What would you do if a prospect asked to see your writing portfolio right now?
In the perfect world, you’d point them to a link that shows off your best work. Why? Every potential client wants to see samples of your writing to find out if you’re the right fit.
You’ve got an online writing portfolio, right?
If you’re laughing nervously now because you don’t, or you have one but you know it needs help, that’s OK. I’m going to show you how to create one.
Your writing portfolio is one of your most important marketing tools to attract and impress potential clients.
Point a prospect to your portfolio, and you want to capture their attention with an attractive and appealing design and great writing so they hire you.
If your writing portfolio is confusing or uninviting, the prospect might click away and never return. And it doesn’t have to be that way.
Here are some ways to design a dazzling online writing portfolio:
My freelance career was off to a dismal start. It was nothing but low-paying gigs, flaky clients, and race-to-the-bottom bidding on content mill sites. Then I discovered an unusual business writing niche that changed everything.
Two small business start-up clients asked me to write content designed to attract investors to help fund their business ideas.
But these entrepreneurs weren’t looking for angel investors with millions of dollars. They were going to get funding in a different way. And they needed someone who could blend copywriting and business writing to ramp up.
It didn’t take long to discover that I liked this unusual business writing niche. Write copy to promote a business idea, help entrepreneurs, and see an idea turn into a physical product or service.
And the pay? It’s been two years since I discovered this unusual business writing niche. It took a little work to understand it, but now I regularly earn $500 per hour.
Curious? I’ve carved out a niche writing crowdfunding campaigns. And so can you. Here’s what you need to know.
Ever wonder what smart freelancers are doing when it comes to writing for money?
I did. I thought about it a lot when I was working in retail.
You know, minimum wage, run the cashier, stock shelves, talk to customers. Same shift, different day.
When I finally decided to quit, I thought I had freelancing figured out.
But it didn’t take long to realize I couldn’t keep going without good pay from writing for money to cover my bills.
I expected an immediate, steady income. I’d heard some really great stories about successful writers and thought I could be one of them.
So imagine my surprise when the new clients I desperately needed didn’t magically appear at my door with handfuls of cash.
It was frustrating. And I knew I had to do something about it if I wanted to stick with freelancing.
Frustrated with your efforts to find freelance writing jobs? It’s a common problem that plagues a lot of writers who are in denial about what’s really happening.
You tell yourself you’re doing every kind of marketing your fertile imagination can come up with to get more clients.
Just in the last month, in fact, you:
- Sent a query letter
- Called a prospect
- Contacted a potential client on LinkedIn
- Sent a direct message to another one via Twitter
- Created a helpful email newsletter for people in the industry you’re targeting
- Had a coffee meeting with a local editor
And still…crickets in your inbox.
When you can’t seem to get freelance writing jobs…
You cry. You complain. You eat more ice cream and binge-watch YouTube videos. And you keep asking yourself: “Why do I suck at getting more clients?”
Need to find prospects that can turn into well-paying clients? Don’t we all. But too often, writers hit all the wrong places hoping to land a gig. You’re not likely to find good clients on job boards, content mills, Craigslist, and bidding sites. But that doesn’t mean they’re not out there.
In fact, if you use the right strategy, you can tap into a massive list of potential prospects in your niche using LinkedIn Premium. (Is LinkedIn Premium worth it? I’ll explain.) But I didn’t know that when I got serious about freelancing. I used to troll job boards and send LOIs to people I wasn’t always sure were the decision makers. I had some success with this approach. But I struggled to find the right clients. Sound familiar?
I needed a better way to zero-in on my niche (FinTech), find the right people to pitch and land better-paying clients. But how? I stumbled across the answer when I signed up for Lynda.com. And by chance, I scored a one-year subscription to LinkedIn Premium along with it (LinkedIn Premium now costs $29.99 to $79.99 a month).
I had heard plenty of buzz about LinkedIn Premium. But I was on the fence. I had the same question as a lot of freelancers, is LinkedIn Premium worth it? With a free subscription, I decided to jump in and see what I could do with it to grow my freelancing business. It didn’t take long to get results. I found a $1/word client and developed a strategy to use LinkedIn to move up and earn more. Here’s how I did it:
The biggest problem I faced as a new freelance writer was wondering when I’d ever feel ready to make the leap to marketing myself effectively, and getting that first freelance writing gig.
I took me some time to realize that I’d never feel 100 percent ready. But if I wanted to make real progress, I’d have to start taking consistent action to find that first client.
Sometimes we just need a shot of inspiration to send us down the right path, and mine came from Bamidele Onibalusi’s recent Earn Your First $1000 as a Freelance Writer challenge.
My strategy and email template are adapted from his articles, and used here with his permission.
Here’s what I did: