Are you taking advantage of in-person networking opportunities to find freelance writing clients?
When I wrapped up a phone call with an agency that hires freelancers writers for Nike, Adidas, Columbia Sportswear, and other Portland-based sports and athletic companies, I got an invite to a meet-and-greet with people from these companies.
The after-hours meeting fit my schedule, so I decided to go and see if networking opportunities like this could help me find more prospects and clients.
If you’re already thinking about your introverted tendencies that tell you to avoid in-person networking opportunities like this, take some advice from Linda Formichelli. Punch fear in the face and do it anyway.
You don’t have to be an extrovert, gifted sales pro or marketer, to benefit from in-person networking opportunities that can connect you with potential prospects and clients.
I’m an introvert. But I still I walked away from this networking meeting with some new contacts, and scored a few referrals from the effort since attending.
And that got me thinking about the many free in-person networking opportunities available for freelance writers.
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:
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