Starting a career as a freelance writer isn’t easy. You need to perfect your craft, build a portfolio and convince your first clients that they should hire you over others. Securing clients can seem overwhelming at first, because you are going to be competing with other writers around the world. Many writers believe that the best thing they can do is lower their rate so that they can attract more clients. This is not a strategy you should follow.
Don’t Compete on Price
Have you ever heard the saying “you get what you pay for?” Most clients have heard it as well. They want to make sure that they hire someone who can provide the quality services that they need.
Of course, there are some companies that try to commission writers on Odesk, Elance and other freelancer sites. Some of them are looking for the cheapest contractors they can get. You may be tempted to lower your rate so that you can secure them as a client. You want to resist this temptation, especially when you are a new writer who is just trying to get started. You will only end up in a bidding war with other contractors and would probably need to work for a rate that you couldn’t live off of.
Most companies know that they need to pay good rates to get someone who will offer the quality services that they are looking for. You will need to convince potential clients that you are the best person for the job and are worth every penny that they will be paying you.
Other Ways to Distinguish Yourself
You don’t need to work for minimum wage to convince a client to hire you. In fact, there are many freelance writers who make a six figure income. However, you also can’t try to charge a fee that is more than you are worth or less than your clients can afford. You will also need to distinguish yourself from the other writers that you are going to be competing with. Here are some ways to do that.
Show Your Track Record
You need to convince prospective clients that your work will add value to their business. The best way to do this is by showing that you have a great track record for getting results. Here are some ways that you can do this:
- Show a portfolio of the best articles that you have written
- Show how your previous work helped clients generate sales
- Show that you have secured guest posts on well-known websites
- Show that your previous articles have received many comments and social shares on other websites
Clients would rather work with an established writer who has a track record for getting results than take a chance on someone who hasn’t proven themselves. Set them at ease by proving that you are exactly what they are looking for.
Show You Are an Expert
Clients often hire writers who don’t have any practical experience in their field. However, they understand that they will need to consult with those writers and may need to make some edits. These writers will also have to create content purely based on what they researched.
You can add a lot more value to your clients if you have some specialized knowledge in their field. Here are some ways that you can benefit them:
- You have a certification that you need special training for.
- You have an advanced degree in the client’s field.
- You have at least a couple of years of experience in the industry.
- You have hands on experience working on the same kinds of projects that you would be writing about.
You should always be thinking about what kinds of things set you apart from other writers in the industry. Having some knowledge in the industry will help tremendously.
Going the Extra Mile
Most people in this day-and-age don’t have the best work ethic. They want to get by doing as little work as possible. You will need to show your clients that you are committed to taking your work to the next level. Here are some things that you can do to go above and beyond for your clients:
- Offer to include pictures with your posts
- Be pleasant to work with
- Complete your work well ahead of deadlines
- Refer other clients for them
- Tell them what types of factors have helped your own content marketing business
Most clients are used to working with contractors who do the bare minimum (or less). You should show them that you are willing to work hard and do more than they expect.
Price is Important – but it Isn’t Everything
Clients consider a number of factors when they hire a writer. They do have a budget, so you won’t be able to get away charging more than they can afford. However, a good client will be able to pay you what you ask and recognize the value that you bring to the table. Show that you can offer the quality services that they are looking for.
Kalen Smith is an established freelance writer who has been published in Forbes, Investopedia, Problogger and other well-known websites. He is the founder of GuestBloggingResource.com, a blog where he teaches other freelancers and Internet marketers about effective guest blogging strategies.