6 Steps to Building a Simple Freelance Writing Sales Process

As a freelance writer, there are phases you’ll go through to find clients: first you’ll more than likely start on freelance writing job boards and you may even find a steady stream of clients via this method.

Treat your writing services as a business

But once you get more experience, you may start wondering if you can earn more while working less. When you get to this stage, that’s when you’ll find most value in building a freelance writing sales process. It’s also the time you are most likely to begin thinking of your writing services as a business.

And any business knows that without a steady stream of clients, the business is likely to shut it’s doors.

Here’s something to ponder:

A pretty well-known online marketing expert  hired 39 people to book appointments with small business owners, which are his target audience to sell to.

*** 39 ***

So how many potential clients are YOU contacting every day?

Makes you think, doesn’t it?

One of the greatest mistakes you can make, is not treating your services as a business. It’s all about your mindset (if you don’t think of yourself as a business yet, my suggestion is to take this free mini-tutorial on building a profitable mindset).

Steps to building a simple freelance writing sales process

To have a steady stream of clients, you need a plan; you need a sales process.

To follow is a sales process method example – in this case, it’s for cold emails, but your sales process can look different, and you could have multiple methods. E.g. you could use Upwork, cold email and SMS; the choice is yours.

Here are the steps of one freelance writing sales method (cold email):

#1: Know your audience

First jot down the industry you are specialising in (if you don’t know, I suggest you find out by taking this short course: Gaining the Freelance Writers Edge by Specialising).

Gain an intimate understanding of your target audience persona. Who is your ideal client? What is their role in business? You need to know details like where they hang out, and what bothers them in their job.

Image Credit: VWO

An example of a target audience persona.

#2: Find prospective clients

Find prospects. The easiest option is to use a tool like Leadfuze which easily sources you the ideal clients according to your input and you can also email clients directly from the software which tracks open rates, responses and so on so that you can see how successful your efforts are and work on improving them (by the way, Leadfuze gives you 25 free leads, so do check them out).

#3: Create a prospect database

Create a prospect list. I use a Google Sheets doc. It’s important to keep a list of the people you approach. This is something like CRM (Customer Relationship Management). Keeping a list will allow you to do analysis (at a later stage) to get data from the numbers. You’ll see where you have the best results, what jobs are most popular and so on.

Add a column to list in which part of the sales funnel the client is, according to this:

writers sales funnel
This writer’s sales funnel is by Find a Way Media and shows leads in various stages of the buying process.

Here’s a screenshot of how I do it:

daily sales record

#4: Find email addresses of prospects

If you choose not to use Leadfuze, you’ll need another way to source email addresses of the people you are going to approach. You can do this using free tools like Clearbit in Gmail and Hunter.io.

#5: Make contact

Make contact with prospects; in this example, it will be via cold emailing, but you could try messaging on LinkedIn. Both requires technique to work, so don’t just send anything! You must plan your emails/messages using the right words and great subject headings. I’ll do a post on how to do this soon.

#6: Follow up

Follow up at least 3 – 7 times. Make a note of how often you will do so. Plan the sequence!

This is how the freelance writing sales process looks visually:

freelance writing sales process

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.

2 Comments

    1. Thank you Rashmi, and I would be delighted to give you more info, although it’s difficult because I don’t know what type of writing you do, or what you use as your marketing channels. But I can give you an example: say you write social media content…this is what you should do: before starting the project, check all the insights of the client’s social media channels that you will be writing content for. Jot them down somewhere and keep them, together with the date. These are your “before” stats. Then over time, keep going back to collect stats so that you can see how your work gets results. After a while, your numbers will show a trend, and hopefully it’s an upward one. Now you have a graph with numbers and dates, to show potential clients that this is how the client’s numbers looked like before you started writing their social media content, and after 3 months, their followers grew by X amount. Make sense? Go through all the services you offer and find out where you can collect numbers from for it. A lot of it will be manual because most of your clients won’t allow you access to their insights. Let me know if you need more help.

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