A concern that every freelance writer faces as some point is how to get freelance writing clients.
If you’re new to freelancing, you might be looking for your first client.
If you’ve been at this for a while, you might want to find clients that pay higher fees or are better aligned with your interests.
No matter which end of the spectrum you’re at, there are many potential businesses and clients that would be a perfect fit for your current skills and knowledge.
The challenge is how to find them.
And this isn’t as difficult as it may seem at first.
You can read writer success stories from Barefoot Writers around the world that show getting freelance writing clients is relatively easy, as long as you take the right approach.
Finding writing jobs for beginners through job boards and other online resources is one option.
But you can also take a more proactive approach and start looking for clients on your own.
What follows are some of the best ways we’ve found to get freelance writing clients.
Networking is often overlooked as a way to find potential clients, but don’t make this mistake.
Many Barefoot Writers have found some of their best clients through networking.
The idea of networking may not seem very appealing at first, particularly if you’re an introvert.
But networking doesn’t have to be complicated. And you don’t have to attend huge networking events and talk to lots of strangers if this is too far out of your comfort zone.
You can find people to connect with professionally in many different ways.
And depending on your personal preferences, you can choose to connect in person or online. Many events, conferences, and other networking opportunities are held in both formats.
Try exploring some of these options to get started…
- Events and conferences on writing, or relating to your niche industry
- Meetings through your local Chamber of Commerce
- Local groups on com related to writing or your niche
- Social groups in your area, like volunteer groups or sports teams
- Classes on writing or topics related to your niche
- Professional associations
- Online forums and social media
Before joining any group, make sure that it relates to something you’re naturally interested in and you will enjoy being involved with.
This will help make it fun and easy to build sincere and lasting relationships with fellow group members.
For additional tips on how to network like a pro, check out our articles on how to use your existing network to find writing clients, and a powerful new approach to networking.
LinkedIn can be another effective way to find new freelance writing clients.
If you’re not familiar with LinkedIn, it’s a business-oriented social media website.
The site is primarily used for professional networking, and both employers and job seekers can participate on the site.
LinkedIn includes job postings you can search, which can be a good way of finding available freelance writing positions.
But site members can also directly invite other professionals to connect with them, which allows you to directly approach and build a relationship with a company or person you may want to work with in future.
To start using LinkedIn, you’ll need to set up your profile on the site. Your LinkedIn profile is similar to a resume, where you list your current skills and past work experience.
Robert Rice gives some helpful tips on how to build your LinkedIn profile here.
Once you’re set up and ready to start searching for potential clients, you can search for other professionals by their industry, company, job title, or name.
Try searching for companies you might be interested in working with, or try a general search for professionals in your chosen niche and see who comes up.
For example, if your niche is dental equipment manufacturers, you could look for marketing managers within the dental equipment manufacturing industry.
When you find a person you’d like to connect with, send them an invitation to connect via LinkedIn.
There’s usually a button near their profile picture that says “Connect.” And when you click on it, a window will pop up where you can write a personal note to that person.
Remember to always write a note! Don’t send a long sales pitch, simply include a few friendly words to introduce yourself and why you’d like to connect.
You may not find any writing work right away, but keeping in touch with your LinkedIn network over time can pay off in the long run.
For more details on using LinkedIn to get freelance writing clients, check out the free Inside AWAI webinar Get Great Clients via LinkedIn.
Email prospecting is an excellent way to approach specific clients you know you’d like to work with.
The basic idea is simple – once you’ve found a business you’re interested in working with, all you need to do is send them an email!
How do you initially find a potential client?
If you’re already familiar with an industry you’d like to target, you may already know some potential people and businesses you can contact.
You can also check the websites of companies you’re interested in and see if they list who to contact for any marketing or employment inquiries.
LinkedIn is another good place to search for appropriate people to contact.
Once you have your potential client’s email address, the next step is to write the email you’re going to send them.
Make sure to include these key points in your email:
- Tell the reader who you are
- Briefly state what you do
- Describe what makes you unique and different from other copywriters
- Provide your contact information
You can personalize the email as much as you like, such as adding a positive comment about the client’s business or if you’ve personally used their products or services.
B2B copywriter and business-building coach Ed Gandia shares two examples of personalized prospecting emails here.
You can also write a general or mass email that you can send to any prospect, similar to a form letter. This option is less work than personalizing each email, but it may not be as effective for getting your potential client’s attention.
Then, the last step is to send the email! This is sometimes the hardest part… but the more emails you send out, the better your chances will be of finding high-quality freelance writing clients.
Always keep track of who you send emails to, and if you don’t hear back from them in a couple weeks, you can send them a short follow-up email.
The methods for getting freelance writing clients that we’ve discussed so far are what’s known as “outbound marketing.” This is when you actively reach out to potential clients through networking, email prospecting, or other direct means.
But, another way of finding freelance writing clients is known as “inbound marketing.”
Inbound marketing methods are designed to bring potential clients directly to you, without approaching them first.
When it’s done well, inbound marketing can establish you as an expert in your field and make businesses excited to work with you.
Some of the strategies used for inbound marketing include:
- Developing your writer’s website
- Posting articles or blog posts to your site regularly
- Optimizing your site for SEO
- Writing guest posts on other websites relevant to writing or your niche
- Speaking at relevant conferences or other events
- Teaching classes that relate to your niche
- Writing an e-book or print book on a topic related to your niche
- Posting on social media, both on your own feed and in relevant groups
Notice that none of these methods involve asking someone for work…
You’re simply putting yourself out there and building your reputation as the go-to writer in your field.
And if you regularly publish high-quality information or commentary on topics important to your niche market, potential clients will start taking notice and contacting you to write more of the same for them.
When this starts to happen, you’re automatically in a better position for negotiating higher fees. Once you’re viewed as an expert, you can start naming your price.
Keep in mind that inbound marketing works well in the long-term as you gradually build your online reputation as a writer.
But don’t expect overnight results with inbound marketing techniques. If you need immediate freelance writing work to pay your bills, you should also be using outbound marketing methods to find clients in the short-term.
Using a combination of both these strategies will help you consistently get high-quality freelance writing clients for years to come.
For more ideas on both inbound- and outbound-marketing techniques, check out AWAI’s program Your No-Stress Method for Getting Clients: 26 Field-Tested Strategies for Introverts, Extroverts, and Everyone In-Between.
The need for skilled writers has never been greater than it is today.
As more and more businesses move online, they need writers who can help them stand apart from the crowd and build their online presence.
This is excellent news if you’re a writer wondering how to get freelance writing clients.
You can search for potential clients in a number of ways. Some of our top recommendations at Barefoot Writer are using a combination of networking, LinkedIn, email prospecting, and inbound marketing techniques.
If you use one or more of these methods on a regular basis, it’s nearly guaranteed you’ll connect with high-quality businesses that need your writing services.
But the secret lies in using these methods.
Commit to taking some kind of action to find clients today, like joining one networking group this month, sending two prospecting emails per week until you find a client, or getting your writer’s website published.
Small, consistent actions like these are what create long-term freelance writing success.