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:
For some freelance writers, it seems like asking for referrals and selling comes easy. They have a huge network of people they’ve cultivated relationships with. Their network hooks them up with new clients. And it’s easy for the same freelance writers to talk about their business in any situation, and get referrals.
That’s what successful freelance writers do. And I wasn’t sure I was cut out to be one of them if asking for referrals was part of the gig.
If you’re afraid to ask for referrals, you’ve probably heard that fraidy-cat freelance writer voice inside your head. You know, the one trying to convince you that:
- People will think you’re desperate
- You’re running some kind of scam
- You can’t possibly provide a service valuable enough to help in any meaningful way
That cat needs to go. It took me a long time to figure this out. But when I finally did, I got a response in 10 minutes, a potential project, and scored another referral for more work. Here’s how I did it:
Do you regularly scan job boards looking for online writing jobs, but only find low-paying gigs? If so, you might need to get a little choosier about where you look.
If your typical rates are above what the listings offer, it may be time to stop checking the job boards altogether. In general, you’ll do better with proactive prospecting to find your own clients, rather than applying to mass-online-job ads where you compete with hundreds of writers.
But if checking online job ads is still a part of your regular marketing routine, at least be an educated freelancer and target boards that are the best fit for you. We interviewed site owners and researched listings to bring you this inside look at what’s available on 17 top boards: