Bad NEWS: All freelance writers have at some point been trapped in this vicious cycle of no clients-no experience, and no experience-no clients.
Good NEWS: It’s breakable.
Freelance writers, here’s the deal:
Even if you have not done any “work” until now, except sipping coffee and imagining the faraway land where you are financially independent and surrounded by A-level clients- even then, there’s a way out.
Heck, there is always a way out.
All freelance writers were where you are at some point. When you embark on this journey, you have no experience to show and no clients to build your experience.
Here’s what every freelance writer can do, this point forward-
Create Samples- Great Ones!
Samples are not undervalued- far from it. When a client knows you are new to freelance writing, your samples are what they consider the first step.
Here are some golden rules I suggest for creating samples-
- Keep them relevant to the current trends.
- Keep them high-quality.
- Invest time and effort in creating your samples.
- And, keep them related to your niche preferences.
If you are interested in the health and fitness niche, create detailed samples on the trending topics in that area. This is how you tell the client you are fit to work with them when you have no experience!
To learn about the trending topics in your niche, you can do one of these things-
- Create a Google Alert- I work in the Technology niche, and it helps to stay updated with the latest trends. I have added Google Alerts for topics such as IoT, ML, Big Data, Microsoft, Google, App Development, etc. By doing so, I get alerts right in my mailbox, and I can stay updated on everything that’s happening around the world in my industry.
- Google your keywords- This is a great way to learn what everyone is talking about in your industry. Let’s say, you Google “Weight Loss”. Now, move over to the NEWS tab in your Google search results. These are the trending news and blogs about weight loss that everybody is talking about. Now, if you are specifically looking for blog ideas, do this-
- After clicking on NEWS, click on “Tools”- an option present on the same grey tab and change “All news” to “Blogs”.
Pro Tip: If you want to invest more in your art of creating samples, here’s what you can do. You can filter the trending topics based on the country you are targeting for your business. There are different topics of interest in the US and in India. Depending on the market you want to focus on, change the default setting of nationality for your Google search. Do this-
Click on “Settings”, then “Search Settings” and scroll below to “Region Settings”. Set the region you are targeting. Now, you’ll see the search results according to the region you selected.
This is a fail-proof way of creating samples that can help you land clients effectively.
You also get an idea about the keywords that rank in your targeted market when you follow this method!
Education & Credibility- For “WHAT You Write”
When I first started as a full-time freelancer, I had little experience to show, but I had this- a B.E. in Computer Science!
Since I chose Technology as my niche, my engineering in CS counted as a proof of my understanding of Technology and my expertise in the field. When you have been a part of that industry, you know more than what an outsider does. I know how software work. I know how to build them. And, I can market them only when I know what they really are.
This is how I built my clients’ trust in my services. I told them I knew stuff. That I didn’t have to be taught about software to write about them. That I need not get a training to write about the leading technologies because I have learned them firsthand during my engineering study.
Look out for the ways in which you can prove yourself credible to write what you want to.
If your education does not match your freelance writing niche, maybe you can set a learning curve for yourself. This is especially useful for the niches that involve technicalities and specific knowledge.
For the fitness, travel, and other such niches, this may not help a lot. It may help you to be a fitness freak yourself so that when you write, you write from an experiential standpoint. You can try supplements and exercise regimes firsthand and then tell your readers about them. Imagine the personal touch you can add out of your own experiences!
Your experiences add soul to your writing.
If you write about Travel, it may help you to travel a lot. Then you’ll know the experiences you build and the challenges you face when you travel.
But, if you are looking to carve your niche in a technical field, your learning curve and education is a huge plus.
Education and Credibility- For “HOW You Write”
I have heard freelance writers take up writing courses and earn certifications. Even if you have samples to show, and a learning curve you can follow, this is a great next step for you. If you believe a little more credibility could significantly enhance your image as an expert freelance writer, do this.
Take up certification courses that you can add to your client pitches and to your LinkedIn profile.
Here is a list of 14 Top-Rated Courses for you to invest in!
As you write more, you become better! Every passing day!
Make sure you are investing in the right resources to exhibit your credibility when you are just starting out.
The bottom line is to focus on what you have, rather than what you don’t.
How did you land your first client?
Share in the comments below!
Happy Freelancing! 🙂