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How To Market Yourself as a Freelance Writer

How To Market Yourself as a Freelance Writer

You’ve decided to enter the world of freelance writing. First of all, let me be the first to tell you congratulations! Being a freelance writer can open a world of possibilities if you are willing to put in the work and build your business. That being said, it isn’t always sunshine and rainbows. 

If you are expecting a Jimmy Buffet-esque lifestyle that has been popularized in recent years, you are sadly mistaken. Yes there are benefits to being able to work anywhere in the world, on your own schedule, but you are still subject to the needs of your clients.

Alas we are putting the cart before the horse. You came here because you want to get your business off the ground, and a can do attitude is essential in this business. So let’s dive in.

5 Essential Tools For Marketing Your Freelance Business

If you clicked on this article because you wanted to know the best places to find freelance writing work, I am going to disappoint you. Before you get to that point, you have have to do a little work and research. Consider this building the foundation of your business. With a strong foundation, finding customers on UpWork, Fiverr, or LinkedIn will be that much easier.

Understand your skills

There are endless opportunities when it comes to freelance writing, but not all of them will be in your wheelhouse. Some writers are great at technical writing, while others are amazing storytellers. It may be that you want to specialize in a specific industry versus bouncing between different segments and audiences.

Finding your niche isn’t always easy, and it may take a little time. I started my freelance writing journey working in a specific industry, later realizing that my writing style and skills translated across the spectrum.

Understanding your strengths and weaknesses is essential, as it will help you determine which clients you should target and the scope of projects you can take on. Don’t sell yourself short, if you are confident in your writing skills, talk about it, but be honest with your experience level and expectations out the gate.

Create your portfolio

It should come as no surprise that you need to have a digital portfolio that you can present to prospective clients. Whether you are hosting that on a website, or simply using a sharable link to relevant work, your portfolio builds credibility and supports your claim that you are the right person for the job.

Sites like Upwork and Fiverr have tools that allow you to share past works with prospective clients, but it is a good idea to think outside of those platforms. As you start marketing your business, you may find that traditional freelance sites are overcrowded and you can generate more interest through other channels.

Know your buyer

Good marketing starts with knowing who you will be targeting, what information they find valuable, and where they can be found. For most freelance writers, the marketing department is the most logical place to start, but depending on the size of the organization there may be several layers of decision makers that you have to get through.

Take some time as you get started to create a buyer profile. Outline all of the attributes that person needs to have to make a good client for your business. Some of the pieces of the picture might not be in full view immediately, but it is an ongoing process, and you have to start somewhere.

Find your audience on social media

Social media has been a game changer for freelance writers, allowing you to reach into untapped markets and build a global network of prospective clients. You effectively have two options with social media – try to grow your audience organically, or opt for paid advertising.

Both have benefits and drawbacks, and only you can decide if you have the time to devote to building a grass-roots base, or the funds to accelerate the process through paid ads. Regardless of the route you choose, consistency is critical. You may need to devote an hour a day to creating relevant content and connecting with decision makers as you get going. Just know that with each engagement you are investing in your own business.

Perfect your pitch

Freelancing is a sales position. There is no way around it, you will have to market your skills and then close the deal. That means perfecting your pitch. While you are inevitably going to have to talk with a client, knowing how to craft a cold email or DM is essential.

As you start messaging prospects, keep in mind that you may be writing, but you are ultimately solving a problem for the client. It may be that they need SEO driven content because they aren’t ranking high enough. The truth is, the only way to know is to ask what challenges they are facing and seeing if you can help. If you can make the cold outreach about the client and their goals, you will find that people are more receptive and more likely to respond.

Building your marketing strategy will take time, but it is critical that you build a solid foundation for your business. Over time you will notice that your message and audience may shift. Don’t be afraid to pivot and make changes when necessary. 

For more freelance writing tips, follow the Hire a Writer™ team blog.

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