Have you just started your freelance writing business and don’t know how to find clients?
You are not alone.
Most new freelancers start out like that. You decide to pursue your passion so you build a website, set up your social media profiles and start promoting yourself. Then you sit back and wait for the clients to come to you. After a while you may be looking at your empty inbox yet again and scratching your head as to why your amazing website and social media accounts have not bought any clients to your books.
The simple answer, you are one in thousands of freelancers. You need to put yourself out there again and again to land clients. You need to market yourself and make your brand visible so you stand out from the crowd.
Keep reading for tips on how to land clients and build your freelance writing business.
Pitching is the best way to land consistent and decently paid freelance writing jobs. You can cold pitch, warm pitch or pitch on job boards. But the moral is to pitch, pitch and then pitch some more!
It is hard work. You may find that you send out 50 pitches before you land your first client. However, you are not alone. I have done the same thing. Many freelancers have. Don’t lose hope or confidence. Pitching is a great way to land a client who will pay you decently, and not the peanuts you will find on content mills.
You don’t even have to pitch to complete strangers or far and wide. Look at local businesses, ask around with family, friends and colleagues. You may be surprised by who and what you find!
I enjoy browsing job boards for freelance writing jobs. It is something every freelance writer should do, whether a newbie or established.
Keep in mind that I absolutely do not mean content mills like freelancer.com where clients are trying to pay the cheapest prices they can.
I browse places like Gumtree, ProBlogger, Craigslist, Seek and LinkedIn. A good way to start is to set aside a little bit of time each week to search these job boards and apply for any jobs that appeal to you. Ensure you understand exactly what they are asking for, and offering in terms of pay!
Build your portfolio:
Naturally if you are a newbie freelancer building your portfolio can be difficult. You may not have any published work to add to your portfolio, however it is a great way to attract clients.
Having a great website where you blog regularly can be a great way to showcase your work.
Other ideas to create a portfolio are:
- Create some sample articles/blogs in specific niches to show on your portfolio.
- Guest post
- Volunteer work/unpaid work
Social Media as a marketing ploy:
An easy and effective way to market yourself as a freelance writer is through social media profiles. It is simple to set up profiles on the major social media platforms (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+). I use the usual ones, as well as Instagram and Pinterest. Make sure you update on them regularly to create a solid online presence.
Having a solid marketing plan is essential to building your business and attracting clients.
Grab your FREE copy of “The Simple Marketing Plan for Freelance Writers” below.
Guest post/write for free:
I know this goes against the grain when trying to build an income from your business. However, it pays off in the long run. If you guest post on popular sites then you are exposing yourself to hundreds and thousands of people, and don’t forget potential clients!
Another great way to build a portfolio and presence for yourself is to volunteer your services. Write for your local community, childcare, kindergarten or any number of places that will create exposure to potential clients.
Blogs and online publications
There are hundreds of blogs and websites out there that will pay you for an article or blog post. Sometimes this can take a while, as you write the article, pitch it to the publication then you have to wait for an answer as well as a date for publication. However, it is a great way to start building your portfolio.
Commenting on other peoples’ blogs is another great way of building an online presence. Make a goal for yourself, such as I will comment on 3 blogs a day, and stick to it. Make sure you are commenting on blogs that are relevant to your business, or the niche that you write in.
It all sounds like hard work, but you wanted to build your own business right? It takes patience, dedication, sweat, tears and lots of pitching and marketing. You will find clients, and you will start making money. It just takes time.
I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas on attracting clients for your freelance writing business. What has worked? What hasn’t? Have you found a different way to attract clients?
Don’t forget to grab your free copy of “The Simple Marketing Plan for Freelance Writers”. It will help you gain a clear picture of how to market your business to attract more clients.
Rachel specialises in writing for small businesses in the health, fitness, pregnancy and parenthood industries. She is a mum to 2 beautiful (and highly energetic) children and a registered nurse. She advocates for all women and mums and is passionate about building community and solid networks.