So, you've decided to take the plunge and quit the corporate world in order to turn your dream of freelance writing into a reality.
It's a huge decision and one that must be carefully considered. But if you have the guts to go for it and the work ethic to back up your dream, you can make a success of your freelancing career.
The first big milestone is to land a freelance writing client and the rest should soon follow, right? But how do you go about finding your first freelance clients and get your freelance career rolling.
Tips and Essentials to Help You Land Freelance Writing Clients
To start your freelance writing career on a high note, you'll need to build up a decent client base. And landing your first writing gig is always the hardest part. But once you have climbed and conquered this small mountain, you should be able to attract a solid client base like magnets to metal!
The key to freelancing success is saying ''yes'' to different types of opportunities when you first start out. Opening yourself up to opportunity, no matter how small the job, opens a doorway to the power of positive attraction and word of mouth referral.
Here're essential tips on how to land freelance writing clients and get your freelance career started:
1. Determine Your Writing Niche
Take a look at your own hobbies, personal interests or professional background and decide from there what you'll enjoy writing while being good at it too.
2. Create an Online Writing Portfolio
This is an important step in establishing yourself as a serious freelance writer. You need to create an online writing portfolio to display your experience and writing abilities to prospective clients.
Basically, your online portfolio acts as a resume or business card and displays the services and capabilities you offer. It's also a handy way for new clients to get in contact with you.
As part of your online portfolio, you should create a ''Hire Me" page explaining that you are available for work and what your particular writing niche is. This shows new clients that you are open to opportunity and looking to build up a client base.
3. Scout Out Potential Clients
One of the biggest conundrums you're likely to face as a new freelance writer is where to look for potential clients. Business directories, trade magazines and directories, as well as lists of companies attending trade shows, are a good place to start.
Go for a decent-sized company, nothing too small. The smaller the business, the less likely they will have a budget to dedicate to outsourcing their content creation. Middle-sized businesses tend to have a little more leeway when it comes to a marketing budget.
Simply Google your writing niche and local tradeshows and you should be able to find a list of potential new clients to pitch to.
4. Pitch to Local Businesses
Though this may be considered a bit of an ''old school'' method, the cold pitch often reaps rewards. And remember, you only need one business to give you the nod of approval to kick off your freelancing writing journey!
A cold pitch is also called an elevator pitch where you outline the services you offer to a business in just a few short sentences. It's important to convey your strengths and how you can help a business with your work.
It's best to have a good understanding of a business before cold pitching them though. This will help things sound a little more personal, so make sure to do a little research before emailing them.
Scout out a business's social media pages and look at any contributor guidelines pages to be sure of what they're looking for. This way your pitch won't seem random or completely impersonal.
5. Say Yes to Opportunity and Build Your Experience
As mentioned, it's important to be open to new opportunities, no matter how small the writing gig is. Opportunity is opportunity, and it should all be considered equal when you're just starting out.
Most businesses will look for a writer with a decent amount of experience anyway, so the more exposure you have, the better your portfolio will look.
This means being open to trial work and even writing for free at the start of your freelancing writing career. This is where guest post blogging is helpful as well as free trial writing samples for a business you're keen to work for.
6. Search Freelance Job Boards
It's important to bear in mind that the competition on freelance writing job boards is rife. So if you're scouting for potential new work or clients, make sure that you answer job postings quickly. You will also need a strong writer's pitch in order to grab attention.
Remember to focus on quality over quantity when it comes to searching on job boards!
7. Leverage Social Media Networking
The power and reach of social media is untouched in today's world. Use this to your advantage and leverage the networking power of social media.
You can share writing samples, create a page to promote yourself and your writing portfolio, connect with other freelancers, editors, and content managers.
Some of the best social network sites include Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn for promoting freelancing services. For every new follower or business, send them a pitch to test the waters and see if they're looking to hire new writers.
Social media is fantastic for specific search options too. Take a look at freelance writing hashtags to find local businesses looking to hire writers too.
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