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The 3 Simple Principles behind Growing Your Freelance Writing Business

Sometimes, marketing sucks!

And the bad thing is that if you really want to make any headway in your business, you’ve got to be a damn good marketer.

You’ve got to know your business more than anyone else; you’ve got to know your market- what they want, how they think, what they would pay money for, what they would die for.

You’ve got to know how to track your sales, how to create content that converts, how to increase your conversion rates, how to speak the mind of your reader…

You’ve got to know your competitors, the major players in your field, how to infiltrate their massive networks, how to “steal” their traffic, readers and clients and how to get them to promote you.

The bottom line is…

Growing your business involves a whole lot of marketing crap…

And unfortunately, you’ve got to know this crap…. I mean all of it or else, you’d not be making any headway.

Marketing is a very important ingredient in any business and except you’re ready to pay someone else to do your marketing for you, you’ve got to learn all the ropes.

There are loads of marketing information online that learning all of it compulsorily leads to information overload. You’ve got to be selective and streamline your education.

That’s why I’ve streamlined quality marketing education from around the web into three simple principles that are important in growing your freelance business. Concentrating on these three simple principles will not only guide your marketing focus, but it’ll also grow your freelance business.

There are only three things you need to focus on….

 The 3 Simple Principles behind Growing Your Freelance Writing Business

1. Get More Clients

It’s impossible to be in business without clients. Truth be told, it is impossible to have a steady source of revenue from your business without a steady inflow of client projects. If your clients are just one time clients- those that don’t continuously use your services, then you’ll need to secure your income by getting an overload of more clients.

You may think client overload is bad for business. Well, the amount of time you can sacrifice on your business entirely determines just how many projects you can work on at any given time. After all, even Oni advices to get more clients than you can handle. Why not give it a shot.

So, the question is…

How?

If you’ve never believed in starting a blog to get your clients, then this post on Daily Blog Tips should change your mind. It’s a guest post by Onibalusi and in it; he shares 4 ways to get more clients from your blog. As a matter of fact, he shares how he gets clients from his blog (the blog you’re reading right now).

Perhaps you don’t want to use the “blog your way to more clients” approach probably because blogging is too “advanced” for you (I wonder what isn’t). If this is your case, then digging those clients out the offline way would do the trick. In this article on Freelance Folder, you’ll discover 7 real ways to get clients using offline methods. As an extra bonus, you’ll learn other ways to get those clients, via other online means – apart from blogging.

Most of us freelancers always run out of ideas on how to get more clients, especially when we’re just starting out. Well, that shouldn’t be the case because there are always lots of awesome ways to get those clients ringing your door bell (or email inbox). Here’s a huge list of 101 ways to generate new client leads, courtesy of Freelance Switch. Some of the tips can be implemented in as little as 10 seconds, so I suggest you check it out.

 

2. Get Clients to Spend More For Your Freelance Services

The good thing about freelance writing is that there is no fixed price on any service. You can write a guest post for a client at $10 while someone else can write the same guest post at $100. It all depends on your approach and the level of value you have to offer. Even experience with respect to number of years doesn’t count.

When trying to raise your rates, knowing how to price your work is very important. You need to know the right prices to set, so that you neither appear outrageous nor cheap. There are various ways to find out if you are not overcharging your clients and this article on The Next Web shares 6 ways to accurately price your services so you don’t cause your clients to run after other cheaper freelance writers.

Once you think you’ve gotten the right prices, then it’s time to give your clients the shock of their lives. But as you know, everything has a process. Coming all out and telling them point blank that you’re dumping them because they pay you crap just doesn’t make sense. You need to learn some cool negotiation skills that can make even the poorest of your clients pay you big bucks. These easy to implement negotiation tactics on Copyblogger will definitely put you on the right road. They are 37 in number and are so easy to understand.

So when you become a negotiation pro, what next? Well, nothing other than going all out and ensuring that you’re getting paid your worth. How? In this post, Carol Tice of Make A Living Writing shares 113 ways of constantly growing your freelance writing income, guaranteed! A lot of work also has to be done on your self-image and Carol definitely shows you how to deal with that.

Regardless of how much you eventually charge for your services, it is important to remember that value always comes first. You can’t provide crap and expect your client to pay you handsomely. You’ll only get kicked in the butt and shoved aside. Once you can successfully get clients to pay more for what you have to offer, the next sure step to growing your business is to….

 

3. Get Clients to Buy Your Freelance Services More Often

Your next focus should be to turn your first time clients into loyal dogs (not literarily, though) that’ll always fetch what you throw. Repeat business from clients who pay you what you’re worth is definitely good business.

It’s always easier to get repeat business from existing clients than to get new clients. Unlike new clients who have no idea of how you do business, your existing clients are already sure of your quality. This post on Freelance Fact File shows a simple strategy of getting existing clients to order more of your services. The same strategy can also be used to make new clients aware of what you do and how you do it.

First impression always counts and it determines just how often you get repeat business. Treating first time clients like crap definitely guarantees no loyal clients. Two things are very important when trying to make a good first impression- credibility and relationship. This post on Baltimore Drew shows you how to get more freelance work by concentrating on these aspects.

While trying to grow your freelance writing business, you’ll encounter lots of guru advice that’ll always make you feel that you’re not yet good enough. This will make you learn more and more until taking the right actions on your business becomes impossible. You’ll suddenly have so much marketing knowledge that applying them becomes hard.

The key point here is not to continuously implement all strategies just because the gurus say so. All you have to do is implement, track your results and repeat those strategies that gave you results.

Once you can rinse and repeat the processes within these 3 principles, you’ll suddenly start to feel more fulfilled, knowing that you’re making constant progress. Growing your freelance business suddenly seems simple and marketing your services becomes piece of cake. The whole picture gets clearer, you make more money and your clients become happier. What more could you want?

Lanre Solarin is a WritersinCharge team member and a freelance writer who helps service professionals generate leads online using content marketing. Download your free copy of his Proven 20-step blueprint to start generating your first few leads online.

Category: freelance writing

20 Comments on "The 3 Simple Principles behind Growing Your Freelance Writing Business"

  1. Hey Lanre,

    This is a very helpful article that can you easily be put into action now! Thanks for sharing this valuable information. I guess my current struggle has been either not attracting the right business or not going after the my targeted client so to speak.

    I feel trying to find that balance of going out and hustling for clients and building the right platform that attracts more of ideal clients that I so much enjoy working for!

    Thanks again for the thoughts!

    Eric

    • Lanre Solarin says:

      Hi Eric,
      I’m glad you found the article helpful. I guess the best way to get more clients is to make them to come to you. This way, you’re sure that they need your services. And as you said, building the right platform is the best thing to do.
      Thanks for your awesome comment :-).

  2. Great post Lanre! You’ve boiled it down to the really basic elements. Most writers aren’t earning well because they won’t market aggressively, and they’re not focused on turning clients into repeat business. You’ll never earn well when you have to start each month with no work booked and every project is a one-off…

    • Lanre Solarin says:

      Hi Carol,
      You’re right…getting repeat clients is good business. It’s frustrating to start each month knowing that you always have to go all out and market yourself over and over again.
      When it comes to getting repeat business, providing quality is compulsory.

      Thanks a lot for your comment and your awesome blog post, Carol.

  3. jason says:

    Some great tips, I wonder if this approach will work for my writing style. I really enjoy writing product reviews and would love to make a full time gig out of it. I think a major key to getting noticed is by promoting other writers and hope they return the favor.

    • Lanre Solarin says:

      Hi Jason,
      This approach really doesn’t depend on your writing style. It applies to all freelancers, regardless of your niche.
      Give it a shot and see how things turn out ;-).
      Thanks a lot for your comment.

  4. hey Larne,

    what an eye-opener for the struggling freelance writer… you’ve said what Jay Abraham taught for decades… there are only 3 essential ways to increasing a business

    1. Increase the number of clients, traffic or leads

    2. Increase the average size or volume of transaction (e.g. upsell, bundles)

    3. Increase the frequency of purchase with your clients (repeat business is key, and having a back-end will help to go from selling the hour, versus working once — and getting paid multiple times, or in recurring revenue)

    Well done, congrats!

    • Lanre Solarin says:

      Hi Codrut,
      I guess great minds think alike, right? 🙂
      Thanks for your comment.

  5. Jeo says:

    Fantastic post for all freelancers out there! This is exactly what I am looking for. For almost 3 months, I am planning to build a freelancing business and thinking a way to make it successful. I expected to launch it few months from now. I am going to implement it now. I am also planning to try my hands-out at oDesk. Thanks for sharing this post!

    • Lanre Solarin says:

      Hi Jeo,
      Whatever your plans may be, implementation is the most important and I’m glad it’s on your list.
      Thanks for your comment.

  6. Great tips Lanre! Thanks for the shout out to the Freelance Folder post

    • Lanre Solarin says:

      Hi Laura,
      Well, if it wasn’t an awesome post, then I wouldn’t have linked to it :-).
      You’re welcome anyway.

  7. Lakhyajyoti says:

    Great piece of writing. Learn lots of new things about freelance writing business. Getting more clients is not easy without providing quality work.

    • Lanre Solarin says:

      Hi Lakhyajyoti,
      I’m glad that I could be of help.

  8. Thomas says:

    Freelancing is not an easy task especially when it comes to attracting clients who will be convinced to pay more for your freelancing skills. To get such clients, a freelancer needs to work equally hard and write some amazing content. However, yes freelancing can earn us a lot of money.

  9. Wei @ Workout Plans For Men says:

    Hello Lanre,
    Came upon your post while searching for freelance writers. Even though I am not in anyway providing any freelance writing services; more of recruiting ’em, your post has been very helpful to allow me to understand a side of what freelance writer really needs to do/think. I am sure I will show more compassion towards their service now that I have read this. =) Thank you. cheers

  10. Sam says:

    Approaching more and more clients is necessary for any kind of business. When it comes to guest posting, we surely need to convince as many clients as we can for giving us the job of freelancing and writing some valuable content for them. I have heard that good guest posters are paid amazingly!

  11. Harry says:

    I think the next thing is for me to get my own website with a portfolio so I can start drawing clients in through that instead. And I suppose I just need to keep trying with the freelance websites.

  12. Sam says:

    I worked for years as a freelance writer. All the work was done with online clients, and it was one hell of a tough way to make a living. I agree with pretty much everything in this article – I wish I’d read it all those years ago when I was working crazy hours to earn just enough to get by. Good post, thanks for sharing.

  13. Rosel says:

    It takes a lot of effort to become a successful freelancer. It takes a lot of determination and hard work. A very well written article.

Onibalusi

Welcome! I'm Bamidele Onibalusi, a young writer and blogger. I believe writers are unique and highly talented individuals that should be given the respect they deserve. This blog offers practical advice to help you become truly in charge of your writing career.

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