Are you struggling to find freelance writing clients? You're in the right place!
Whether you're just learning how to start freelance writing or you're an experienced pro, finding high-quality clients can be challenging. Luckily, there are some strategies you can employ to make the process more effective.
In this article, you'll learn 7 simple and effective tips to find freelance writing clients and grow your business.
7 Tips to Find Freelance Writing Clients
Whether you're a copywriter, content writer, or ghostwriter, freelance writing clients are crucial to growing your business. But getting clients takes work, especially when you're just starting out.
If you're trying to ramp up a slow period or just aren't sure where to start, try these tips to find freelance writing clients.
01. Create a Portfolio
It's not enough to call yourself a freelance writer. You have to prove it — and a freelance writing portfolio is the way to do it.
A writing portfolio:
- Positions you as a professional
- Showcases your experience, writing style, and ability to adhere to different guidelines
- Builds credibility and trust with potential clients
- Helps potential clients decide if you're the right fit for their brand or project
Put together a portfolio of your best writing samples to showcase your writing skills and experience. Ideally, you'll be able to include samples from projects you've completed. However, if you're just starting out or hoping to attract clients in a new niche, you may have to create some new samples tailored to the type of work you're looking for.
Now, where should you house your portfolio?
Sure, you can create PDF samples or share links to published work, but a writer website is your best bet.
Your website should look professional, but it doesn't have to be anything fancy. You can make it as in-depth as you want. Have dedicated pages for your services and portfolio or keep it simple with a landing page that highlights your work.
02. Build an Online Presence
A social media presence works hand-in-hand with your freelance writer website and portfolio. Your website and portfolio are the foundation, but social media profiles help you reach and engage with other writers and professionals. They also make it easier for potential clients to find you.
While it may be tempting to go all in on every platform at once, it's better to pick one or two to start.
Trying to be present and engaged on multiple platforms at once can be overwhelming. Be strategic with your selection and pick the platforms that cater to your target audience and niche.
Tip: If you plan to eventually incorporate other platforms, go ahead and claim your account name so it's available when you need it.
Once you've created your social media profiles, post consistent content and engage with your audience regularly.
In addition to responding to comments and messages, explore and engage with other writers, brands, and users in the industries you serve. Doing so will help build your professional audience and attract new clients.
03. Showcase Your Expertise
Whether you're a veteran freelancer or just getting started, it's important to become an expert in your niche or industry — and find ways to show clients and prospects that you know your stuff.
So, how do you do that?
Well, for starters, you really do need to know your stuff. While you can certainly “fake it until you make it” in many areas of freelancing, it's absolutely essential to have the knowledge and skills to back up what you're selling. After all, a client-freelancer relationship is built on trust and the belief that you'll deliver results.
Your knowledge and skills are your best marketing tools, so use them to your advantage. Not sure how to do that? Experiment with the ideas below until you find one (or several) that work for you.
- Start a blog and provide consistent, value-driven content for your target audience
- Post tips and industry news on your social media channels
- Write guest articles for respected websites and publications in your niche
- Participate in industry forums or professional groups
- Apply to be a guest on a relevant podcast
- Use HARO to connect with journalists and become a source in a future article
Tip: Always be willing to learn and grow! Read industry news and personal development books, try new strategies, and fine-tune your skills. Building your expertise helps grows your business and your income.
Read This: Why Freelance Writers Should Have a Blog
04. Start Pitching
Unfortunately, freelance writing isn't a “build it and they will come” situation. It takes work to find clients, especially when you're just starting out. In other words, be prepared to pitch your services a lot.
Your marketing plan is part of this, but you'll also need to develop a pitching strategy. As a writer, you have a few different options on who to pitch. Depending on your goals, you may decide to pitch publications like newspapers or online magazines, brands within your niche, or a mix of the two.
Either way, your pitch strategy should start with some research.
If you plan to pitch magazines, newspapers, or online publications, first make sure they're accepting submissions. Then research the publication to make sure your ideas are a good fit and that your writing style matches their guidelines. Once you have a better idea of their expectations, come up with some article ideas and follow the guidelines for submission.
If you plan to pitch brands directly, you'll need to get to know the company and identify its needs.
- What kind of content does the company already have?
- How can you improve it?
- What are the company's goals?
- Can you help reach those goals, and if so, how?
- What makes you uniquely qualified to work with them?
Once you can answer those questions, you can start crafting your pitch. To make it as effective as possible, it's essential to get familiar with cold emailing strategies.
05. Make the Most of Existing Relationships
Current clients are one of the best ways to find new freelance writing clients. Constantly impressing your clients offers two major benefits:
- They're more likely to become long-term or repeat clients.
- They're more likely to recommend your services to their professional network.
Both of those things are good for business!
While client referrals do happen naturally, it never hurts to be proactive. In addition to asking for a client testimonial or Google review, see if they are willing to refer you to their peers.
If you don't want to ask outright, let them know you have room on your schedule for additional projects if they know of anyone who may need your services. You could even offer existing clients a referral discount to incentivize and thank them once their referral has signed a contract with you.
Long story short, make an effort to build happy, lasting relationships with your current clients. It pays off!
06. Network & Build Relationships
Speaking of building relationships…
The idea of networking may make you cringe but it can be pretty powerful in growing your business and professional network.
In addition to meeting potential clients, networking provides an opportunity to meet like-minded people on a similar path as you. It can even lead to mentorship opportunities. And even if the people you meet while networking don't become clients, they may send referrals your way.
Here are some ways to find freelance writing clients using networking:
- Reach out to local businesses that may benefit from your services
- Contact marketing agencies about potential partnership opportunities
- Use social media to engage with brands and other freelancers
- Make connections with contacts on LinkedIn
- Attend virtual and in-person networking events
- Participate in online forms with other professionals
Networking doesn't have to be scary or overwhelming. Do what you're comfortable with, whether it's starting small with one or two of the ideas above or going full social butterfly. Either way, networking can increase your visibility and attract new clients.
07. Utilize Job Boards
If you've ever searched for a new job, you're likely no stranger to online job boards. While they're a popular option for part-time and full-time positions, they can also be used to find freelance writing clients.
Many popular job search websites have expanded to include remote and freelance positions since the pandemic. Browse sites like Indeed, JobsHQ, and ZipRecruiter to see what's out there, or use LinkedIn's job board feature to search for available positions. There are also job boards specific to writing, such as ProBlogger and SmartBlogger.
Another option is to set up a profile on a freelance platform like Upwork or Fiverr, which helps connect freelancers with companies looking for their services. There are definitely pros and cons to using these types of platforms, but some freelancers have been quite successful using them to find clients.
If you use Upwork, Fiverr, or a similar platform, make sure:
- Your profile is professional and showcases your skills
- You follow the rules and guidelines set forth by the platform
- Each proposal is tailored to the specific job posting
- You trust your gut — if the pay seems low or the client is sketchy, don't waste your time!
Use these tips to find freelance writing clients today!
While these tips on how to find freelance writing clients will help you get started, it's important to remember that building your business will take time.
Don't get discouraged if you only have a few clients to start. Continue making the effort to find more. Send cold email pitches, ask for client referrals, search job boards, and do what you need to until you meet your goals!
Did you find this helpful? If so, you may also want to check out this article on how to earn consistent income as a freelance writer and these tips to run a successful online business.
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