Getting started as a freelance writer can be difficult, especially if you're not sure how to go about getting clients. Knowing how to market yourself as a freelance writer is an essential skill to have. In fact, it's absolutely necessary.
Marketing your writing services correctly will help you get noticed by potential clients and eventually bring in regular work. To help you get started, I've compiled a list of eight easy ways to start promoting yourself as a freelance writer—no fancy marketing degree required! Scroll below to check them out.
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Choose a Freelance Writing Niche
You've probably heard it a million times before, but having a clearly defined freelance writing niche is a must. A niche makes it easier to market yourself as a freelance writer because you know who to target. Plus, it attracts high paying clients because you're able to paint yourself as an industry expert.
Create a Freelance Writer's Website and Writing Portfolio
Make sure your website positions you as an expert in your niche. Visitors and potential clients should be able to tell exactly what you do and who you serve the moment they land on your website. Let's take a look at some examples of freelance writers who do this well.
First up is Kat Boogaard. Kat addresses the questions, “what do I do” and “who do I serve” immediately. In fact, she even calls attention to it by saying, “Are you wondering what exactly it is I do here?” She then goes on to answer that question. But, she also adds a creative spin on it, which gives potential clients a glimpse of her personality and creates a personal connection.
In contrast, Emma Lunsford addresses these questions in her website header. What does she do? She creates “world-class content.” Who does she serve? She serves “big health brands.” Simple and straightforward. With just one glance at Emma's homepage header, a website visitor will know if she is the right fit for their business. Emma also backs up her statement with the copy below the header.
Be strategic about the samples you showcase in your writing portfolio, as well. Having well-written samples that are relevant to your niche is going to boost your credibility as a freelance writer, and further position you as an industry expert.
Keeping your freelance writing portfolio up to date is also a key way to market yourself as a freelance writer. The more experience you get, the better writer you become. So, be sure to swap out old writing samples for newer, better ones. That way you know your samples showcase your current abilities as a freelance writer.
Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile
LinkedIn is an excellent resource for freelance writers because it's a professional network where many of your potential clients hang out. To promote yourself on the platform, you need to make sure your profile is optimized for search.
In addition to using SEO keywords in your profile, there are a couple other cool tricks you can use to market your writing services.
1. Add a header image to your profile.
If you're not familiar with LinkedIn or the header image, it's sort of like having a Facebook header on your business page. Think of it like a digital business card. Your LinkedIn header should have relevant information like your name, what you do, and how to contact you.
You can see an example of mine below, which I made using Canva.
2. Let People Know You're Available
The next trick is to advertise that you're available for work. You can do this via your LinkedIn profile's “job preferences” feature. Another option is to change your headline (under your name) to something like “freelance writer for hire” or something similar.
3. Post Content Regularly
LinkedIn has a publishing feature where you can create and publish your own articles. This is an awesome way for freelance writers to market their writing services! Use it to create content that's targeted toward your ideal client. Just make sure you're posting content that's informative, helpful, and well-written.
You also have the option to create and share posts similar to Facebook. Use the same strategy as when publishing your own articles—and don't be spammy! Commenting or sharing other's posts is also an easy way to engage with potential clients without being overbearing.
4. Connect With Other Freelance Writers
Finally, don't just use LinkedIn to connect with potential clients. Make connections with other freelance writers, too. Not only is it nice to network with others who understand the world of freelancing, but it can generate leads too. Many freelance writers will make referrals if they're unable to take on a particular client or workload.
Start a Blog
Having a blog where you regularly post your own content is a great way to promote yourself as a freelance writer. Think of it as a second portfolio, of sorts.
What makes it all the more appealing is that you can write about whatever you're interested in and self-publish, which is especially helpful when you're just starting out and don't have links to published samples. And, depending on what your blog niche is, it gives you content to repurpose for social media and even LinkedIn.
In addition to The Quiet Type, I have a blog for my business website where I offer tips about content and digital marketing, copywriting, and working with freelance writers.
I repurpose that content all the time. Sometimes it's republishing a blog post on LinkedIn while other times I use snippets from a blog to create a social media caption. Both allow me to showcase my knowledge and skills while driving traffic back to my website.
Here's how a blog can help you market yourself as a freelance writer:
- A blog can boost your credibility as a freelance writer because it showcases your knowledge on a specific topic or niche.
- It can act as a secondary freelance writing portfolio.
- A blog can attract potentially high paying clients.
- Blogging consistently improves your writing, which ultimately makes you more appealing to freelance writing clients.
- Posting high-quality, consistent content increases your search ranking and drives more traffic to your freelance writer website and portfolio.
Form an Online Presence
As a freelancer, you're operating almost totally online. So, you need to have an online presence. That doesn't mean signing up for every social media channel though. It means finding which platform works for you and your business and being active on it. While it's not my jam, a lot of writers have found Twitter to be a successful way to promote their freelance writing services.
Forming an online presence will help you promote your writing services by connecting you with clients and other freelance writers. A cool trick I learned from Elna Cain is to start commenting on popular blogs, or even just blogs you enjoy reading. In addition to starting a conversation with people/companies in your niche, this also creates backlinks to your website.
Create an Author Bio
Whenever you create a piece of content, whether for your own blog or as a guest post, include an author bio.
This is my author bio:
“Katie Jenison is a freelance writer offering copywriting, blogging, and ghostwriting services. She works closely with home builders, remodelers, interior designers, real estate and property management professionals to help them create content marketing strategies, improve their digital presence, generate leads, and engage with their target audience. Katie also helps freelance writers and creative entrepreneurs pursue their dreams of working from home by providing tips and advice, business strategies, and writing tips on her blog, The Quiet Type. Download her free workbook, A Freelancer’s Guide to Setting Rates, here.”
In addition to including a link to my freelance writer website and portfolio and blog, notice that I answer the following questions:
- Who I am
- What I do
- Who I serve
- How I serve them
I also use a call to action at the end of my bio, where I direct readers to download my freebie. This not only adds to my credibility but increases the chances a reader will sign up for my email list.
If you're using WordPress for your blog, I recommend the Simple Author plugin which automatically inserts your bio into every blog post.
Set Up a Google My Business Account
There are plenty of ways to market your business. From social media to paid Google searches, the strategies you use primarily depend on your goals and budget. However, there is one way to market yourself as a freelance writer that doesn’t often get talked about: Google My Business.
Some people may argue that Google My Business is mostly beneficial for businesses with brick and mortar locations. But, online and freelance businesses can benefit from it too. One of the best parts about setting up a Google My Business account is that it's a free way to promote your freelance writing business and help you get found on Google.
To help your freelance business stand out even more, ask any past and current clients to write you a Google review. Learn more about Google My Business here.
Does the thought of networking making you cringe? Hey, I don't blame you. As a hardcore introvert, I'm not a fan of networking either. That being said, networking is such a great way to promote yourself as a freelance writer. Look at it this way, the hour you spend feeling uncomfortable may just lead to new clients, partnerships, and even mentorship opportunities.
If you just can't bring yourself to network in person, try networking online. Join groups on Facebook and LinkedIn and actively participate in them. Whether you're joining groups for freelance writers or a local business group in your area, the results may surprise you. My hometown has a networking Facebook group that's been an awesome resource for me as I grow my business. In addition to online networking, the group offers in-person events. Look for something similar where you live and use it to your advantage.
Okay, it's safe to say that was a lot of info to take in. Let’s recap real quick.
Some of the best ways to market yourself as a freelance writer are:
- Choose a freelance writing niche
- Create a freelance writer's website and writing portfolio
- Optimize your LinkedIn profile to attract potential clients
- Start a blog to showcase your writing talent and knowledge about a certain topic
- Form an online presence on social media and by commenting on blogs related to your niche
- Create a well-crafted author bio
- Set up a Google My Business account
- Start networking with other freelance writers and in business networking groups
Got your own tips to market yourself as a freelance writer? Leave them in the comments below!
Katie Jenison is a freelance writer offering copywriting, blogging, and ghostwriting services. She works closely with home builders, remodelers, interior designers, real estate and property management professionals to help them create content marketing strategies, improve their digital presence, generate leads, and engage with their target audience. Katie also helps freelance writers and creative entrepreneurs pursue their dreams of working from home by providing tips and advice, business strategies, and writing tips on her blog, The Quiet Type. Download her free workbook, A Freelancer’s Guide to Setting Rates, here.