are. If you can help them, invite them to work with you.

Ask for money.

Another word for this is ‘sales’ and listen, I get it. Many of us got into our work to help people, not to be salespeople. Yes, and… you’re going to need to get over that.  I don’t teach this skill, but Matthew Kimberley does. He’s got a free ebook Five Things You Need to Do Every Morning to Get More Clients in 60 Days, here.

2 – Establish a shut up and write habit

Once you have the habit of having real, human conversations with your prospective clients one at a time, put a weekly shut up and write appointment in your calendar. Make it recurring. Start with 30 minutes. If you aren’t sure what to write, write freestyle about the opportunities you have, or make a list of people you need to reach out to for conversations. At first, you’ll use this time to make decisions about what you need to do next. The motto here: make writing time decision-making time.

3 – Decide your marketing message

This step is all about making clear decisions about what sorts of clients you want, and why they’d hire you and not the other guy.  Sit down and decide the 7 elements of your marketing message (we’ve got a course for that here) and then practice using it in your next revenue-generating project. You’ll never attract the wrong client again – and you’ll always be ‘on message’.

4 – Send content to prospective clients for 3 to 6 Months

Now’s the time to get serious about consistency. With regular conversations with prospective clients and a clear marketing message, pull together a list of prospective clients and communicate with them regularly as a group. Between your newsletter, video tip, image, webinars, Facebook groups, and in-person talks, you have a lot of options. Find the fit that is right for you. If you aren’t sure what’s right for you, take the What’s Your Content Personality? Quiz here.

5 – Ask your list of prospective clients for conversations

It takes the average business owner 3 to 6 months to get consistent in sending out an email newsletter to prospective clients. This is the same amount of time you need to focus on giving content before you ask people for their business. From here, write a simple 3-email campaign to invite the people on your list to conversations. Not only are the people on your list ‘warmer’ leads, they are also more likely to say yes to working with you

Want help getting started with a shut up and write practice – or getting back in the habit? Check out the call I’m teaching on Valentine’s day here. I’ll teach more on the 5 steps above, and share stories from real life business owners who have use this approach to create serious improvements to their income, clientele and lifestyle, by focusing on their writing.

Stella Orange teaches her clients how to effectively market their business by telling a better story in their marketing— the story of the hero answering the call to more. A professional copywriter whose writing has generated millions of dollars in sales, Stella knows that the story we tell in our marketing matters a whole lot, because on a fundamental level, it shapes how people think about themselves and what’s even possible for them. Three times a month, Stella hosts a 90-minute Shut Up And Write session via videoconference for members of her Write Club community. She is based in Buffalo, New York, where she lives with her husband, the Philosopher, and their dog, Chachi. Get a copy of Stella’s position paper The New Marketing: How to Create Clients Without Feeling Gross, Icky or Manipulative at


  1. Wait – can I assume the term “yet” in your title implies I’ll be perfect at some point? Mwah!

    • Stella

      We cannot guarantee this but it’s highly likely, Madame Alchemist.

      *Hip shimmy*


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