10 Steps to Landing Your First Freelance Writing Client

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OK, so your goal with freelance writing is to make your first $100…

But for this to work, there is a pre-requisite: you have to be able to write well. If you don’t, first polish up your writing skills.

If you’re a good writer, here are the steps to follow to landing your first client:

1. First get your thinking in order, because if anything’s going to stump you, it’s going to be wonky thought processes.

Know your worth and what makes you different to other writers, or find out what you need to do to be unique.

Work out your Unique Value Proposition (this is more for your own clarity right now, so that you can learn how to market yourself well). The key here is knowing what you can do that others can’t.

2. Research “how to sell yourself”.

A good example is the Elevator Pitch, which is really a technique to master so that you can meaningfully explain to prospective clients how you can help them solve a problem with your freelance writing, and do it in less than three minutes.

You may also want to learn the very basics of copywriting, which is sales writing, so that you can sell yourself better online.

3. Find out where your ideal audience hang out, and which social media channels they prefer.

4. Find out what options there are on the channels where your ideal audience are, to promote your services.

So for Twitter, you could join Twitter chats, and tweet often using a hashtag your audience would use to find you. On Facebook, you’d join groups where your audience hang out so that you can learn more about them. You’d use your own page to make your services known to friends and family and maybe start your own group. Do your research to find out what’s best for you. When you find out which social media channels your audience are on, become a master at knowing how to use it.

5. If you don’t have your own website, create a central hub – this will be your “storefront” and to which you will point traffic. On this central hub, include a call to action. You could do this with Google docs so it costs nothing!

6. Write samples – either as guest posts, or on your own blog. If you don’t have a blog, write on platforms like LinkedIn and Medium. Keep writing and getting your name out there, in front of your audience.

7. Create a portfolio (Journoportfolio, Clearvoice or Skyword for instance, or you simply use Google Docs).

8. Join Facebook groups where good writing jobs are posted.

9. Post on Facebook on your own personal page – tell your friends and family you’re just getting started as an online freelance writer, and for $100, you’ll do xxx for them (if you’re a copywriter, you could write 3 emails for them, or 1 landing page. If you’re a blog post writer, tell them you’ll write 3 blog posts for them, and so on. Be creative!)

10. Join freelance platforms – here is a list of freelance writing jobs boards and start looking for relevant jobs. Tweak this winning job board proposal template.

What works for you? Comment below!

Posted by Claire Carradice

Claire Carradice is a freelance writer specialising in SEO blog posts and case studies for the digital marketing, business, SEO and HR/recruitment industries. She coaches fellow freelance writers to market themselves better and build strong businesses around content.

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