Most freelance writers get their start by hunting for projects on article pool sites or bidding for contracts on freelancer websites. While these are common and ideal ways to build your resume and learn new writing techniques, it can take years to generate a decent salary. Essentially, if you’re going to earn more for your services, you’ll need to look for your own clients.
Content marketing is vital to the success of businesses large and small. It helps build their brand, establish themselves as authorities in their industry, develop trusting relationships with their target audience, and generate new leads. As most entrepreneurs aren’t skilled in drafting consistent and compelling pieces, they outsource to qualified writers.
Worth The Investment
Though acquiring clients on your own involves a lot more work, it’s worth the investment. The price per piece on a content pool site or freelance writer job board is often lower because site owners have to profit first. Not to mention, you’re competing against thousands of writers that don’t mind taking a job for pennies on the dollar. However, when you scout and pitch to clients independently, you eliminate the middle man. You can charge more for your services, and you have more control over topics and deadlines.
Making The Switch
If you’re going to go from content pools and freelancer sites to acquiring clients on your own, you’ll need to strategize. As you begin developing your plan, there are some things you want to keep in mind.
Develop a Digital Footprint
A freelance writer’s job is to develop compelling content that draws the attention (and hopefully business) of target audiences. The best way to show your clients you can accomplish this task is by creating your own digital footprint. When anyone searches for your name, company, or relevant keywords, they should be able to find you on various platforms. What they see should also be high-quality, relevant, and consistent.
Before you start scouting for clients, take time to create a footprint online. You can create a website, start a blog, design an online portfolio, and open a social media account. Then, devise a marketing strategy to build your brand, increase your search engine ranking, and generate an authentic following.
Locate Potential Clients
While developing a digital footprint can generate new leads, you can acquire new clients faster by searching for them yourself. Decide what industry or niche you’re most interested in writing about. Then, do some research to find out what platforms are best to reach your ideal clients. Some popular places might include social media sites, online classifieds, and industry-related blogs where you write for free as a guest blogger. You can also put in an inquiry or pitch to clients directly through their websites.
A Solid Pitch
You’ll have to pitch your services and ideas to clients to gain their business. Sealing the deal will require you to do extensive research on the brand, its content marketing needs, and how your services can accommodate them. Then, you’ll need to condense all this information into a few paragraphs or a 5-10-minute speech to present via email or phone.
Preparing for The Meeting
Some clients will review your pitch or article ideas and be convinced to give your services a try. Others will want to schedule a meeting to discuss their needs further. Whether this meeting is virtual or in-person, you want to be prepared to close the deal.
Select a day and time where you’re free to talk for a while without interruption. Next, you’ll want to find something appropriate to wear. Whether you’ve scheduled a video conference or an in-person meeting, you want to give a good first impression. You can rock a nice pair of fitted jeans, a tank top, a cardigan or coat, and some booties for women and look fantastic. Rehearse your pitch, questions, and talking points in advance. Lastly, bring business cards, a resume, and show up on time.
If you’re a freelance writer interested in generating more income, acquiring new clients is the key to accomplishing this goal. Independent clients pay more than those found on content pool sites and freelance job boards. They also provide conveniences that are conducive to work-life balance. While it can take time to generate business, the tips discussed above can make the switch easier.