20 Oct How to Get Freelance Writing Clients: 12 Foolproof Methods
So, you want to become a freelance writer? The cold, hard truth is: There’s not always a clear path on how to get started. But don’t worry! With a little help, you’ll be able to attract freelance writing clients with a few successful methods.
Freelance writing jobs may seem plentiful, but it will take a critical eye on your part. Don’t get sucked into the trap of demanding writing jobs for pennies. Master your craft, develop your skills, and use these 12 foolproof methods to get freelance writing clients. So, how do you find freelance writing clients? Let’s find out.
Free Guide: How to Land Your First Freelance Client
1. Utilize LinkedIn
LinkedIn can be one of your greatest sources of leads. With these simple tweaks, we will show you how to optimize your profile, so that when businesses are searching for their writing needs, you pop up.
The first step to get the most out of your profile? Optimize your headline. If you approach your headline as if you are already in your dream career, what would your title be? The founder, CEO, or director of your writing business? Sum up what you do in a few words. It may be tempting to fill your profile’s headline with keywords, but this can create a cluttered appearance. Less is more here. Once you have it figured out, put them together to complete your title.
Example: Founder, Mind My Content (Freelance SEO Content Writer + Coach)
The next step is to optimize your bio. In this section, you will add the who, what, and why of you and your business. This is your opportunity to express who you are, what you do, and why you do it. While it’s true, you want to be informative here, you also want to avoid being super bland. In your bio, you can use your creativity to come up with a hook and include a call to action (CTA), so it reads a little more inspiring.
You can also boost your profile for search by adding keywords to the end of your bio related to the services you provide. You should also consider the niche you wish to work in and cater those keywords to your niche, even if you don’t know who you want to work with just yet.
2. Sign Up for Upwork
Now that we have your LinkedIn profile up and running, it’s time to grow your portfolio. Upwork is a goldmine for freelance writing jobs in all industries. This is the perfect place to prospect, make connections, and practice negotiating your rates. By trying out different jobs, you can find out what you enjoy doing.
The main Upwork search page will show you gigs that best match your expertise. You can start there and if nothing looks like a good fit, use the search bar to get more specific. Here are some search ideas you can try:
- Content writing
- SEO content writing
- Article writing
- Keyword research
When you find a job you like, you’ll submit a proposal and bid. Once you’ve landed your first freelance writing job, you’re going to actually do the work and hone your craft. Upwork can be a great place to sharpen your skills, boost your confidence, and gain client testimonials for your work.
3. Cold Pitch
Many writers cringe at the idea of cold pitching, but you don’t have to! Cold pitching is when you reach out to a potential client with whom you have no previous relationship and sell your services to them. When you’re cold pitching, you’re finding the clients that you want to work with and you’re telling them why they should work with you. Not the other way around, which is how Upwork works.
Besides prospecting on Upwork and LinkedIn, it’s a good idea to send a couple of cold pitches a day. This will get you in front of your dream clients.
Want to write better cold-pitch emails in half the time? Check out my Cold Email Template Guide.
4. Connect With Dormant Ties
This can be as simple as a brief email or quick LinkedIn message to check in with someone you once had a connection with. Send a thank you note for past work and express what a positive experience it was.
Let them know you would love a chance to collaborate if there’s an opportunity. In the future, they are likely to keep you in mind if they know someone needing a freelance writer. Using this referral method can cause a greater number of future clients.
5. Start a Blog
You’ve got a well-made resume and portfolio, are active on every freelance job board, cold pitch emails every day, and network in your niche. Chances are, you could overlook starting a blog as a highly effective tool.
You see, potential clients will visit your blog to assess your writing skills and your expertise in your niche. Begin with a content strategy. Make a list of topics in your niche that your potential clients might be interested in. Consider topics that will solve challenges relevant to potential clients.
Your blog is your avenue to establish yourself as an expert, build credibility, and convince potential clients to instill trust in your services.
6. Use SEO
How do you gain organic traffic by using SEO? First, let’s define what organic traffic is. It is the method that allows people to find you and your website through a search engine like Google. The reason people visit your website is that it answers a query, keyword, or phrase they are looking for. You can use your blog to target those keywords which will bring potential clients to you.
So, how do you do this? You’ll want to identify keywords in your vertical by using a keyword research tool. For example, the Keywords Everywhere Chrome extension.
Identify long-tail keywords (3 or more words) that you can target via blog content. Common keyword semantics are:
- How to…
- What is…
- # best…
- This vs. that…
Then write long-form articles targeting these keywords with calls to action throughout to contact you.
7. Guest Post
Guest blogging may not bring in revenue, but it will get your name in front of potential clients. Don’t spread yourself too thin though as you’ll want to leave room for paid writing.
Where do you find places to guest blog?
Start with a Google search. Type in “your niche” and “write for us.” Act as an investigator when you read articles or blogs. Ask yourself a series of questions such as, what is their blog missing, and what questions haven’t they answered? Look for the best-performing content and see if you can add to this content.
Guest blogging boosts your SEO authority if they backlink to your site. This can be helpful in promoting your work across all social media platforms. This method is a slow burn but can pay off in the end.
8. Write on Medium
Medium is an excellent way to build a portfolio and showcase your best work. Write in your niche to establish your expertise.
To get started with a Medium post, write a dynamic headline and include a subtitle. Before you publish, always proofread. You can use social media and LinkedIn to promote your articles or include them in your portfolio.
9. Network With Freelancers
It’s up to you to get yourself in front of clients, and networking is one of the most important ways to gain freelance writing clients.
Networking is more than just landing your next freelance gig. Connecting with your community makes you look more authoritative. Whether you attend in-person events, join forums, or use LinkedIn, will certainly make you look established and will put you in front of more opportunities.
Instead of telling people how exceptional you are, forming relationships helps show them. Networking helps you stay in the loop in your industry. You can find new opportunities or potential partners. You can learn something new, build your credibility, and build your brand. Networking can undoubtedly have an enormous impact on your career.
10. Hand Out Business Cards
Printed cards remain the quickest and most convenient ways to share contact details and peak interest in your business. Business cards are a direct marketing tool that sparks conversation. They communicate your brand image and it’s a memorable takeaway that you have met.
With the innovation of digital products, you have many options to create a high-quality business card. Don’t estimate the power of a high-quality business card.
What exactly do you need for a business card? Here are the basics:
- Your name (and job title)
- Your company’s name and logo
- Your business phone number(s) and email address
- Your relevant social media handles
- Your company website
Post your high-quality business cards on community forums, when you attend events, or after a speaking event.
11. Join Forums
The life of a freelance writer can be solitary, by necessity and design. Here is the good news: there are online communities where writers can connect with each other. In fact, at this very moment, freelance writers are actively engaging in these communities.
You may wonder, what is the point of joining a writing community as a freelancer? Here are a few reasons it’s a good idea to join:
- Support and encouragement
- Reviews of your work
- Writing tips and techniques
- Marketing tips
- Job leads and referrals
12. Encourage Referrals
Encourage referrals by keeping in contact with previous clients, asking for referrals, and mentioning your availability. Don’t be afraid to ask either! If they liked the work you did, they’ll want to advocate for you and spread the word.
Simply asking is a great way to let your network and community know you are available and can become a resource for attaining new high-value clients.