If you think becoming a writer means you spend 24/7 writing, think again. As a full-time writer, I spend 32% of my time writing pitches, 30% of my time managing my clients, and 18% of my time giving my writers instructions. I only spend a whopping 20% of my time actually writing.
This is what it’s like to own a growing business. Writing is what I love but creating a successful writing business has very little to do with writing. Of course, at first, when you have no writers working for your company, you will be writing a great deal. An overwhelming amount.
You will need to scope out potential clients through the local community or platforms like Upwork, Writers Work, and Problogger. Depending on what types of gigs you want will determine the best option for you.
My best advice is to honestly think about the type of client or company you want to work for. Choose someone who has your same company morals, the same beliefs, and someone who wants you to write about what you already have experience in. Veering away from who you are for a quick job and a high rating will leave you drained, unhappy, underpaid, and you’ll start to become known for those underpaid jobs. Writing is not easy!
Good Places to Start Finding Clients
The truth is anyone can be a client. Everyone needs writers, even if they don’t know it. Every website you go on will have some type of writing. Who do you think writes that content? I’ll tell you who. You and me.
We are the people who understand how to communicate on an online platform and make it easy to understand. Whether you want to work in tech, fashion, beauty, lifestyle, or anything else, there is a team of dedicated writers. If there is no team, build a team. If there is no content, make content.
If you are a new freelancer, tell them! You can say, “Hey, I noticed you have a website with no content. I would love to put together a package for you that includes a month of SEO content and social media posts. This will help you boost traffic and help me build a portfolio.” More often than not, this works perfectly.
In every pitch, you want to state who you are and why what you’re doing can help them as a business. This is your job and one of the most crucial parts. I highly recommend looking in your local area before going fully online. Word of mouth is still one of the best marketing tools you can use to your advantage.
Finding clients takes courage, guts, resilience, and understanding. Finding your first few clients is a full-time job on top of writing or your other job. It’s difficult, challenging, frustrating, and worth every second you work hard at it.
The Best Sites to Find Clients
Alright, so maybe you don’t live close enough to local stores to visit like that. I get it. I’m all for living in the woods in a creepy old house. That’s actually my dream. Unfortunately, that means you need to do it online. This is good and bad. For me, it was easier because I am not a people person. Here are three websites to start using today.
This is personally one of my favorite platforms to use, especially if you don’t know how to keep track of your expenses. Upwork is also a really good site for those who are only doing this part-time. There are thousands of jobs posted every day, but there are also thousands of freelancers using this site. It’s really competitive.
If you choose this route, you need to already have a solid portfolio (blog) in one niche. Apply to every job in your niche and stick with it. Upwork gets a lot of love and hate in the freelancing community, and with good reason.
Upwork has tons of jobs that are posted for EXTREMELY low prices. This is not good if you are trying to work full-time and pay bills. However, if you are doing this part-time and can make the low pay work, you will get high ratings. The higher your ratings are, the more high-paying jobs you will get.
Upwork is not good for anyone trying to get a quick job worth a lot. This is the slow and steady pace that will lead to big profits in the long run.
I have a hard time with Writers Work. To me, this feels like a copy of Indeed with fewer options. However, I added it to this list because it is a good place to start. This has higher paying jobs and you can create a portfolio with your work right on the website.
I have a close friend and a mentor who both used this website. They loved it, ranted and raved about it. Although this is not my favorite website, I do believe you should try as many platforms as you can. Getting your name out into the freelancing world is the biggest step and where you should put your focus.
I LOVE ProBlogger. This website is run by someone who truly loves writing. It is set up similar to Writers Work but all of the jobs posted are amazing, and you apply through Google Docs or some other website the company chooses.
You will see jobs that are freelance, contract, part-time, full-time, and much more. There are a few new jobs posted every day and so many wonderful clients. You can read blogs to help you find clients and read the latest eBooks about building a freelancing business on this website.
I found one of the best clients through this website, and it has been huge for my freelancing business. Each job takes a few minutes to apply to, and you will find various niches.
Tips On Pitches
You need to be careful with online pitches. There is a lot that can go wrong really fast. You can be a great writer and still a bad communicator. Unfortunately, if you lack communication skills, your pitch can sound REALLY bad.
Your pitches can sound:
- Less Personable
It is essential to focus on the company you are applying to and what you can do for them. For example, Instead of telling me about your education, or about the thousands of awards you have won, and other fluff that sounds like boasting, try something else. I would rather hear about what someone thinks can be improved and their experience showing they can make those changes. If they have no experience, I want to know the thought process and steps to make the changes happen.
Now, this statement entirely depends on WHERE you are applying and WHO you are writing the pitch to. You need to do your research before sending any pitches online. Some owners, editors, and other freelancers may really like seeing the awards you have.
- Addressing the editor
- Knowing what they are looking for
- Meet every expectation on the pitch (especially if they have directions listed)
- Showing them what you can do rather than telling
Keep these helpful tips in mind next time you are looking for freelancing clients. You now know where I look for clients and how I write my pitches. As you write more pitches, you will become more confident. Why shouldn’t you be? You’re a writer like me, and the world needs more of us.
Thanks for the advice! This topic is a common issue with freelancers!
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Even with places to start looking, it takes tons of time and work!
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It’s important to always make your pitch a true value proposition too. Identify the prospects problem clearly, show them how it’s only going to get worse (fewer leads etc) and then finish with a clear outline of how your content will solve that problem.
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