As a beginner in freelance writing, you are most probably a one-person army. You are out there juggling with all the pieces essential for the success of your business a.k.a your freelance writing services.
And, as a writer, most probably you are also an introverted creature. Now, I know this because… duh!
I know it is so hard to muster up the courage to speak to a stranger about what you do, that marketing and selling are out of the question! The other day, a young woman connected with me over LinkedIn to thank me for my last post- How To Find High Paying Freelance Writing Jobs- Some Unconventional Ways. She revealed it was a great deal for her to reach out to me just to compliment me on the writing. She also disclosed her apparent fear of talking to people and marketing herself.
Since, time immemorial, writers are known to be the introverted kind. We have always been concentrating on our creativity more than we did to sell ourself better. And, if you don’t believe me, check out this astonishing list of writers who died poor.
If THESE people could die poor, we all have all the chances in the world of going to the rags! Did you look at the names in that list?
Fret not, friend! We’ll not let that happen.
First things first. A blog/website.
Since you recognize you are not the best person to speak for yourself, appoint a website or a blog that would do it for you. With an online presence, you will have more to show, and less to say!
I hear content writers saying it all the time- “I have no samples. I just write to get paid!”
Being paid is necessary, but not more than establishing yourself as a credible writer. If you have no place where your prospect can see your writing style/your thoughts/your profile, you will surely have a hard time sealing deals.
When I started out, I was adamant to NOT have my own profile and relied on an obsolete resume to earn clients. This decision of mine awarded me a couple of months of NO WORK!
Do not see your writing for yourself as a waste of time, but as an investment!
Your social media platforms are…well, platforms! They are called platforms for a reason. You ascend a platform, do your thing, and get down.
If you convince your social media followers and readers that you are an incredible writer, you will have marketed yourself in the best possible manner.
Write about stuff that matters to you. Write about stuff that matters to the world. Or, just write. At times, writers are so consumed by what to write, that they don’t write at all!
How I do it!
Now, this is how I make use of the major social media platforms. Now, one size does not fit all, and you need to figure out the best ways for you to do this.
- I write about freelance writing here on my WordPress site. (Right where you are!)
- I publish my creative writings (poems/quotes in English and Hindi languages) on my Instagram handle @the_word_sword, and Facebook page- The Word Sword.
- I publish posts regularly on my LinkedIn profile about anything and everything that catches my eye.
- I also write on my personal Facebook profile.
There are other platforms such as- Twitter, Medium, Quora, and Reddit. Just see what works best for you.
Yes, LinkedIn does deserve a special spot in this post.
My personal recommendation to you would be to focus on LinkedIn the most. It is a great way to project yourself as a professional writer and to exploit the added advantage of finding leads and clients.
In my last post, I talked about how you can build a community on LinkedIn of professional service providers like you and potential clients. In the B2B chain, LinkedIn is on the top.
Start out on the platform by building an impressive profile with a creative summary. Then, move on to build a network.
Meanwhile, don’t forget to market your blog posts, website, and other creative writings on the platform.
And, ask your clients and colleagues for recommendations and endorsements on the platform. LinkedIn is the new digitial age resume!
Remember, you are a creative soul. Instead of doing what is already the norm, look out for ways you can make new norms for yourself.
Here is a way I adopted to market my writing services when I started out.
I invented a requirement where there was none!
This is what I did.
I searched for local companies that fell into my niche and dropped customized emails to them. Once, I explained in an email to a prospect how their blog got updated only rarely, and how they would benefit with regular blog posts. They did not have a requirement, I created it for them.
I also, obviously, wrote how I could help them get that done.
One other time, I pointed out to another potential client how they could improve their website’s content to look more persuasive and convincing.
These are just a few examples. I wrote about 20 such emails every day (a lot of time and no work back then)!
Look out for the nominals!
Some tiny, yet important places where you can sell yourself are-
- Your email signature- Include your title as a professional writer or copywriter or freelance writer. You can also include your profile links in your signature- whichever seem important to you.
- Your blog/website’s Author bio- Make sure that your blog or website’s Author bio makes it clear to the reader that you are available for working as a freelance writer.
- Your LinkedIn profile- The rule of the thumb that I learned and liked was to write your work title first, then your niche, and then a phrase as to how you’re helping people. For an example, you can check my profile.
Remember, only add these snippets if you are looking for prospects. If your bandwidth is full for the time being, I would suggest you keep things simple as they are.
I can’t resist the urge to highlight this yet again, even though I’ve shouted it out loud in all of my posts- PICK A NICHE!
It is so important for marketing yourself well- to know what exactly you do.
Connect with other Freelance writers
I say this for two apparent reasons-
- Most of the freelance writing beginners I meet, I try to help them win writing gigs. Either by looking out for prospects for them or by helping them look out for prospects better, i.e., counseling them. The freelancing community is quite accepting and amicable!
- Some freelance writers can offload some of their work to you. Now, I know this is not your dream job, but it is a kickstart. If you deliver well, your fellow freelance writers will recommend you to potential clients when the time comes.
As a beginner, your learning will be huge if you are in contact with freelance writers through forums, Facebook groups, LinkedIn groups, etc.
Attend local networking events
Alright, I know I said we are the introverted kind, but let’s just try, okay?
Local meetups have more potential than you can imagine. You are bound to meet people who will prove to be “asset connections” for you. Either, they were looking for someone like you already, or they know someone who is.
Local meetups are a great way to get the word out and be visible- two crucial aspects of marketing!
As a freelance writer, YOU are the brand. And you have to ensure you are visible enough. Showing up at these events will mean “branding” for you.
Maintain a balance, though. There are people who market themselves, and then there are those who cannot shut up.
Lastly, word of mouth is the key!
Tell your friends, relatives, and acquaintances about what you do. Tapping into your network will, more often than not, prove beneficial.
You cannot know where an opportunity awaits you.
Be authentic and bold in what you do. Trust in yourself and your work and your capabilities. Once you realize your potential, the world will, too!
If you too have some hacks or quirky tips for marketing yourself better, educate me!
True feedback makes me happy. Blurt out your thoughts in the comments below, and let me know if I helped!
Happy writing! 🙂