This is a guest post by Michael Chibuzor.
The best paying clients are closer than you think.
If you want to attract credible freelance projects and earn some decent income, then you have to re-order your thought pattern. I don’t think you need any other skill to succeed as a freelance writer, aside from what you already have. What matters is your uniqueness and how quickly you adapt to changes going on around the web.
I started writing professionally in 2008 and prior to this year, I’ve written over 530 articles which I published at ezinearticles.com
I got all the traffic I needed, earned meager commissions from get-rich-quick affiliate programs but didn’t realize the pit I was digging myself into. This post is going to change the way you relate with clients, and how to handle delicate issues which seem to threaten your very existence as a freelance writer.
You’re A Rare (Writing) Gem!
Every professional writer is a rare gem.
It’s not easy to write for the web. When you combine your writing skills with SEO, your overall success would be obvious for others to replicate.
Before I show you the 7 actionable ways to dazzle your current clients and win the hearts of potential prospects as you climb the ladder of success in your business, I want to challenge you to believe in yourself.
The greatest motivational speaker is you. So, stop waiting for that “push” to start dazzling your clients. It’s easier than you think, but I’m prepared to make it a lot easier and interesting.
If you’ve made up your mind to finally make money with freelance writing this year, as well as secure consistently high paying gigs from your current clients, I present you the my well researched post.
You have three things to do right away.
Read. Meditate. Take action!
1. Show What You Can Do, Stop Talking
Should I tell you something extraordinary? Alright, clients are not concerned about you, your qualifications and all the cash you’ve in your bank account. They care less what you do with the money they pay you. But growing their business and improving their lives are the main focus of hiring you. Work towards its actualization and success will trail you like an angry shadow.
You’ve been talking about you for a long time and nothing seems to be working, why not change your approach?
Put your “work” where your mouth is. At the moment, I’ve 5 clients I write for. Amongst these formidable clients of mine, I’ve fallen in love with one. Take it easy, I’m not talking about romantic love here, I mean I love writing for her, even when my desk is filled. Did I hear you ask why?
Simple! She advised that I stop talking about my years of experience and how successful I’ve become. Instead, I should package my writing works and put a seal of transparency on it.
Your writing portfolio should consist of articles that are published, not the ones on your PC. If you don’t have a portfolio yet, get started this minute. No client is going to pay you to build a portfolio, so put the money aside and start writing – don’t give up because your saving grace is looming graciously.
2. Are You A Freelance Writer? Maybe Not!
If you’re a freelance writer, can I see your right hand up?
Alright, let me count. 1,…5,…13,…34,…etc. Wow! We’ve got hundreds of writing geeks right here. But can I tell you something you didn’t know?
You’re not a freelance writer, at least, not the way clients see you. The major reason a lot of bloggers and internet entrepreneurs struggle to make substantial income is because they’ve neglected the essence of starting up a business.
I’m sure you didn’t start a business because of the Title (Manager) attached to it. You started a business because you wanted to solve problems, or meet a need, or add value to life and in the process, earn income for your services.
Of course, you’re a freelance writer by default but don’t base your marketing communication on it. Instead of telling everyone that you’re a freelance writer, pinpoint one unique thing you write about and use it as a pivot to win high paying projects.
For instance, if you’re a freelance copywriter, then tell clients that “you assist businesses to convert more leads into sales.”
If you’re an SEO writer, when you approach a client or market your expertise, find a spot that gives you an advantage and dominate it. Example, “I help clients write articles to improve their Google top 10 ranking.”
3. Dazzle Clients With ‘SEO’ Optimization Skill
Most of my writing clients decided to hire me because I’m good in optimizing web pages for Google. As a writer, don’t be solely concerned about researching and writing for clients, your focus should be on education.
Every corporate and small business entrepreneur is looking for savvy writers who can go the extra mile in giving them a spot on search engines especially the ALMIGHTY “G.”
Don’t be surprised, your best client may decide to lay you off if you continue to display primitive writing skills. Search engine optimization is evergreen and anyone with this rare skill has an open check to cash in online. It means you could research any niche, create a niche blog and start making money as quickly as possible.
It’s really not easy to master SEO, but it’s doable. At the start of this post, I challenged you to believe in yourself. I’m not an SEO expert and might never get to that level but I’ve had success with Google domination and it’s helped me retain my writing clients.
Interestingly, Onibalusi has written a concise and jaw-dropping post on SEO for writers and I admonish you to read the entire post. I’ve learned a lot from that single post, I’m confident it would help you too.
Knowing SEO practices would help you attract more serious clients who use search engines as their freelance hunting machine. Take this advice to heart, it’s priceless.
4. Word Of Mouth Marketing Is the Key
I’ve interviewed several successful writers on the internet and their success-path is often similar. If you’re yet to land a writing gig with word of mouth marketing, then you need to put in extra work on your contents.
No, you don’t have to ask someone to tell their friends or spouse about you. You’re simply earning the trust which puts you in a vantage position to get “natural” share on major social media networks.
Word of mouth (WOM) marketing doesn’t happen by chance and neither is it a derivative of coincidence. You can create buzz for your writing career without hurting anyone or adulterating your credibility.
Note: You can’t control how people share your content but you can trigger it. What happens outside is a by-product of what happens inside. Quality content will definitely announce you to the right clients.
If Oni has been producing half-baked articles and guest posts, he wouldn’t have been so successful, let alone have the ability to give me the chance to contribute my own quota (guest post).
5. Churn & Burn: The #1 Freelance Writing Killer
In sales, there are so many terms and phrases used to explain certain events. One such term is “churn and burn.” Do you know what it means and how this could render your freelance writing career impotent?
When you consistently reshuffle clients in search of fresh ones, you’re an active member of a group that “churn and burn”. You successfully converted an ordinary prospect into a client, now you’ve done the first project and got paid in full.
Unfortunately, due to some inexplicable attitudes from both parties (you & client), they went their way and you’re back searching for that next client.
How long will you continue to struggle and demean your chances of making it big in this writing industry? If you’ve done any (including part-time) writing projects before, it should be a stepping stone to greater gigs.
If someone hired you initially, the pain of convincing them to check out your writing portfolio the second time is lifted, and now you have a great change to dazzle and win again.
Solution: If you’ve a part-time client, before the current project elapses, send or call them up. You know the best communication medium that works. Use it and with all humility and proficiency, offer to do more work. Additionally, treat clients as if they’re gods (are they really gods…?) and they’ll flock around you like matured honey bees. Lol!
If you’re known to produce quality content from the get-go, even when there is no writing project, 87% of my clients usually “create” a fresh project just for me. Quality content pays. But don’t take my word for it, give it a shot, garnish with consistency and share your story.
6. Spoon-Feed Clients With Irresistible Contents
If quality content is king, what about “marketing?”
No matter the quality and conciseness of your contents, you may never come to lime light until the right eyeballs read your content. Clients are like toddlers that need to be spoon-fed or else they’d go hungry all day. It’s time to spoon feed your clients with irresistible contents.
Similarly, if you want the right prospect to take a decision right now, your marketing hype isn’t going to make it work, but your content would.
The same way you spoon feed Google spider to crawl, index and rank your web pages should guide your entire marketing decisions online including writing for clients and promoting your services.
Actionable Step: Plan your attack approach and make sure you understand how clients make decisions. The major reason why your first impression should be utmost – write cornerstone contents consistently.
Don’t assume that a 500 words article is ideal since people are weary of reading long articles online.
That may be true but when your posts are informative and interesting, your readers, prospects and clients would be delighted to read a 5,000 words post with every ounce of their being and even bookmark it. Visit Viperchill.com to see examples of long posts that readers enjoy reading because they’re top notch.
Keep spoon-feeding Google spider & clients with keyword-rich, quality, relevant and lively web contents. You’ll reap better dividends than most Wall Street investors.
7. Write Fail-Proof Catchy Headlines Always
I don’t know the strategy you’ve been using to get your guest posts published, but mine has been catchy and keyword-focused headlines. About a year ago, my second writing client came from search engines.
“I’m a procrastinator” he said. His niche sites (three niche sites) had been lying fallow for almost 8 months devoid of fresh quality contents. He said he’d been looking for a skilled writer to help him organize these niche blogs and contribute regularly.
Of course the pay was good, but I was overwhelmed when he finally said, “Michael, I’m giving you this project because the headline I clicked on to your blog is good. Can you write similar ones for me?
Here’s a quick tip: Doing exploits and making money online as a freelance writer doesn’t require any “originality.” You only need to think like a professional and decide to set your footprint in the sand of time.
Guess what, every article topic has been written by more savvy and experienced writers. Some of these people have amassed 20+ years writing skills. You can’t possibly compete with them, but you could “create an angle of oscillation and do your own thing from their professional idea.”
Write your headline in passive voice. Use a style that sets you apart from the teaming writing crowd. Brainstorm action words (verbs) that trigger pain, pleasure etc and use them on your title. Example, Smart, sure-fire, amazing, fantastic, effective, success, strategy, bulletproof, fail-proof, actionable (see title above) etc.
Just make sure to use one or two action words on your title. You’d win with this basic knowledge, but don’t stop there. Invest in your mind for more headline ideas.
Your Turn To Dazzle Me!
That’s a pretty long post, I must confess. But before I leave, I want to further remind you that your next writing job is right under your nose. Invest in personal development and don’t forget to trust your instincts.
Did you enjoy this post? Dazzle me with your comment and let’s grow together this year. Take these three words home: TAKE ACTION NOW!