If you’re working to get a freelance writing business off the ground, there are a lot of things to address. Along with maintaining high-quality writing, you need to open a business bank account, set up a home office, buy the equipment and software you need … and find clients. Lots of clients. Maintaining a steady stream of clients is a prerequisite for long-term freelancing success. If you want to get clients, you need to learn how to market yourself. Here are several tips to help you do so.
Start With Your Mindset
The way that you view yourself will have a significant impact on your freelancing career. If you’re insecure or uncertain it will spill over into how your clients see you.
If you want to maintain a good image as a freelance copywriter, work on your mindset before you start marketing yourself. Remember to maintain perspective. You’re working on a peer-to-peer basis with clients. You aren’t their employee. You’re an equal.
Keeping this in mind can help you build confidence as you seek to provide quality written content to meet your client’s needs.
Create Marketing Assets
It’s a good idea to collect your marketing assets before you start looking for work. This includes basic items such as:
- A resume to include with job applications.
- A portfolio to showcase your past written work.
- Social profiles to establish your online network.
- A website to house all of your marketing assets.
It’s also a good idea to set up behind-the-scenes elements, such as documentation clearly delineating your rates. That way, when a potential client asks, you aren’t left unprofessionally scrambling for an answer.
Find Marketing Channels
Next up, consider the channels that you can use to market yourself. There are two ways to approach this.
First, consider where you can find work. Numerous job boards post different kinds of copywriting work. Some of these, like Upwork and Fiverr, are designed for all kinds of freelancers and can be a good point of entry. Others, like ProBlogger, are targeted toward writers, in particular.
Along with looking for actual writing work, the other option is to look for the clients themselves. This goes hand in hand with the next tip: networking.
Build Your Network
As a freelancer, you’re always on the outside, looking in. It’s just a part of the reality of doing contract work. This makes your network a lifeline filled with connections that can cultivate over the years.
You can build your network in various ways. Face-to-face interactions are always great, but in the modern world, chances are you’ll primarily build your network online. You can use platforms like LinkedIn to connect with other professionals and clients. Sites like Facebook also have groups of similarly-minded freelancers who you can interact with. Twitter can help you follow industry trends.
Make sure to invest in a good network, as it keeps your foot in the water when it comes to marketing yourself to potential clients.
Focus on a Niche
It’s wise to look for ways to stand out from your competing freelancers if you want to increase the chance of attracting a client as you apply for jobs and work your network. One way to do this is by focusing on a niche.
For instance, if you currently are marketing yourself as “a writer,” you’re one out of millions of similar candidates. However, if you’re an SEO writer, a marketing writer, a non-profit writer, a tech writer, an entertainment writer, and so on, you instantly stand out against other “I’m just a writer” candidates.
Along with helping you stand out, focusing on a niche can help you identify the audiences that you’re trying to market yourself to. If you’re a tech writer, you know that you want to find tech companies that need a writer. If you’re a non-profit guru, you can reach out to non-profits and ask if they need any copywriting done. You get the idea.
Don’t Ignore Local Markets
The bulk of modern freelance copywriting happens online. The global market is so huge and writing is so remote-friendly that it’s easy to find clients that are a good fit on the online marketplace.
However, that doesn’t mean you should ignore local markets. On the contrary, don’t be afraid to market your services to local companies. The fact that you’re nearby often is a primary selling point.
This is particularly helpful if you live in or near a city center. Landing local clients can help you create sustainable lines of work while also enabling you to embrace an economically friendly lifestyle to support your freelancing work.
Focus on Existing Clients, Too
Once you start to land work, it’s tempting to keep looking for more work. After all, you can never have too many clients, right? Wrong.
Retaining a client is ironically more cost-effective than getting a new one. You already have trust, loyalty, and even logistical factors like pay and workflow figured out — at least, you do if you actually invest in retaining your existing clientele.
Try to prioritize your current clients at all times. As you cultivate those relationships, you can count on steady work in return. In addition, you can ask happy clients for referrals, which can shorten the task of hunting down more work. If you maintain a positive relationship, you can even reach out to old clients after you’ve parted ways if you ever find yourself looking for more work down the road.
Successfully Marketing Your Freelance Writing Business
There are many marketing factors to keep in mind if you want to stand out as a freelance copywriter. To reiterate, this all starts with your mindset. If you’re insecure, unsure, or insincere in your demeanor, it’s going to hamper your ability to get new work.
Instead, work hard to foster a positive and confident freelancing mindset. From there, assemble your marketing assets, find good marketing channels, build your network, and identify niche audiences and local work opportunities. Then, once you’ve onboarded good clients, invest in retaining them for as long as possible.
If you can do that, you can build a steady, reputable freelancing brand that will keep you happily writing for a long time to come.