As of May 2018, there were 2.5 quintillion bytes of data created each day. The amount of content being created each day has gone up since then. During any given minute, we, as a planet, send out 16 million text messages and 156 million emails. And we publish 4 million blog posts every single day. That’s a lot of content to compete with. So, what can we do to set ourselves apart from other content writers?
It also means that companies are constantly looking for new ways to step up their content game. Regardless of whether their goal is to get on page one of Google or just to become a thought leader within their niche, they need to find the best content writers in order to publish the best content.
Brands want someone that has the ability to communicate effectively, create content that aligns with their marketing goals and deliver content that’s captivating.
In the writer pool, you’re usually facing strong competition against a myriad of other content writers that also claim they have the “secret sauce.” Attracting new clients and retaining existing ones can be deflating if you’re constantly being rejected. Instead, leverage the rejection to find bold and creative new ways to stand out and grab your prospect’s attention.
Scope Out the Competition
If you’re a marketer or copywriter, you’ve most likely spent an absurd amount of time researching competitors from the ground up to see what they’re peddling and how they’re doing it.
Showing your prowess in the digital writing arena isn’t your first port of call. It’s to scope out the competition and see how they’re doing things. There’s no one size fits all method to writing because clients have different needs and expectations, so it’s important to adapt your competitors’ strengths to your own and build on their weaknesses.
Researching successful content creators in your field will help to examine what’s working and what isn’t. Look at the portfolios, profiles, websites, and LinkedIn profiles of other writers and establish how they’re landing clients by how they’re portraying themselves.
The Face of the Brand
Freelancers are often a mixture of a personal brand and their freelancing business. As the face of the company, it’s important to look the part when engaging potential clients and ensure that your picture matches your brand. For example, a client is more inclined to see you as a specialist if your profile picture portrays you as a professional.
According to a psychology study, we judge others based on appearance in a fraction of a second. The study concluded that our evaluation of nonverbal behavior is completely automated by our biology and occurs without us being conscious of our judgment.
Whether it’s through an online marketplace or face-to-face, a client will assess you on competence, skill set, appearance, and ability to do the job. Akin to words, photos can also send a message and set a tone. It’s crucial to convey a message that aligns with your branding. A professional headshot is one of the easiest and most cost-effective methods of getting yourself noticed by bigger clients.
So, I’d probably avoid using group photos-3 wines deep on a Saturday night.
Communicate Often and Well
Clients like responsive writers that collaborate on projects together. No one likes to be left on “read,” especially your prospective clients. It’s important to communicate well, often, and as freely as possible.
Attracting new clients and building genuine, sustainable relationships with repeat customers will come down to how effectively you can communicate a solution to their problems.
Big clients often come across hot-shot writers that claim they have the recipe to bring in more leads and convert visitors. Don’t assume you know what the client needs without listening to them first. If they’re on nDash, then check out their brand profile to see what it is that they’re looking for. If they’re not on the platform, then listen to them identify their problem and then proceed to present how your skill set is crucial to solving it.
Have a Prolific Portfolio
A diverse portfolio that highlights your skills is essential to securing new clients. If you don’t have one, get one. And, if your existing portfolio isn’t quite up to par, then it’s important to work on the public face of your business. That helps solidify trust between you and clients. (Note: you are able to share a public profile link on nDash.)
If your portfolio is just a few Google docs compiled together that showcase how good of a writer you are, it’s time to take advantage of visual capabilities. Visual literacy is the ability to communicate meaning and messages through imagery.
To communicate visually, you need to align the visual literacy of your portfolio with your freelance brand. According to a research paper by William C. Bradford, studies have proven that around 65 percent of the world’s population are visual learners. Allow imagery to illustrate how good your portfolio is before a client has even opened a piece of writing.
Final Thoughts on Standing Out Among Content Writers
When starting out on your freelancing journey, it can be difficult to find clients that want to hand over their coins in exchange for words. It’s important to learn how to adapt and tweak yourself, portraying you as the most proficient freelance writer for the task.
By using the cost-effective methods above, you can secure more work from prospective clients and continue to thrive.
Editors Note: This post was written by nDash community member Anup Sohanta. Anup Sohanta is a full-time freelance writer specializing in marketing, health, financial services, and other topics. To learn more about Anup — or to have him write content for your brand — check out his nDash writer profile.