3 min read

How to Find Clients as a Freelance Writer

How to Find Clients as a Freelance Writer

Sourcing, selling, and closing clients is a never-ending process for freelance writers. After all, your clients pay your bills. While many new freelance writers have the romantic notion of spending their days perfecting an artsy tale over a mug of tea, the reality is pretty different. 

You are a business. Businesses have to make money. And to make money, you have to find clients. 

In this world, it’s survival of the fittest. If you want to make a career out of freelance writing and turn writing from a hobby into a skill that provides for your family, you have to be prepared to pursue new business time and time again. 

Most people who flame out of freelance writing do so because they don’t make enough money. That doesn’t have to be the case. If you learn how to source clients, grow relationships with them, and work your way up to bigger, better-paying clients, you can make six figures as a freelance writer. 

If you’ve Googled this topic and wound up here, welcome. I’m guessing you don’t have many clients and are relatively new to this game. If you’ve been a freelance writer for any length of time, I’m assuming you have some idea of how to find clients – otherwise, you’d be doing something else by now.

Below, you’ll find a few of the best places to start finding clients and straightforward tips on how to be successful. Let’s dive in!

Get on Upwork

People like to hate Upwork, but I think it’s the best place for any aspiring freelance writer to get started. It’s a fantastic place to earn your first ten or twenty thousand dollars as a freelancer – writing or not. 

Upwork is a talent marketplace that connects you to a universe of people looking to hire freelance writers for all kinds of topics. Every day, there are dozens of new postings. Some will have urgent needs. Some will have low budgets. Some will just be really weird. 

At the outset of your career, you can’t afford to be picky. Apply to every job that’s even moderately matched to your skills. When you get one, do everything you can to nail it and get a five-star review. 

It’s impossible to overstate how important your review score is. Having a 100% review score instantly propels you to the top of any shortlist. There are very large companies on Upwork, and having a great review score gives you the opportunity to work with them. 

New call-to-action

Build Lasting Relationships with Clients

Once you get your foot in the door with a client, you should be doing everything you can to translate the initial opportunity into a long-term relationship. This doesn’t mean you’re aggressively selling people – instead, you’re looking for strategic opportunities where you can add value to their business. 

As a freelancer, it’s your job to build stability. Ideally, you want a settled roster of clients with a predictable cadence of work each month. It’s far easier to grow your freelance business through your existing clients than by endlessly cycling through new ones. 

Take those contacts from Upwork and think about how you can build lasting relationships with them. Can you turn a one-off blog article request into a topic cluster? Maybe they asked you to write a press release – do they need social media posts to accompany it?

Go above and beyond what’s expected of you. If someone makes a last-minute request, do your best to fulfill it. It’s an investment in your emotional bank account with that client. 

White Label for an Agency

Working as an outsourced content writer for a marketing agency is a great scenario for many freelance writers. You don’t have to win business or deal with all the messy parts of client relationships: instead, you just focus on doing great work. 

Agencies, particularly established, successful ones, have a lot of work to offer. They don’t just provide clients, they also provide an important education. You’ll get to see how business is done: how clients should be managed, how to build Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), how to manage people, and so much more. If you’ve got ambitions of building your writing practice into an agency one day, this isn’t just a free education – it’s one that pays you. 

Promote Yourself

Clients aren’t just going to come to you – unless you’re really, really good at what you do. Rather, you’re going to have to promote yourself and reach out to them. There are endless ways to do this:

  • Build a Social Media Presence: regularly posting to platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter can build an audience that serves as a huge asset to your writing business. Share your writing, comment on trending issues, and engage with others. 
  • Seek Referrals: once you’ve established longer-term relationships with your clients, let them know that you’re always open to new opportunities. They may refer you to new opportunities with a warm introduction, dramatically improving your chances of sealing the deal. 
  • Network: attend conferences, networking events, and local business groups. Go in with the mindset to give generously, not to elevator pitch everyone you meet. Over time, nurture the connections you make at these events into client relationships. 
  • Prospecting: old-fashioned sales prospecting isn’t dead yet. Build outreach campaigns that target your Ideal Client Profile (ICP). Don’t be spammy – add value wherever possible and engage with people on their terms. 

Get creative. You’re running your own business, which means you set the rules. Don’t be afraid to experiment with new ideas and try ideas that seem a little outside of the box – you might surprise yourself. 

Apply to Work at Hire a Writer

Hire a WriterTM is a copywriting agency that works with a variety of mid-sized to enterprise-level businesses and agencies. We’re always on the lookout for talented writers to join our team. 

If you’re interested in working with us, head on over to our Jobs page to explore our open positions. We’re excited to meet you!

Freelance Writer Pay Cycle: When Will I Get Paid!?

Freelance Writer Pay Cycle: When Will I Get Paid!?

When you are fresh on the scene as a freelance writer, or when you transition to a copywriting career, you need to understand how pay cycles work....

Read More
Upwork vs. Freelancer: Navigating the Best Platform for Your Freelance Career

Upwork vs. Freelancer: Navigating the Best Platform for Your Freelance Career

Within the gig economy, choosing the right platform for freelance work is crucial.

Read More
10 Tips to Improve Client Relationships as a Freelancer

10 Tips to Improve Client Relationships as a Freelancer

I moved into a freelance role after a decade spent in sales. For me it was an opportunity to do my own thing, and have some freedom in choosing who I...

Read More