Note: If you’ve been looking for freelance writing jobs on content-mill sites and job boards, you’re probably frustrated. Most pay bottom feeder rates. It’s something I’ve been hearing from writers for a long time. But great freelance writing jobs are out there, you just need to know how to find them. Check out this post from the past to learn how. —Carol.
Do you feel like it’s a pipe dream to find freelance writing jobs that pay pro rates?
I hear a lot of comments like this from writers who are about ready to give up on their writing dreams.
They write me to say:
“It just seems like there aren’t any good-paying clients out there.”
Have to say, I disagree. But whether you think freelance writing is a land of unlimited opportunity or a field no one can earn a living at seems to depend on your personal experience.
If you want to start landing well-paying freelance writing jobs, you probably need to do two things. Here’s what you need to know:
Ever feel like you’re lost in the woods trying to find freelance work?
Maybe you’re at one of those crossroads trying to land your first client. Or you’re in the middle of a career change.
Or maybe you’ve been writing for a while, but it’s time to find freelance work and new clients to move up and earn more.
When you’re trying to map out the best marketing route to find freelance work, it’s easy to get that deer-in-the-headlights gaze and get stuck.
But you can’t stand around and do nothing, or you could literally freeze to death if you can’t pay your heating bill, or at least build a campfire.
So what should you do? That’s what I had to figure out when I quit my job as a park ranger to take care of my special needs son and start freelancing.
I picked the easiest path to freelance success. And within two weeks, I had my first client, a one-year contract, and a steady stream of inbound leads. Here’s the route I took to get there:
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.
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:
It’s that most wonderful time of the year — for falling into the doldrums and slacking off on your freelance marketing, that is.
It’s easy to come up with reasons for not doing anything to line up new writing clients until January.
- Everyone is on vacation, anyway. Why pitch?
- The days are short and I feel sleepy.
- I’ll have company soon, or be traveling, so who cares?
- I’m busy with clients and couldn’t take a new gig now, anyway.
But taking a 6-week marketing vacation is a bad idea. This leads to January panic, when you have to cold-start your marketing after New Year’s. Top-earning writers are always marketing.
Remember, it can take weeks or months for marketing to pay off. So prospecting you do now lays the groundwork for more and better freelance gigs in the coming year.
How can you overcome the challenges of trying to get freelance marketing done during the busy holiday season? Here are four ideas:
Are you an introvert? A lot of writers are. And I’m one of those shy writers.
You might think it’s a weakness that you’re not the super-social, outspoken type. Or that being an introvert leaves you nothing but low-paying crumbs to collect from mediocre clients. But that’s just not true.
I’m as guilty as the next introverted writer for postponing marketing at all costs to avoid social interaction. But a recent networking event made me realize that it’s time for introverts everywhere to rise up.
You can put your shy nature to work for you to make more contacts and land better clients. Seriously, you can do this.
If you’re an introvert like me, or you just want to get better at marketing, you can. When I learned how to handle marketing as an introvert, my business started to change. I’ve had an influx of people interested in my services. I’ve been able to branch out to new markets. And I’ve been getting more inbound leads. Introverts: Here are four ways to get over your fears, stress less, and land more lucrative projects.