One of the challenges you’ll face as a freelance writer is getting clients.
If you’ve been a freelance writer for more than a few weeks, at a point, you’ll have to deal with the challenge of getting clients, or the feast or famine cycle. This article shares 5 insanely effective ways to get high-paying clients.
Method #1: Develop a Cold Pitching Routine
Cold pitching is one of the commonest ways freelancers solicit for clients, but it’s been a tad bit overused making it less effective.
While cold pitching can get a great way to get clients, and Bamidele reported using it get a new client and earn $625 in 2 hours, the key to success lies in doing it right.
The first step towards ensuring success with cold pitching is to develop a routine; simply sending a cold pitch every other day won’t cut it. In fact, most of the times, only a few of the businesses you send a cold pitch to will respond but by sending dozens of cold pitches every single day without fail, you can be assured of having enough clients on a consistent basis.
If you’re looking for a practical guide to cold pitching, you should get Bamidele’s Freelance Writer’s Success Starter Guide and pay special attention to the accompanying case study.
Method #2: Start a Blog
Bamidele credits his blog for being responsible for his freelance writing career, and he estimates it to be responsible for more than 90% of his freelance income.
As a freelance writer, having a blog gives you the following advantages:
- It serves as a sample of your work
- It makes clients willing to pay your rates since they came to you directly
- It strips away competition that comes with bidding sites like Freelancer and oDesk
- You still have your blog and audience should you later decide to create your own products
If you want to get clients from blogging, here are a few steps:
1. Decide on a topic: Focus on a niche your clients are in; if you want lawyers to be your clients, it makes sense to start a blog in the law niche.
2. Start your blog: Once you’ve decided on a topic, the next step is to create your blog. I have a handy guide for beginners who are confused about the process. While there are several blogging CMSs, WordPress is widely recognized as the best CMS to start your blog on.
3. Announce on your blog that you’re a freelance writer: Create your hire me page, feature it prominently and regularly mention on your blog that you’re a freelance writer.
Method #3: Start a Newsletter
Data from the Direct Marketing Association reveals that $40 is generated for every $1 spent on email marketing. Most freelance writers are familiar with cold pitching, blogging and using job boards to get clients but very few are familiar with the power of an email list for building a freelancing business.
Josh Earl reportedly closed a $9,500 deal with a client within 10 days, receiving a 33% deposit upfront, simply by building an email list and regularly emailing his list.
An email list works in a similar way to a blog, but it can be much more effective; people pay more attention to their emails than to blogs, since they check their email every day, and offering value in your emails increases their chances of reaching out to you. It’s also important to let people receiving your emails know that you’re available for hire.
7-figure blogger Neil Patel ends every of his email with the following line:
“PS: If you want to see how I can help you grow your traffic and revenue, go here.” (with “go here” linking to a page aimed at converting visitors to clients).
Method #4: Guest Blog
Many highly successful freelance writers have testified to the power of guest blogging for landing freelance writing clients. Guest blogging for clients can be very powerful, and here’s a comment Demian Farnworth made regarding a guest post he wrote for Copyblogger:
“Last year one single blog post on Copyblogger generated more business for me than [my other efforts] combined… I found myself on the phone or in email exchanges with CEOs and founders for companies like Hubspot, KISSmetrics, Treehouse and Stripes39. In fact, I routinely turned down work as a freelancer because the demand was so high.“
Basically, guest blogging for clients involves finding an authoritative blog in an industry of your choice, crafting a high impact guest post for the blog and ensuring that you have one or more call to actions and note inside of your guest post that tells people that they can hire you.
Method #5: Freelance Job Boards
It’s hard to read an article on getting writing clients that doesn’t recommend freelance job boards, and I’m recommending it as well because of the following reasons:
- Freelance job boards have an abundance of job opportunities; job boards like the Problogger jobs board can feature a dozen writing opportunities in a week.
- Good offers can be found on freelance job boards; while they aren’t necessarily the best way to get clients, some freelance job boards are associated with quality offers. It isn’t unusual to see job offers paying $300 or more per article on some of the top job boards.
- Freelance job boards work; highly successful freelance writer Tom Ewer was making high four figures monthly mainly by pitching offers on job boards.
If you’re interested in giving freelance job boards a try, this article featuring some good job boards is a good start. Here are some tips for you:
1. Subscribe to your favorite job boards so that you get notifications via email, social media and/or RSS. The earlier you respond to job offers, the better.
2. Ensure you use an attractive title that communicates a clear benefit in your response to offers posted on job boards. Most offers posted on job boards get hundreds of responses, so having a clear and appealing headline will give you an advantage.
3. Use elements of social proof to help yourself stand out. If you can convince potential clients that you’ve been widely recognized and praised in their industry, you increase your chances of success.
Mike Wallagher has been consulting with small-businesses and startups for more than 5 years now. He helps people build successful businesses, blogs and websites.