Last Updated on by Michael Brockbank
Freelance writers get clients by making themselves available and easy to find. And the better you market yourself as a freelance writer, the greater are your chances of finding some high-paying clients. Today, I’ll show you methods you can use right now in your marketing campaign.
And most won’t cost you more than just a bit of your time.
How to Market Yourself as a Freelance Writer
Content is king. And there are millions of clients on the Internet looking for professionals who can create high-quality material. However, there are also millions of writers who are competing for those jobs.
To give yourself a leg up, you need to invest some time into marketing. The more impressive you appear online, the greater are your chances.
1. Show Your Work On Multiple Platforms
A writing portfolio is great to have. It gives you a platform to show potential clients so they can get a feel for your style and expertise. Luckily, there are a number of ways you can do this on the Internet.
For instance, some people will use systems like Contently to show a portfolio. Others will use sites like Vocal.media or perhaps even Medium.
The idea is to have your portfolio available in a number of ways. Besides, some of these platforms will pay you for posting your content. So, you might as well make a few bucks on the side.
2. Create an Email Signature
An email signature can go a long way if properly created. You obviously want your name and professional title. But, you can also include a link to your freelance writing landing page, if you have one.
At any rate, make it obvious that you are a “writer for hire” in your email signature. How you go about this is completely up to you. But, I suggest testing different signatures to find one that is the most effective.
Personally, I find this to work fairly well when mixed with a blog. Anyone clicking on my link is taken to a page on my website with more information about hiring me.
Well, it did before I became swamped with work.
3. Build a Network of Freelancers
Never underestimate networking with other freelance writers. You never know when he or she may want to collaborate on a project or know of someone who needs your specific set of skills.
In fact, networking is one of my favorite things to do lately. It’s lead to a few awesome ideas and introduced me to a wide variety of people who want to work directly with me.
You can build networks easily on sites like LinkedIn or even use Twitter by joining conversations with the right hashtags.
For instance, I follow #WritingCommunity, #AmWriting, and #FreelanceWriting on Twitter. And, it’s helped me connect with a lot of different people.
4. Dive Into Social Media…ish
Speaking of social media, never underestimate how impactful it can be from a positive perspective.
Yes, I know…social media right now is often a dumpster fire. But, if you hang out with the right people and be “social,” it can be very rewarding.
I’ve had authors want to do collaborations with me simply because of my activity on sites like YouTube and Twitter. It doesn’t all have to center around politics or other controversial materials.
In fact, I would have to say that social media is one of the biggest contributors to my success when I market as a freelance writer.
5. Make Sure “For Hire” is Obvious
Adding “for hire” in your email signature or social profiles can do wonders for getting clients. In fact, I know several businesses that have hired freelance writers because of this.
Whether it’s in the profile description or in your actual title, make sure you let everyone know you’re for hire.
For instance, you could put “freelance writer for hire” after your name or job title in LinkedIn. Not only does this let clients know you’re looking for work, but it will also trigger search results.
6. Contribute to Forums and Online Communities
Online communities are among my favorite elements for marketing as a freelance writer. And not just on Twitter or LinkedIn, either. In fact, I contribute to the WordPress Meetups here in Denver.
Some forums will let you link back to your website or social profile as a freelancer. And if you provide detailed answers, you could draw some attention to yourself.
Even if it doesn’t result in an immediate client, it still gets your name out there as a professional.
7. Create the Perfect Email Pitch
Cold pitches can be exceptionally beneficial for marketing as a freelance writer. Although I don’t do this a lot myself, I know many people who have landed some great clients thanks to an email pitch.
In reality, I’ve carefully considered writers who have emailed me directly. Well, some of them anyway. I’ve come across some freelancers who just came off as far too arrogant.
If you’d like to know more about cold email pitches, check out Megan Grant’s YouTube channel. She has some great tips on how to make them effective.
8. Explore Email Marketing
Speaking of email, there’s nothing wrong with having a strong marketing campaign. Though, this works better if you already have a website.
The idea is to send out regular messages regarding your activities as a freelancer. Some of the people who sign up for your newsletter or email list may need writing done at some point.
This is actually something I’ve been toying with over the last few months. But like I said earlier, I just have a lot on my plate at the moment. But, if I didn’t, email marketing would be at the top of my list.
9. Do Some Guest Blogging
A lot of people will use guest blogging as a way to get backlinks and recognition for their websites. However, you can also use it as a way to market yourself as a freelance writer.
Remember, it’s all about getting your name out there. If you guest post on a site that is relevant to your writing niche, it can do a lot to boost your online reputation.
This is something else I would do more of if I didn’t have a full week of blogs and videos.
10. Explore Targeted Advertising
Personally, I don’t advise using targeted advertising to market as a freelance writer in the beginning. Until you can land a few regular clients and have a decent income, every penny is going to count.
However, targeted advertising can quickly land you some clients should you word the ads correctly.
Luckily, some advertising campaigns shouldn’t cost you a lot of money. It all really depends on the platform you use and how serious you are about finding some high-paying clients.
Just make sure you’re not spending money you can’t afford to lose. Because targeted advertising does not guarantee you’ll find a client.
11. Offer Referral Discounts for Clients
Referral discounts are those prices you give to clients who refer you to another. This is a very common form of marketing in a wide range of industries because it’s exceptionally effective.
For instance, if Client A is happy with your work, he or she could refer you to Client B. Then, you give Client A a 20% discount next time they need content.
In some cases, you may find clients who’ll market you as a freelance writer to people they know just so they can get a discount. Essentially, you turn your clients into billboards for your freelancing business.
12. Start Your Blog Today!
If you don’t have a professional blog, I suggest you start one today. You can use it as a base of operations for your freelance writing while making it easier for clients to hire you.
So, while attracting clients and writing their content, your blog could be pulling in a bit of money as well.
Personally, I use GreenGeeks Web Hosting for a variety of reasons. And yes, this is a shameless promotion. However, I found the servers to be far faster than some of the others I’ve used in the past.
How Much Should You Charge for Freelance Writing?
How much you charge for freelance writing is going to depend on a variety of factors. Every freelancer is different. But as a rule of thumb, you should always charge enough to make the time you spend worth the job.
Things like research time, typing, proofreading, and other factors are going to take up your day. In other words, you want to be well compensated for your effort.
For instance, writing an 1100-word blog post usually takes me about an hour. But, if it’s a tutorial that needs 20+ screenshots, it’s going to take closer to 2.5 hours.
In this situation, I would adjust the rate. So, instead of a $50 job, it becomes a $125 to $150 job because of the time and imagery.
Never take a job that will pay you less than what you need to survive. This is where having a spreadsheet to track your time comes in handy.
For example, I know exactly how much I need to charge to make any job worth my time. This is based on how long it takes me on average to write certain pieces of content.
Bottom line is to make sure you’re well paid for the work you do. Some clients will go out of their way to hire as cheap as possible. Don’t let them take advantage of you.
Get Your Name Out There!
If no one knows you exist, they can’t hire you. If you really want to build up a writing career, you need to make yourself readily available. And it takes more than just having a Facebook page and crossing your fingers.
When you invest some proper time into marketing as a freelance writer, all kinds of doors start to open. It may not be all at once, but when clients find you, your world changes in profound ways.
Make it easier for clients to find you as a professional writer.
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