Are you a freelance writer who is struggling to book clients consistently? Maybe you’re a newbie to this industry and don’t know where to start? Perhaps you can relate to both of these questions and need a bit of guidance to succeed.
Don’t worry. It is exceedingly common to face obstacles when starting as a freelance writer. The competition on the internet is fierce, and it is smart to have the right strategies in place to stand out.
Consistency is critical when finding and booking clients.
In the digital world, working online in the destination of your choice sounds like a dream, but if you don’t have a stable income to sustain your lifestyle, it can be a nightmare.
That’s why, in this article, I’m sharing five of the most effective ways to book freelance writing clients consistently. As a bonus, the fifth contains my recommended and tried-and-true strategies to help you find clients.
If you’re ready to dominate your freelancer game and navigate the digital world, let’s dive in!
Create an online presence to showcase your work
Booking freelance writing clients can be a challenging process, especially when you’re just starting freelance writing and don’t have a reputation or credibility. Creating a website for your freelancing business, however, will appeal to your prospective clients.
Having a website is your ticket to making not only a great impression but a lasting one. Your website is your digital resume that showcases your unique brand, your niche, your professional capabilities, and your contact information.
It is incredibly important to have your portfolio on your website easily presented and related to your niche. For example, if you are a copywriter, you should have a website copy sales page, email sales copy, and any content you want to start offering clients.
The same rule applies if you’re advertising a niche-based portfolio. For example, if you are a finance writer, you will want to promote multiple finance-based high-quality samples in your portfolio.
Creating your online presence should also include an optimized LinkedIn page.
As a job seeker, having an established LinkedIn account gives you advantages such as showcasing your portfolio, connecting with stable clients, increased opportunities for global networking, and setting yourself apart from those who don’t have an account.
Send quality pitches to your desired clients
Drafting a polished pitch can be quite intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be.
Try to think of it as a simple process.
It is your opportunity to share a little bit about yourself and clarify how you can support the potential client. For example, if your client is on the hunt for a talented SEO writer, clearly discuss your SEO experience while providing related portfolio pieces to confirm your claim.
Or if your client is looking for a creative copywriter who can create material that resonates with a select audience, your pitch should discuss your experience with supporting portfolio pieces.
While pitching, you might find freelance writing clients you want to work with, but you might not possess the experience or have the portfolio pieces they're looking for, and that’s okay!
Send a pitch anyway.
This morning, I sent pitches to clients whose description didn’t exactly match my background. In my pitch, I clearly stated how my experience is relative to their business and focused on my ability to research.
As a writer, I talked about my versatile ability to write for clients in many different areas and how this skill increases my confidence in completing a stellar article for their business.
So, my advice to you is to own your skills.
Don’t be shy about promoting yourself and your capabilities. And if you don’t have the experience, state why you would uniquely thrive in that position and why you would succeed if they chose you.
Remember to use your superpower skill, your writing, to advertise why you’re the best candidate for the project.
Pitch more, pitch more. I can’t say this enough. If you are only sending 20 pitches a month and asking yourself, “But, I don’t know why I’m not booking clients?” then your answer is in the number.
As a beginner to the freelancing world, if people aren’t finding you organically through Google or your clients haven’t referred you to others, your goal is to pitch consistently.
Pitching is the best and quickest way for you to start generating and increasing your income as a new freelance writer.
You’re probably asking, how many pitches should I send? My recommendation is to send 10 to 25 high-quality pitches per day, Monday through Friday.
If you have the energy and stamina to pitch more, by all means, do. On the flip side, if you don’t have the time to send 25 pitches, then try not to send less than 10 pitches per day.
Busting out the mathematics, that would be 10 x 5 = 50, so 200 pitches per month! That’s 200 opportunities to receive prospective clients and additional income.
But if you’re consistently sending out pitches and you still don’t receive a response, it’s likely to be the cause of three reasons.
Number one, your pitch isn’t very good. I’m sorry to say, but you aren’t targeting the right audience.
Number two, your portfolio pieces are not high quality.
And number three is your lack of an online presence.
Not to worry though. If you’re targeting the right audience, have spent time creating high-quality portfolio pieces, and have a website and LinkedIn account, then sending a high amount of daily pitches will amount to results.
The more pitches you send, the chances are you will receive more freelance writing clients.
Stay patient and send as many pitches as possible.
Follow-up on your pitches
After crafting what you thought was a rejection-proof pitch, you, unfortunately, receive nothing but radio silence after a week of obsessively refreshing your inbox.
What happened? You checked all of the boxes; both your pitch and your portfolio pieces were high-quality, you targeted the right audience, and you even included a link to your website.
It is a frustrating process. Trust me. I get it. But it is more common than you might realize not to receive a response from a brand or publication right away or even at all.
When you’re cold pitching, you’re sending pitches to someone who wasn’t advertising or asking for you to contact them.
It’s imperative to try to understand your prospective clients might be busy and have other things going on. They might have missed your email in the sea of emails they receive from other writers.
That’s why it is your job as a freelance writer to follow-up until you receive a rejection with a few caveats, of course.
Frequency is a critical indicator when following up on a pitch. You don’t want to bombard the editor or publication with too many emails.
This onslaught of eager emails will look poorly, and they might write you off before you get a chance to prove yourself.
As a rule of thumb, I say follow up no more than twice and try to wait at least five business days before sending your first follow-up email.
Be resourceful when looking for clients
Learning how to book clients continually can be a challenge. As a freelancer, your success is determined by your own efforts. To maximize your potential, it is critical to becoming resourceful when finding clients.
In an ever-evolving and in-demand field with undeniable competition, the good news is that there are potential freelance writing clients everywhere.
From large corporations to mom and pop types to solopreneurs, each industry needs writers such as yourself. The opportunities to book consistent clients are endless, but the key is knowing how to find them.
One of the best ways I recommend finding clients is by connecting on Facebook groups, especially business or binder groups. A binder group is a Facebook group where members frequently share job opportunities exclusively for writers either by the writers themselves or by clients who are hiring.
Join both binder and business groups, share what you do, provide value, and get your name out there to boost recognition of your brand and opportunities to network within the freelance community.
Another effective way to find clients is by finding editors or entrepreneurs who create a list of freelance writing jobs and opportunities.
Fear not. These resources are not writing mills or scams where they offer you $0.01 a word, and you get paid $5 for only two hours of work.
By signing up for their email list or by visiting their website or connecting via social media, you can receive a list of great paying opportunities, including fiction and non-fiction work.
Even within my own business, I concreated a list of high-paying opportunities for the members of my program.
A great way to find different editors is through Twitter. You can look for various editors, connect with them, and pitch to them directly.
When editors post available projects, they typically include a description of the type of writers they’re looking for, specific guidelines for the project, and any related information which makes the process less stressful.
When searching for opportunities, don’t discount job search websites such as Indeed. I found my first writing job on Indeed that paid me $500 for a white paper at a law firm. It was a great starting project.
While searching for clients, consider your different options, apply to jobs that will value your worth, and pay you a decent wage.
Ready to start booking clients?
To recap what we’ve discussed;
Establish your online presence by creating a polished portfolio, website, and an optimized LinkedIn page.
Draft high-quality pitches tailored to a specific client. Your pitches should be short, straightforward, and should include a few samples for your freelance writing portfolio
Try to send 10-25 pitches per day, follow up, and be resourceful when finding clients.
Do not be afraid to promote yourself, pitch, and try something new to bring you one step closer to booking and finding the clients you deserve.
Potential freelance writing clients are everywhere. Even in a growing industry of competition, no nook or cranny should go overlooked.
Keep an open mind and stay confident.
There is space for you to land gigs and build a career, but it will take some added effort on your part.
By implementing the tactics, we discussed, you will have a better chance to score your dream clients.
If you’re looking for additional help, I invite you to dfownload the free Start Your Freelance Writing Business Toolkit that is filled with goodies to help you excel as a freelancer.