Are you stuck trying to figure out how to attract customers to build your freelance writing career?
If you’re taking any old gig, it’s hard to get any real traction. You have to constantly market yourself, and never acquire expertise that helps you raise your rates and grow your income.
The solution: Learn how to attract customers who give you clips that will impress the best clients in your chosen industry niches, like I teach my Den 2X students.
Sit down right now and make a list of your 10-20 top prospects. What great-paying markets would you write for? Think big! For me, this list includes Vanity Fair, Costco, and American Express (wrote for the latter two in the past, but would love to get back in!).
Once you have that list, you need to figure out who you could write for now. Do it right, and those great clients will be contacting you. Wouldn’t that be sweet?
It’s one of many strategies I teach in my Freelance Writers Den 2X Income Accelerator mastermind program to help students identify who to pitch now to land dream clients, often in 6 months or less.
Here are 15 different approaches I’ve never shared outside of Den 2X before, to help you build the portfolio your ideal clients will love:
Have you ever thought about contacting warm leads (people you already know) to find more work?
I did. But I went about it all wrong.
I wasn’t getting anywhere by posting on Facebook or LinkedIn begging my warm leads for work.
Sounds desperate, doesn’t it?
It felt like I hit a client-finding roadblock. I knew I needed to change my marketing strategy. But I wasn’t sure how.
Then, while working in my underwear in a room at my in-laws’ house, I came across a different way to contact warm leads thanks to the How to Write White Papers bootcamp in the Freelance Writers Den.
And I decided to give it a try.
The result: My response rate for sending marketing emails spiked. I landed a new client and contract worth $6,000. I reconnected with some of my contacts, and generated a bunch of leads for more work.
Wondering how to approach people in your network to get more freelance work? Here’s my no-pants-required approach to contacting warm leads:
Think you’re too old to launch a freelance writing career? Think again.
Have you been working a day job for decades? Are you an empty nester with a few gray hairs? You might think you’re too old to go freelance, but you’re not.
You can do this. Believe me. I know what it’s like to launch a freelance writing career when you’re older.
For more than 30 years, I worked in banking and law, and did a lot of writing. I dabbled with freelancing to make extra money, and thought it might be my path to retirement.
But that all changed when my employer went out of business.
Not quite old enough for Social Security, I wasn’t interested in starting over in another office. But I still needed an income, and I wanted more time and more freedom to enjoy life.
Want to know how I made the move to full-time freelancing…at my age?
These five steps helped me launch my freelance writing career:
If your client work has all but dried up, or you’re trying to jump start your writing career, take a look at your freelance marketing efforts.
Maybe you’re not doing enough marketing. That’s the elephant in the room for many of the freelance writers I’ve coached over the years.
Or maybe the marketing you are doing isn’t working. Then what?
Don’t get caught in shiny-objects syndrome, jumping from one strategy to the next.
Instead, be more strategic about how you market your writing. New ways to reach clients keep emerging, so keep an open mind.
Take a look at this list of 40 ways to market your writing we developed with the help of veteran freelancer Anne Wayman.
Then get to work. The more freelance marketing you do, the more likely you’re going to move up and earn more.
It’s a strategy every top blogger tells you to pursue: Contact successful bloggers and ask them for a guest post, link, or interview. But blogger outreach isn’t quite that simple.
Now that every blogger is constantly hit up with requests, you’ll have to be a bit more sophisticated than shooting them an email that is essentially just, “Hi total stranger, would you do me a favor and help build my blog career?”
To help you avoid wasted time on blogger outreach that goes nowhere, I’ve pulled together three recent examples of outreach gone terribly wrong in pitches I received. There’s also one terrific example of outreach done right.
Wondering what basic mistakes to avoid? Read on:
No one uses direct mail to market anymore. Email marketing is the way to go, right?
I don’t think so. When I was working my day job in the marketing department of a credit union, I wrote a fair number of direct mail pieces to sell financial products to current potential members. Since going freelance, I realized I kind of missed writing those letters.
Email marketing is ubiquitous these days, so sending a direct mail pitch sets you apart.
And, when it’s not a bill, people like getting mail. Direct mail gets opened more often than email. People spend much more time reading a mail piece. And even millennials say direct mail influences their purchases.
So I decided to put my old-school direct mail marketing skills back to work and create my own campaign to find freelance writing clients. And it worked amazingly well.
Here’s how I did it: