15 Smart Tips on How to Market Yourself as a Freelance Writer
So, you’re a freelance writer, but you’re not sure how to do the “M” word without sounding slimy. Successful freelance writers know that it’s critical to spread the word about your online writing services.
It’s that magical thing called marketing, and it’s something many freelancer writers are afraid of or simply neglect. Or you may hate sounding like a used car salesman, door to door vacuum cleaner salesman, or conceited ass.
But learning how to market yourself as a freelance writer is critical.
There are ways to market your freelance writing services without sounding like any of these things. And better yet, you may find you actually don’t mind marketing when you use these tips and ideas.
1. Get the Writer’s Market Book
The Writer’s Market is an amazing resource for freelance writers. It’s essentially the best handbook for writers to find publications to pitch to.
I realize that this is an article on marketing your freelance writing services, but this is an easy way to find high-paying clients without hardcore marketing. Searching their database is a great way to get writing jobs that pay well as you can see the top payers in your niche.
2. Guest Post for Industry Blogs
Your potential clients read industry blogs, correct? After all, you also read them to stay up to date on the latest trends.
Pro Tip: If you don’t read your niche’s industry blogs, you should start!
Do some research and find some blogs that you’d like to write a guest post for. Email the blog’s owner and offer to write a guest post for free.
If you write a well-planned, detailed blog article, it will likely capture the attention of prospective clients and convert them into customers.
Make sure when you start guest posting, that you also create a bio and a link back to your business website or blog. If you haven’t made a writer website for your business yet stop what you’re doing and do that first.
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3. Email Signature
A professional email signature is a great way to market your writing business. As a freelance writer, one thing you do a lot of is send emails. Miranda Nahmias first gave me the idea in her 5-Day Client Challenge.
An email signature is a simple way to promote your writing services, and it doesn’t take long to create. You don’t need anything super fancy, just something simple with links to your website and your contact information.
You can also add a headshot, an opt-in or lead magnet, your phone number, or Skype ID. Anything you can do to get your name and what you do out there.
Here’s what mine looks like. It even has links to my social media. I got mine through Wise Stamp, and they’re amazing.
When people receive your emails, they’ll see your email address and email signature and associate them together. They may just need a writer!
4. Give Away Free Information
You can also offer your product to other writing business owners to distribute. Create a freebie with helpful information perfect for your clients. It could be as simple as a checklist or PDF of a popular business post on marketing.
Kate Doster has a great free three-day training on freebies that serve and sell and it’s really helpful. If you want to learn more about email marketing and how to grow your list to get more clients she has an awesome course called Love Your List that is very helpful.
Make sure they agree to keep your name as author and your contact information intact. You don’t want them giving out with their information on it or putting it out there like it’s their original idea.
5. Keep a Portfolio in Multiple Places
If you only keep a writing portfolio in one place, it’s your ideal clients will likely never see it. The internet is vast. To increase your chances of being found, make sure to keep at a variety of places.
For instance, I have one with a company called Clear Voice as well as on my website. To be honest, right now, I don’t even have a portfolio set up on my new site, but you should! It would be beneficial for me as well. You can update your LinkedIn resume with new work for clients.
Contently is another portfolio site similar to Clear Voice and a place to get writing gigs. There is a process, however. Contently is different in that it tracks social media shares, illustrating to potential clients how popular and engaging your content writing is.
6. Article Marketing
Another excellent way to attract attention for your business and market your freelance writing is to write articles and publish them on article marketing sites to promote them. These sites help drive tons of prospects and clients to your business website.
On most of these sites, visitors can read, comment, and even vote on your article. Article marketing sites can help you build authority for your website domain.
They also increase the odds that you’ll rank higher on SERP or search engine results pages. Article marketing sites help increase brand awareness and, in turn, enhance your online presence in popular search engines.
Some article marketing sites include:
7. Start Your Own Blog
If you’re a writer and you haven’t started your own blog yet, DO IT NOW! Seriously. One of the best ways to showcase your writing skills is to start a blog on your writing website.
Clients can easily see how well you write, and it also helps you keep current in the industry and boost your writing career.
Posting niche-related content on your blog shows your expertise in the industry and illustrates what you can do for your clients. Nothing is more valuable and proves that prospective clients should pick you than samples of your writing.
Use your writing website for blogging about the topics you want to write to make money. Writing blog articles like this is an excellent way to provide samples if you don’t have a lot to put in your portfolio or haven’t done any paid writing yet.
Just make sure that your content is well-written and engaging. Also, promote it on social media to spread the word.
8. Create a Newsletter
When you add email subscribers to your list, whether they’re customers or not, you have their ears. They’ve given you their permission to receive information from you. As a result, you have the opportunity to provide them with valuable information.
The more helpful information you provide, the better your chances of selling your products to them or gaining them as freelance writing clients.
Each newsletter is an endorsement for you and your services. Invite your email list to forward your newsletter to their friends for more exposure.
9. Say You’re Available for Hire in Your Bio
This one almost seems too simple to work, right? But it does! In your bio simply say something like, “Heather Ritchie is a freelance blog writer for hire who specializes in writing articles for businesses in the security and law enforcement industries…”.
You don’t need to put it in every author bio on all of your websites and social media. The best place to put that your available for hire is in your bio on those guest posts we talked about earlier.
10. Ask Satisfied Clients for Referrals
I’ve always had a tough time doing this one myself. However, you can even create a template to request referrals from satisfied clients.
In fact, you can create a referral reward program. Each client who refers a new customer to you can receive 50 percent off their next writing project. One thing to remember is to include a dollar limit on that referral bonus amount.
The customer could come back and ask for half off on a significant project worth thousands of dollars, and you lose out BIG time. Unless, of course, you don’t mind giving away thousands of dollars.
11. Stay True to Your Niche
You may be having a horrible time trying to narrow down your writing niche. Beginning writers think that the more topics they can write on the more clients they’ll get.
In fact, by niching down, you’ll build authority as an expert in your industry and show soon-to-be clients that you’re the writer for them.
Now choosing a profitable niche isn’t necessarily easy. Trust me, it took me a year and slowed my entire journey down. Niching means specializing and specializing mean more dough in your pockets!
When you’re learning how to market yourself as a freelance writer finding the perfect freelance writing niche is critical.
Social networking is a fabulous way to meet new people. It’s also a terrific way to share your experience, skills, and knowledge.
You can offer value to others, and in return, they may become clients. But networking can seem scary to some new writers and not a favorite method when you’re trying to figure out how to market yourself as a freelance writer.
Facebook groups are becoming popular places to network with other writers and businesses in your niche. LinkedIn is even better since it’s geared towards professionals and businesses.
Also, associate with other freelance writers. They may know someone who needs a writer with your specialty.
If they’re well-known, you may land a gig after taking a class from them because essentially a talented writer trained you and therefore, you’re good too!
Good networking buddies help each other out. One of your clients or someone you know may approach you about a project that you are too busy to handle or don’t specialize in.
You can refer that person to one of your writer friends that you found through networking.
Facebook has some great groups for writers like Jorden Makelle’s Writing Revolters. Just search under groups and you can find many more.
You can join my Pinterest group board for Freelance Writers and Bloggers and network with people there and on other boards as well.
Along the same lines as networking, place your ad on social media such as Facebook or Twitter. Many people are afraid to bombard their friends with an ad, or looking too desperate, but letting people know that you’re hiring on social media is an excellent way to get more clients.
If you pin a small ad or even a testimonial, it will stay at the very top of your news feed so more people will see it. Many people hire others because someone referred them.
Social proof can play a large part in building authority and marketing your freelance writing business.
13. Market Your Freelance Writing Business by Letting Other Writers Know that You’re Available for Work
Many established writers have so much work that they’re overwhelmed. Don’t be too proud to reach out and let them know that you have an opening in your schedule and can’t take some work off their hands. It truly works.
Often, these established writers are relieved to get something off of their plate and onto yours. There are many freelance writers out there that can attest to this and they’ve been in your shoes.
When you’re trying to figure out how to market yourself as a freelance writer, don’t discount other writers as a source for writing jobs.
14. Don’t Forget Good Old-Fashioned Promotion
In our modern world, old school advertising is often forgotten when new writers look for ways to market their freelance writing business.
Business cards, postcards, magnets, and advertisements are great little promotional items for boosting brand awareness and getting new clients. However, invest your money wisely and only focus on a few small promotional things.
I know it may seem unconventional in today’s tech-driven world, but some things never change. Don’t make your marketing complicated and too formal.
Be creative about how you spread the word about your freelance writing business. Make sure to include your freelance writing website, contact information, and branding on your promotional items.
15. Comment on the Blogs You Want to Write For
Skeptical about how simple this sounds? Well, most blog owners read and respond to comments on their posts. People can’t hire you if they don’t know you’re out there.
Connecting with businesses you want to write for can really pay off. In turn, you can share their content, and they’ll likely take a look at your blog and website.
Scaling your writing business takes both resources and time. Invest them wisely to reach your freelance business goals. Be patient if things seem to be happening slowly.
Try some of these ideas to help you get more freelance writing clients, and before you know it, you’ll be the one referring work to others!
Let me know in the comments below if you have any ideas on how to market yourself as a freelance writer!