You want to get more leads to grow your freelance writing business.
So you set a goal to churn out more queries and letters of introduction. That’s how you market yourself as a freelance writer, isn’t it?
Those are two traditional marketing methods freelance writers use to get more leads and clients. And you should be sending out plenty of both if you want to get fully booked.
But who says you have to play by old-school rules?
There’s a million different ways to market your services, connect with people in your niche, and land more freelance writing assignments.
And there’s at least one unconventional marketing method you should consider. Barrier to entry is low. Tech tools make it easy.
One writer has even used this approach to get more leads, land multiple ghostwriting gigs, build authority, and ultimately make more money. And so can you.
Ready to give this unconventional marketing method a try?
Get more leads with a podcast
Looking for a marketing strategy that’s different, creative and fun? Consider a podcast.
Besides giving you inside access to thought leaders in your niche, it’s a great way to build your own brand and create fresh, useful content that will drive traffic to your site.
Podcasting isn’t nearly as scary as you think. It doesn’t require fancy equipment, a fat bank account, or techno-geek skills. If you can conduct a phone interview, you can create a podcast. It’s that easy.
Meet freelance writer and podcaster Derek Lewis
- Cost to start a podcast
- Necessary recording equipment and software
- Finding guests
- Pushing through fear
Ready to get your own podcast up and running? Find out how in this Q&A:
Q: Where did you get the idea to use a podcast to market your writing services?
A: I took a class on marketing and branding, and the teacher challenged us to come up with an idea nobody else was using. He said that as a ghostwriter, my marketing approach needed to be like the show Inside the Actors Studio, where I talked to people about what it’s really like on the inside of creating a business book. So that show became my model.
Q: What made you choose podcasting over a blog?
A: I hate short turnaround times and short-form writing. Trying to even do one blog post a month is like pulling teeth. But I love talking to people.
I wanted a marketing strategy that allowed me to create a lot of volume and content. And I wanted to do something that wasn’t just self-promotion. As freelancers, it doesn’t help us to have a lot of content that says, “Hey, look at me!” We need content that gives people education and help.
Q: What kinds of equipment and software did you need to get your podcast going?
A: The only thing I got was a really good Yeti microphone. It connects to my computer, and it’s crystal clear.
Q: How much does it cost to get set up for podcasts?
A: It’s nothing substantial. I think my microphone was $100. Recording software is fairly inexpensive or free. If you want to pay for a service that gets your podcast out on iTunes and other platforms, it will cost you a little extra, but that’s not essential. We’re not talking hundreds of dollars here.
Q: How do you find guests to interview?
A: I had been in the publishing business for several years before I started the podcast. So I invited people I already had connections with.
Even if I think contacts are out of reach, I’ve found that people are generous with their time. They’re quite receptive to being interviewed. I haven’t had anybody make me feel like an idiot for asking. They don’t say, “Why would I come and be on a podcast for a little peon like you?” People are really nice.
Q: How do you get the word out about your podcast and make sure people find it?
A: I have a virtual assistant who loads it onto a couple of different platforms to actually get the podcast out there. You can also use a service like SoundCloud to push it to platforms like iTunes. If you really want results, make it as convenient and as discoverable as possible.
Q: Have you gotten any clients directly from your podcast efforts?
A: Yes, I’ve gotten a five-figure book coaching client, and I have a couple of ghostwriting students who found me via a podcast.
Indirectly, my podcast legitimizes my credibility as a ghostwriter. Clients want to know I’m not some slide-by guy who’s going to take their money and abscond to Patagonia. The fact that I took time to create this podcast helps them feel like I’m a professional, and they’re going to be safe trusting me with their book.
Q: How can other freelancers know if podcasting is a good fit for them?
A: Whenever you do marketing, you need to define what’s fun, easy, and energizing for you. Avoid marketing strategies that make you say, “Oh my god, I hate doing this.” If I were somebody who absolutely hated talking to people, podcasts would be torture.
Q: How does a brand-new beginner get started with podcasting?
To get going, it can be as simple as recording it over your computer or even over your phone, and then having the audio available on your website. That little win can help you realize, “You know what? This podcast stuff, it’s really not that hard.” Then the next step is to figure out, “How can I get it out on the bigger platforms, polish it up, and make it more professional?”
I’m a proponent of getting a series of small successes and a little bit of momentum. Get a couple of small wins so you’ve got confidence in your pocket.
Q: What tips do you have for those who want to try podcasting but are intimidated about putting their voice out there?
A: Don’t worry about being perfect right out of the gate.
You can easily edit an audio podcast. You can take out all the ahs, the ums, and the awful questions. There’s free editing software, and it’s easy to use. You don’t have to be a sound engineer to make a podcast sound good.
Your early episodes may be awful, but you’ll get better. Find somebody who has a few thousand episodes and a million followers, and go back to their earliest episodes. They did not know what they were doing! They just put something out there. You have to be awful before you can get great.
We’re afraid of people’s perceptions of us, and we’re afraid of feeling like an impostor or a fraud. But the truth is, nobody cares about our earliest efforts. They only care about our latest efforts. And so, if you do something, and then you get better and better, that’s all that matters.
The sound of freelance success
Podcasts are a hot marketing trend, even for freelance writers. If you’ve been wondering whether to jump in, now is always the best time to get started.
Maria Veres is a freelance writer based in the Oklahoma City area. She contributes regular Q&A blog posts to Make A Living Writing.