A big myth that many new freelancers have is that clients or publications will come running once they get published on a big site. While helpful, this isn’t always the case. Instead, here are my top tips on how to attract new freelance writing clients and get more paid work.
1. Don’t Go Big and Go Home
Getting published on Huffington Post, Forbes and Time is a pretty big deal, and it will certainly impress others. However, having one piece published on there won’t make freelance writing clients suddenly know who you are. The internet is crowded with information, so there is a good chance that big clients won’t even read your posts.
So, while I think getting published on high authority sites is wise, don’t bank your career on a home run. Instead, become a regular contributor on notable sites and write often.
2. B2B Writers Might Get More Leads
I have heard several freelance writers say that their guest post or article landed them more clients. I have had this happen, but it is not a normal thing for me. This is because I am a B2C writer, and they are B2B writers. In other words, I write directly to the consumer, and they write directly to businesses.
My articles might be advice on how to save money on your mortgage, which will be read by everyday readers, not businesses. A B2B writer would write a piece that was more directed towards how realtors could use content marketing to increase their leads. Who is reading their piece? Realtors who want to learn more about content marketing. Those realtors might use the steps listed in the piece, and they might think, “Hey, I loved your article, why don’t you just do my content marketing for me.”
So how can a B2C writer profit on this? Think about your current client list and what advice you would give them. For example, I’ve written for credit card companies and banks. If I wanted to attract more clients, I could discover what they are reading and then get my articles about attracting more customers with content in front of their faces.
See also: Do You Need a Freelance Writing Resume?
3. Become an Expert in Your Niche
I have had several writers contact me asking for advice, and yet, they still insist on writing everything they are interested about. Big businesses are not going to take you seriously if you tell them you write about dieting, dog care, and marriage advice. Pick one and focus on it.
This goes for other businesses too. You might be a talented graphic artist, web designer, or virtual assistant that can do everything. However, the more you specialize, the more you are set apart as an expert rather than just another freelancer. Try niching down and see how it works for you. From experience, I can tell you that my income increased, clients took me more seriously, and I didn’t have to hustle as hard when I focused my niche.
4. Write a Book
Authors are viewed as experts in their field. When you have your niche figured out, write a book on a topic in your niche. You don’t have to become a bestseller, you just need to have strong, solid content and a great cover.
5. Have a Site
Creating a website and writing content for that site is time-consuming, but if you are struggling getting freelance writing clients through job boards, then your own site could do the trick. Having your own site that showcases your talents in your niche and a “Hire Me” link on the top make it easy for potential clients to find you. You have instant credibility when you have a professional looking site.
If you want your site to be used to gain clients, then make sure you direct your content accordingly. It needs to be error-free, spam-free, and full of topics that they would want a potential writer to write on.
6. Synch Your Social Media Accounts
Utilize your social media accounts to win clients rather than to rattle off political rants. Let the world know exactly who you are and what you do with a line like, “Jamie Jones – Expert Credit Card Writer.” Find and follow the clients you want to work with and like and share their posts. Don’t be spammy about it. A reshare once a week and a like twice a week will put you on that company’s radar, especially if they are a smaller company.
7. Make Friends with Other Writers/Influencers
On one of the popular Facebook groups I am in, every time someone asks for a writer, others will recommend the same lady. This lady is friendly and active in the group. If you genuinely connect with other writers and influencers, then you could see a lot of new work coming your way. The key is to be genuine. No one likes to be used, and everyone’s guard is usually up when
How do you win influential friends? Find influencers that have time to email you back and who you genuinely like. I have a group of other writers and mommy bloggers that I love to talk to, rant with, and share all of their links. I don’t do it in hopes they will treat me the same, but because I value them for who they are.
8. Join Niche Facebook Groups
Where are your ideal clients hanging out on Facebook? Look for Facebook groups directed to your ideal client and offer concrete advice when asked about content. For example, if your ideal clients are dentists, then join groups for them.
You don’t want to join the group and start advertising your services. Instead, build trust by answering thoughtfully to questions that you are qualified to give an opinion on. If you have past client successes in content or engagement, sharing them can help inform while shedding light on your services.
9. Ask for Referrals
Email current and past clients asking for referrals. One way to do this is by simply saying, “I just want to thank you for being such a pleasure to work with. I am trying to increase my freelance business to full-time and was wondering if you know anyone else that needs content marketing.”
If this leads to more work, be sure to follow up with a thank you and perhaps a gift card.
10. Extend Your Networks
There is a very good chance that there are potential new clients in your extended network. Reach out to family and friends who can vouch for your work ethic and experience and ask them if they know anyone that needs a writer.
I know it is easy to want to hide your business from family and friends, but there is no need to be embarrassed. It can be frustrating when the people close to us think of our business as a hobby or the equivalent to working at McDonald’s, but don’t take it too personal. Usually people do not understand what you do, and a few respectful corrections can help them know what you do and who to put you in contact with.
In short, if you want to attract more freelance writing clients, you need to get your name in front of their eyeballs. What is your desired client reading? Which sites do they draw inspiration from? What social media platforms are they checking often? Brainstorm what and where your desired clients read and get published there.