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5 Reasons You’re Not Landing Clients As A Freelance Writer

Updated: Jun 12

Freelance writing is a great profession. You get to choose your timings, you don’t have a boss breathing down your neck, you can work from wherever you want, and if you find the right clients, the pay is great, too.

Of course, all this goes to the trash if you’re not landing clients. A lot of freelance writers struggle when it comes to getting new clients. While there are many reasons why you may not be getting new clients, there are a few usual suspects.

Here are 5 common reasons why you’re not getting new clients as a freelance writer:

Your portfolio isn't strong enough.

If you're a freelance writer looking to land clients, your portfolio is your most important tool. It's your opportunity to showcase your writing skills and convince potential clients that you're the right person for the job. But if your portfolio isn't strong enough, it can be difficult to stand out in a crowded market.

So, what makes a strong portfolio? First and foremost, it needs to contain high-quality writing samples. These samples should be well-written, engaging, and relevant to the types of projects you want to work on. If you're a copywriter, for example, you should have samples that demonstrate your ability to write compelling sales copy. If you're a content writer, you should have samples that showcase your ability to write informative and engaging articles.

It's also important to have a variety of writing samples that show off your versatility as a writer. If you only have samples in one niche, potential clients might not be convinced that you can handle other types of writing projects. So, if you're a copywriter, consider creating samples for different types of businesses, such as a retail company or a healthcare provider. Or, if you're a content writer, consider creating samples in different formats, such as blog posts, whitepapers, and case studies.

The presentation of your portfolio is also important. It should be easy to navigate, visually appealing, and showcase your writing samples in a way that makes them stand out. Use headings, subheadings, and bullet points to break up your content and make it easier to read. Consider adding graphics or other visual elements to make your portfolio more engaging.

Finally, don't be afraid to ask for feedback on your portfolio. Reach out to other writers or mentors and ask for their honest opinion. You may discover areas where you can improve and make your portfolio even stronger.

You're not targeting the right clients.

As a freelance writer, it's important to understand your target audience. If you're not targeting the right clients, you could be missing out on valuable opportunities to grow your business. So, how do you identify the right clients to target?

Start by thinking about your niche. What type of writing do you specialize in? Are you a copywriter, content writer, or something else entirely? Once you have a clear idea of your niche, you can start to identify the types of clients who would benefit most from your services.

Next, consider the industries you want to work with. Do you have experience writing for specific industries, such as healthcare or technology? If so, those industries might be a good place to start your search for clients.

Another factor to consider is the size of the companies you want to work with. Are you looking to work with small businesses or larger corporations? Each has its own advantages and challenges, so it's important to consider which is the best fit for you and your business.

Finally, think about the values and culture of the clients you want to work with. Do you want to work with companies that prioritize sustainability or social responsibility? Or, do you prefer to work with clients who value creativity and innovation? Identifying these factors can help you find clients who align with your values and work style.

Once you've identified your target clients, you can start to tailor your marketing and outreach efforts to reach them. This might include creating content that speaks directly to their needs and challenges, attending industry events, or reaching out to them directly through email or social media.

You're not marketing yourself effectively.

As a freelance writer, your ability to market yourself effectively can be the difference between landing clients and struggling to find work. If you're not putting yourself out there and promoting your services, it can be difficult for potential clients to find you. So, what can you do to market yourself effectively?

Start by creating a strong brand identity. This includes developing a professional website that showcases your writing samples, experience, and services. Your website should be visually appealing and easy to navigate, and should clearly communicate the value you can provide to potential clients.

Next, consider your social media presence. Social media can be a powerful tool for reaching new clients and promoting your services. Consider creating profiles on platforms like Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook, and use them to share your writing samples, industry news, and insights into your writing process.

Networking is also an important aspect of effective self-promotion. Attend industry events and conferences, join professional organizations, and connect with other writers and creatives in your niche. These connections can lead to valuable opportunities and referrals.

Finally, don't underestimate the power of word-of-mouth marketing. Encourage satisfied clients to leave reviews on your website or social media profiles, and use those reviews to showcase your expertise and credibility.

You're not charging enough.

One common mistake that many freelance writers make is not charging enough for their services. While it can be tempting to set lower rates in order to attract more clients, this can actually be counterproductive in the long run. By undercharging, you run the risk of undervaluing your skills and expertise and attracting clients who don't respect your time or the value of your work.

So, how do you determine what to charge for your writing services? Start by researching industry standards and rates. Consider factors like your level of experience, your niche, and the types of services you offer when setting your rates.

It's also important to factor in your time and expenses when determining your rates. Consider how long it takes you to complete various writing projects, and how much time you spend on other aspects of your business, such as marketing and administrative tasks. Factor in expenses like software subscriptions, office equipment, and professional development opportunities as well.

Another approach to pricing your services is to focus on value-based pricing. This means setting your rates based on the value you provide to your clients, rather than just the time and effort you put into each project. For example, if your writing helps a client generate new leads or increase sales, you can justify higher rates based on the value you're providing to their business..

You're not following up with potential clients.

As a freelance writer, you're likely sending out a lot of pitches and proposals to potential clients. However, if you're not following up with those prospects, you could be missing out on valuable opportunities to land new clients.

Following up with potential clients shows that you're proactive, professional, and serious about working with them. It also helps keep you top of mind and gives you another opportunity to showcase your skills and expertise.

So, how do you follow up effectively? Start by setting a timeline for your follow-ups. For example, you might send an initial pitch or proposal, and then follow up one week later if you haven't heard back. Then, you can follow up again one or two weeks after that, depending on the situation.

When you follow up, be sure to keep your message brief, friendly, and professional. Remind the client of who you are and what you can offer, and ask if they have any questions or if there's anything else you can provide to help them make a decision.

It's also important to keep track of your follow-ups and to stay organized. Consider using a spreadsheet or project management tool to keep track of who you've pitched, when you followed up, and what the outcome was.


Remember, it takes time and effort to build a freelance writing business. Don't get discouraged if you don't see results right away. Keep working at it, and eventually, you'll get there.

If you're looking for writing jobs, check out Simple Job Listings. It's a curated website where we post the best writing, editing, and marketing jobs in the world right now. All jobs are remote, you get a short description of what the company is looking for, and it's absolutely free. Good luck!

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