During the early stages of their career, freelancers need high-level freelance writing tips to learn how to make clients come to them. Finding steady, reliable work is one of the biggest challenges that freelance writers face. In fact, 57 percent of writers claim that the difficulty of getting new clients is the primary issue they face.
That’s why so many spend a large bulk of their time hunting down new clients and responding to an endless stream of job ads. 43 percent of writers actually look for new jobs every single day of the week.
But what if there was a better way? What if you could spend your time actually getting writing done rather than constantly tracking down leads?
Here’s how you can.
Creating Perceived Value
In a post by successful writer and blogger Bamidele Onibalusi, he discusses the difference between real value and perceived value. According to him, the real value is “the actual value you offer to clients, and it’s what will result in consistent work for you.”
On the other hand, perceived value is “what your clients feel you’re worth even before they commission you to work on your first project with them.”
Regardless of how adept, experienced and skilled you are, you’re unlikely to go very far if you can’t prove to prospective clients that you’ve got the chops. In other words, it’s impossible to demonstrate your real value without first influencing clients by creating perceived value.
With that being said, here are some ways to market yourself more effectively so that clients will come to YOU.
Create a Professional Portfolio
Having a resume, cover letter, and few samples is okay, but having a full-blown professional portfolio is even better. Why? This basically serves as a marketing tool that will promote you 24/7.
By including things like 10 – 20 writing samples, a bio, personal information, and contact information, you can prove yourself and let potential clients know what you bring to the table. You never know when someone may stumble upon your portfolio and contact you about a project.
Let’s be honest. Any writer can make braggadocios claims and say they’ve been featured in top-tier publications. But for all a client knows, you’re merely some inexperienced charlatan with no real street cred.
This is where testimonials come in. Even by providing as little as two or three testimonials, you can back up your claims and “walk the walk.”
I recommend reaching out to some of your top clients and asking them to provide a brief quote that highlights your capabilities and emphasizes your talents. You can then place these on your portfolio.
Maintain a Blog
Blogging serves two important functions. First, you can showcase your writing skills firsthand and let prospective clients see just how proficient you are.
Second, every blog post you write provides one more path for clients to find you. Even if they weren’t necessarily actively looking for a writer, you never know when they can come across your content and reach out to you. You can think of each post you create as extra bait to lure in new clients.
Be SEO Savvy
Did you know that “organic search drives 51 percent of traffic?” That’s quite a bit. Another effective way to make freelance writing clients come to you is to simply be SEO savvy with your portfolio and blog.
Here are some examples:
- Choose strategic keyword phrases you wish to rank for
- Use keywords in URLs, descriptions, H2 and H3 tags, etc.
- Practice internal linking
- Link to reputable third-party websites
If SEO is completely foreign to you, I would recommend checking out this guide from Moz. It’s extremely helpful and can point you in the right direction.
Freelance Writing Involves Being Active on Social Media
The more visibility you have online, the better. One of the best ways to make yourself visible and cast the widest net possible is to be active on multiple social networks.
LinkedIn and Facebook are probably the best places to get started. However, you may also want to create profiles on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and even YouTube and Tumblr.
This will provide you with an opportunity to network with countless clients and companies. Just make sure that you stay active and keep your profiles up-to-date.
Although there’s some initial effort required, these strategies can pay dividends in the long run. Rather than having to perpetually seek out new clients, you can just sit back and let them come to you. Goodbye client acquisition blues.