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How To Get Clients As A Freelance Writer
Starting out as a freelance writer can be tough. Securing enough clients and work to keep paying the bills is something that all freelancers worry about. In fact, even those who have been making a success of freelance writing for years still know that it is important to always be thinking ahead and making sure that they can keep their heads above water!
There are many great benefits to being a freelance writer. Being your own boss and managing your own hours are two of the biggest. However, as with any job, there are downsides too, and for freelance writers, job insecurity is one of them.
If you want to secure the highest paying gigs and continue to get writing work from repeat clients, you are going to have to put careful thought and planning into how you approach your work.
Here are some useful ways to do just that:
Make sure that you personalise your emails
Sending out mass emails is an absolute no-no. Don’t just pitch some general ideas to a whole bunch of outlets and hope that one might get back to you. When you first contact editors, your message must be thoughtful, well-researched and impressive. Regardless of how good your idea is, if an editor suspects you have sent the same email to 100’s of different publications, they simply won’t bother giving you the time of day. Take time to find out the name of the person your should contact, read and research the publication, and tailor your pitches to suit them.
Work for free
OK so some writers may baulk at the idea of offering their services for free, but doing so can quickly land you paid writing gigs that keep on coming. Working for free, or guest posting can help boost your reputation increase your network of contacts and looks good in your writing portfolio too. This is a particularly helpful tip if you are just starting out and need to get some published work under your belt to refer other clients to. If you are happy to work for free make sure it is worth your while. Be sure that you will be credited, and you can link to the piece on your website. Ask the person to write a review or recommendation for you, and make sure that the publication is big enough that it matters.
If you have been given a one-off piece of work to write that’s great! However, don't just finish the piece send it off and then forget all about it. Make sure when you have finished that you get back in touch with the publication to see if you can write any more for them. Keep an up to date list of every client you have worked with and when work is drying up, actively approach them with ideas. If you have done a good job for them and have a good pitch, there is no reason why they wouldn’t consider working with you again.
Find a niche
One direction to take your freelance writing career in is by finding a niche market, becoming specialised and then making sure you shout about it to everyone who matters. Even if it is unusual, if you can dominate that area then you will end up getting repeat customers and a steady flow of work. Showcase your skills by writing a niche blog on the subject which you can use as an example of your knowledge when contacting potential clients.
Build your reputation
Make sure you have a great website, build up a writing portfolio, and ask every client you work with if they could write you a review. If you can build up a good reputation you’ll find it so much easier to secure work, as potential clients will be able to see at a glance that you are reliable, trustworthy and deliver high-quality work.
Getting clients as a freelance writer does take time and effort, but the more experienced you get and the more quality work you deliver, the more clients you’ll find coming to you - that’s how to make your freelance writing business a success and continue to grow and grow!