by Chris Bibey
It is easy to show people how to make money through freelance writing. After all, once you have clients, the writing part usually comes a bit easier. In fact, many freelance writers will openly admit that they have a more difficult time marketing their services than the actual writing process. If you are going to be successful, you need to learn how to find freelance writing clients. From there, your writing ability will take over, and you can do your thing.
Every freelance writer finds clients in their own way. I have my own strategy for doing so, and it is safe to say that it is much different than that of many others. With that being said, there are basic steps and details that will allow you to get a good start. Let’s take a look at a few now.
1. If you are new to freelance writing, start with a basic website. This should include a bio, contact information, and samples if you have them.
Over time, your website will climb in the search engine rankings if you put time into this part of your business. In turn, clients will begin to find you instead of the other way around. Imagine how much easier this will make things on you.
With a website you always have somewhere to send potential clients that you speak with on the phone or via email. Remember, the days of fax and snail mail are gone. A client is going to want to see information and samples now, not later.
At this time, I do not rely on my websites to obtain business nearly as much as I used to. With that being said, my blog, ChrisBlogging.com, brings in a lot of prospective clients. As you probably know, starting a WordPress blog is a simple process. Although I do not have many technical skills, my freelance writing blog was up and running within an hour or so. All it takes is a hosting account, domain name, and a few minutes of time.
2. Does cold calling sound like something that belongs in a sales office? You are right in thinking this. There are many sales people that make their living by cold calling potential clients, and hoping to convince them to buy on the spot or sometime in the near future. Believe it or not, cold calling is a great way for freelance writers to find new clients as well.
Before you do this, you will want to have a market in mind, as well as a “sales pitch” that you will use. Yes, cold calling for the first time can be a terrifying experience, but once you reel in your first client, you will become addicted. People can ignore emails, but when you call them on the phone it is hard for them not to listen.
With my current workload, I do not cold call nearly as much as I used to. During the first few months of my career, it seemed as if cold calling was all that I did. Even though it can be frustrating at times, when you finally turn a call into a client you will realize what all of the hard work was for.
One of my first cold calling successes was with a local insurance company. I have always had an affinity for this industry, so when I put together a “cold call list” I included as many insurance agents and companies as possible. After working through several names with no success, a company no more than a couple miles from home hired me to write copy for a marketing brochure. The money was not the best, but it showed that cold calling does have a place in the lives of freelance writers.
3. Cold emailing is a relatively new sales method. While I am not a big proponent of this, many freelance writers have told me that they are quite successful with this way of doing things.
If you are going to send out unsolicited emails, you need to make sure they are as personal as possible. The bottom line is that spam is not going to get you anywhere. If you send out enough emails, the only place it will get you is in trouble with your web host. If cold emailing sounds appealing to you, be unique and personal with each message that you send. Tailor the message to the person you are contacting.
Sending a cold email can be difficult, especially if you do not know what to say. In my opinion, you want to keep things as personal and brief as possible. As you can imagine, this can be quite a challenge. A basic cold email template may look something like this:
I recently came across your company’s website, and wanted to introduce myself as a freelance writer specializing in your industry. With over five years of experience in the (fill in the blank) industry, I feel that I could be an asset to your company.
Do you ever hire freelance writers? If so, would you be interested in taking a closer look at my resume or samples?
Thank you for your time and consideration. I hope to hear from you soon.
4. Job boards and bidding sites offer a wide variety of freelance writing jobs. The biggest complaint with these boards and sites is that many of the jobs are either low paying, or simply do not exist. There is no denying that you will run into deadbeat clients and low paying gigs, but as a business oriented person you need to learn how to siphon out the bad and only apply for the good jobs.
Some of the most popular job boards and bidding sites for freelance writers include:
From Fortune 500 companies to small websites, everybody needs writers. Use the sales and marketing methods above to find enough freelance writing clients to keep you busy day in and day out.