We can all agree freelance writing is no piece of cake. The first few months of finding work as an inexperienced and amateur writer are the hardest. Freelance writing feels like a loner’s land already, and then there are these clients who wouldn’t just revert!
While there are numerous ‘traditional’ ways of generating leads, some creativity and out-of-the-box thinking proves beneficial, at least it did in my experience. I have heard from a lot of freelancers that they send out emails and phone calls by hundreds every day and are not yet close to finding a prospect. Last time, I posted something on similar lines- Marketing Tips For Freelance Writers | Don’t Sell Yourself Short!
I’ll tell you some methods today specifically for earning new clients from scratch, or by leveraging the existing ones. And, if you answer the following with a yes, only then scroll ahead-
- I would love to experiment.
- I am ready to do whatever it takes.
- I really really want to pursue freelance writing.
I see you’re here, let’s dive in!
My first tried-and-tested tip is…
Build A Bouquet Of Services
While I have mentioned a lot about picking up a niche in all of my previous posts, I can see that you still haven’t decided. If that is so, none of these tips shall matter to you.
Because my first winning strategy was just that. Before I got my first client, before I even made sure I was to start freelance writing, I had decided my niche.
Now, today, this is not all I’m going to talk about.
The second strategy was to make a bouquet of services. Today, I have an experience in all of the following forms of writing-
- Blog/Article writing
- Website Copywriting
- Dissertation editing
- Editing for web pages, blogs, etc.
They key here is to expand to all services in your niche. If you can write about Technology, you can probably edit and proofread a dissertation or research paper related to the niche.
Think about all the other kinds of writing and editing you can do in your own niche, and try adding these to your services. You’d come out as a more flexible subject-matter expert.
The next tip relates to this one.
Tell Your Current And Past Clients About Your Bouquet
It is completely normal to send out marketing emails to your existing and past clients to remind them of the services that you provide. This will help you stay on top of their minds and they will turn to you when they need your services.
More importantly, if your clients have someone else looking for your services, they will be quick to refer your name to them, if they know your freelance writing services in and out. And, if they were satisfied with your services!
Now, this might come as a surprise, but your work is not enough for you to earn complete client satisfaction.
Which brings us to the next tip-
Act Like A Human
Oh, yes, I don’t expect a panda to be reading my blog. But, more often than not, we forget the one important aspect of being a human- relationships!
Go out of your way to build effective and healthy relationships with your clients. I cannot stress this enough. Humans are driven by emotions. Large corporations might seem like machines, but what they sell, are emotions!
Having said that, when you establish meaningful relationships with your clients, they are more likely to invest higher in your services than they do right now, and, they are more likely to refer you to someone else.
This might seem really out of the way, but I get invited by my clients to their weddings, and for coffees, and for day-outs in their organization. And, I love it because it shows how much my clients value me.
Kindness, goodwill, and a selfless motive- are all crazy values today, a fact that made me include this pointer here.
You are not a machine that writes and sends emails. Make your clients feel that.
My most crazy tip, now!
Show Your Prospects Why They Need You
Okay, this might sound weird. But this is just something I tried when I was in a dire need of clients.
- I would visit the websites of my potential clients (according to the niche, please!).
- I would go through the content on their website (I had a lo-oh-t of time and no clients, remember?).
- I would invariably get some grammatical errors or even, gasp, typos!
- I would screenshot that part of their website, and send that to them over an email.
- Now, correct a fool and he will be offended, correct a wise man and he will appreciate.
- At times, you meet the latter as a prospect, and he is glad you corrected their massive mistake that was out there on their most crucial marketing platform- their website!
- This person will hire you for your smartness and for your care for their business.
- Send out an email to them telling them that you were browsing their website and came to notice the error. Then state that you provide proofreading/writing/editing services and you can help them check their complete website for errors and revamp it.
Bam! I landed a couple of clients with this method.
Run A Sale
While I am against writing stuff for free, you can choose to do that within limits, by choice. For an instance, you come across a prospect and see that the content on their website can be redone in a better way- either by targeting better keywords or by improving the quality of the content.
I suggest you revamp a web page’s content for free, email the updated content to them, and ask them if they would like the same done for all their pages.
More often than not, if you are really providing some value to them, they will sign you up. Some of your prospects would really want to see upfront what change you can bring about.
If offering a chunk of writing for free can land you a great deal, why not?
Alright, you might suspect I have turned completely crazy with the last tip below!
Care Less About The Money
If the first thing you care about in your work is money, you won’t sustain for long. Instead, focus on giving value, and the money will follow.
Oh, another spiritual philosophy- Work without any care for the reward and the reward will come!
While I am all for earning huge money, I don’t consider it the first thing I would look for in a prospect. First, I would like to know about the kind of work- if it fits my niche, if it is worthy of my time, if I am fit for taking it up, if I will be able to meet expectations, etc.
Money should be secondary because some clients can’t offer you huge money, but they will prove to be an asset in the long run. Look out for the other factors, too! The stability of the organization, the way they treat you, etc.
You will see that you make the best kind of clients through this approach.
Remember, freelance writing is not simple as it seems. There will be setbacks, there will be hard times, but if you know your worth, you’ll make it!
You can check all of my posts about Freelance Writing here.
Do you have some crazy ways of generating leads, too?
Tell me in the comments section below!