top of page

6 Ways To Get New Clients As A Freelance Writer: A Definitive Guide

Updated: May 3, 2023

As a freelance writer, you know how hard it can be to find new clients. You may have a great portfolio, a catchy website and a killer pitch, but sometimes it feels like no one is biting. You may wonder what you're doing wrong, or if there's something you can do better.


Well, I'm here to tell you that there is. In fact, there are six things you can do right now to get more clients as a freelance writer. These are the strategies that I use myself, and they have helped me land some of my best clients ever. So, let’s get started:


Reach out to your existing customers

One of the easiest and most effective ways to get new clients is to ask for referrals from your existing ones. If you have done a good job for them, they will be happy to recommend you to their friends, colleagues or network.


This way, you can leverage the trust and credibility that you have already built with them, and get access to more potential clients who are already interested in your services.


How do you ask for referrals? Well, there are a few ways. You can:


  • The best way is to simply ask. Reach out to them and ask them if they anyone who might need your services. It’s even better if you know someone from the business wing of your client’s organization. They’ll have the right contacts to help you out.

  • Add a line to your invoice or contract that says something like "I appreciate referrals. If you know anyone who might benefit from my writing services, please let me know."

  • Create a referral program that offers incentives or discounts for both the referrer and the referee.

  • Ask for testimonials or reviews from your clients and use them to showcase your work on your website or social media.


Networking is the greatest converter

Networking is simply the best way to get more clients. There’s nothing that comes even remotely close to networking in terms of being able to get more clients.


So, how do you go about it?


Engage with thought leaders in your niche, reach out to successful people in your field, and more importantly, start talking to people who might become clients at some point.


Start posting content, as well.


Establish relationships, build authority, and showcase your expertise. You can network online or offline, depending on your preference and availability.


Some of the online networking platforms that you can use are:


  • LinkedIn: LinkedIn, while not the coolest and hip social media platform, is the best one for professionals. You can connect with other writers, editors, publishers and potential clients. You can also join groups, participate in discussions and share your content. In fact, I have an entire blog on how to create a winning LinkedIn profile. It’s honestly very, very important.

  • Twitter: This is a great platform for engaging with influencers, journalists, and media outlets in your niche. You can keep track of a few hashtags that are relevant to you and it allows you to bring your content to a wider audience.

  • Facebook: The first thing to know about Facebook is that there are still a lot of people on Facebook. Most young people may not realise this but Facebook isn’t even remotely dead. So, groups, pages and communities related to your niche or industry. You can also create your own page or group and invite your followers to join. There’s actually a pretty big audience there.

  • Reddit: This is a huge online forum where you can find subreddits for almost any topic imaginable. You can also post questions, answers and links to your content.


Offline networking

Offline networking, again, is a great way to meet potential clients and get your name out in the right groups. Here are the best ways to network offline


  • Conferences: These are great opportunities to meet other writers, speakers and experts in your niche or industry. Talk to lots of people at any conference that you attend. There’s nothing that can beat personal connection. If clients feel like they know you, they’re more likely to reach out when they have a need for content.

  • Meetups: These are informal gatherings of people who share a common interest or passion. You can find meetups for writers, freelancers, entrepreneurs etc. The advantage of informal meetups is that you can understand where your profession is and where it’s headed. You can get great insights on pay, clients, common problems, and ways to reach more clients.

  • Workshops: These are smaller events where you can learn from other professionals or teach others what you know. You can also network with the attendees and the organizers.

  • Coworking spaces: If you live in a huge city, go work in a coworking space for a month or two. I bet that you’ll find new clients right there. Don’t pitch your services too hard, of course. People are there to work. But talk to people. Understand the work they’re doing and try to see if they can benefit from your services.


Pitch directly

Sometimes, the best way to get new clients is to pitch them directly. This means reaching out to them via email, phone or social media and offering your services. This can feel intimidating, but pitching to clients directly is something you have to do because the clients are the best people to ask. After all, it’s them that you’re trying to reach.


So, what can you do to smoothen the process? Here are some tips:


  • Do your research: Before you pitch to anyone, make sure you know who they are, what they do, and what they need. Find out their pain points, goals, and challenges. Look at their website, blog, social media, and portfolio. This will help you tailor your pitch to their specific needs and interests.

  • Be personal: Don't send generic or mass emails that sound like spam. Use their name, mention something specific about them or their work and show that you have done your homework. People will simply not respond to spam. To a personal message, on the other hand, they are more likely to.

  • Be clear: Don't beat around the bush or ramble on about yourself. Get straight to the point and tell them what you can do for them, how you can do it, and why they should hire you. People are busy. You don’t want to waste their time. In fact, if you don’t keep the message to the point, they’ll simply not read. So, it’s important that you don’t write a novella for a pitch.

  • Be professional: Don't use slang, jargon or emojis. Now, that might seem like I’m acting like an old person but it’s true. People want to work with professionals. Use proper grammar, spelling and punctuation. Proofread your pitch before sending it and make sure it looks neat and polished.

  • Be respectful: Don't be pushy, rude, or arrogant. Don't send multiple follow-ups or demand a response. Be polite, friendly and courteous.

  • Be confident: Don't be shy, timid, or apologetic. Show that you are confident in your skills, experience, and value. Don't undersell yourself or offer discounts. Be assertive, but not aggressive.


Create a portfolio that you can send to potential clients

One of the best ways to showcase your work and attract new clients is to create a portfolio. A portfolio is a collection of your best writing samples that demonstrate your style, skills, and expertise.

A portfolio can help you:

  • Stand out from the crowd and impress potential clients

  • Prove your credibility and authority in your niche or industry

  • Showcase your versatility and range of topics and formats

  • Highlight your achievements and results


How to create a portfolio?


  • Choose your platform: You can create your portfolio on your own website or blog. Of course, there are a number of platforms where which are dedicated to portfolio creation. They come with a lot of helpful tools, too. There are both, free and paid platforms. If you don’t want any of those, simply paste the links of your content on a Google Doc and share it instead. You do you!

  • Select your samples: Choosing the right works to upload to your portfolio is crucial. There are a few things to consider. Your portfolio should show off your versatility, expertise, experience, and popularity. So, choose a few old works, a few new ones, a few from different niches, and the ones with the most views. The idea is to create a compelling portfolio the client sees and is immediately impressed with.

  • Organize your samples: Help potential clients by organizing your portfolio. Tell them why a sample is included in the portfolio, what is special about it, and what are the things that they should be paying close attention to.

  • Add testimonials: Testimonials are feedback from your previous or current clients that vouch for your work and quality. They can boost your credibility and trustworthiness. Social proof is one of the most important things that you need to give your clients. They should know that other organisations have paid you money and that they’re happy with your work. So, ask every client to give you some feedback. Ask politely and at the right time and you will receive it. Once you have the feedback, show it off on your website, blog, or your portfolio.

  • Update your portfolio: A portfolio isn’t something that you create once and then forget. Every portfolio has to be updated regularly. Remove very old content, check if the links still work, make sure that you’re adding some new content periodically, and see if you can make any improvements to suit your new needs better.


Create content and build a brand

Creating content, marketing it on the right platforms, and building a brand around yourself is a long-term strategy to achieve success. If you’re a great brand, you don’t have to worry about marketing content. Instead, companies and organisations will come to you.

Social media is one way, of course. Blogging is another important way and it’s something that you should definitely do.

Blogging can help you:


  • Establish yourself as an expert and thought leader in your niche or industry

  • Share your knowledge, insights, and opinions with your audience

  • Showcase your writing skills, style, and personality

  • Drive traffic to your website or blog and generate leads

  • Build relationships with other bloggers, influencers, and potential clients


What to blog about and how to do it consistently


  • Choose a niche: Pick a niche that you are passionate about, knowledgeable about, and interested in. This will help you write with enthusiasm, authority and authenticity.

  • Choose a format: Pick a format that suits your niche, audience, and goals. You can write articles, guides, reviews, case studies, interviews, stories or more.

  • Choose a frequency: Pick a frequency that works for you and your audience. You can blog daily, weekly, monthly or whenever you have something valuable to share. The key is to be consistent and reliable. Account for the fact that you’ll have to write for your clients. Don’t end up with a schedule where you’re not able to do justice to your clients. The frequency of blogging, in the long term, isn’t as important as consistency. Always pick the latter over the former.

  • Choose a great topic each time: Pick a topic that is relevant, interesting, and useful for your audience. Use software like BuzzSumo, or AnswerThePublic, Google Trends, etc. to find out what people are searching for or talking about in your niche.

  • Write quality content: Write content that is engaging, informative and original. Use catchy headlines, clear structure, compelling stories and actionable tips. Use proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation. Proofread your content before publishing it and make sure it looks neat and polished. Finally, make sure that your content is adding value to your readers.


Hustle and hustle harder

There really is no shortcut to getting a ton of clients or being super successful. You need to put in the work and the hours. So, keep marketing yourself all the time.


Marketing yourself can help you:


  • Increase your visibility and awareness among potential clients

  • Showcase your value proposition and unique selling point

  • Generate interest and demand for your services

  • Convert leads into clients


So, how do you market yourself? Here are a few basic steps to get you started:


  • Create a website: A website is your online home base where you can showcase your portfolio, blog, testimonials and services. A website can help you establish your brand identity, credibility and professionalism. It’s the first basic step.

  • Create a logo: A logo is a visual representation of your brand name, personality and values. A logo can help you create a memorable impression on potential clients. There are a number of tools that can help you create a logo for free, thanks to all the new AI-powered online software.

  • Create a business card: Yup, a business card. Like the ones that your dad or mom probably uses. Remember we spoke about offline conferences a while back? That’s where you get these bad boys out. Your business card doesn’t have to be traditional. Your name, contact, and a QR code that links to your profile or website are enough. It’s just something for the client to remember you by. Make it super-cool if you want to make it a style statement.

  • Create a social media presence: Social media is a powerful tool for connecting with potential clients, building relationships, and sharing your content. You can use platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn or Pinterest to showcase your work, engage with your audience and grow your following.

  • Create an email list: An email list is a list of people who have subscribed to receive updates from you via email. An email list can help you communicate with potential clients, nurture them and convert them into paying clients. You can use platforms such as Mailchimp, ConvertKit, or AWeber to create and manage your email list.

  • Create lead magnets: Lead magnets are free offers that you give to potential clients in order to get their email addresses. Lead magnets can help you attract and capture leads, grow your email list, and demonstrate your value. You can create lead magnets with ebooks, checklists, templates, webinars, etc.

  • Create a landing page: A landing page is a web page that is designed to persuade potential clients to take a specific action. A landing page can help you showcase your lead magnet, collect email addresses and direct traffic to your website or blog. You can use platforms such as WordPress, Squarespace, or Wix to create and host your landing page.


Conclusion

Getting new clients as a freelance writer can be challenging, but it doesn't have to be impossible.


Remember, the key is to be proactive, persistent, and professional. Don't wait for clients to come to you; go out there and get them. Do it for long enough and you won’t have to go to clients. They’ll come for you. Don't give up after one rejection; keep trying until you succeed. Don't settle for less than you deserve; charge what you're worth.


If You have the skills, talent, and passion to be a successful freelance writer, all you needy is the right mindset and the right tools.


So, start implementing these strategies today and watch your freelance writing business grow.


If you need any help or guidance along the way, feel free to contact me. Reach out to me on my LinkedIn or my Twitter. I'm always happy to help fellow writers achieve their goals.


If you’re looking for writing or editing jobs, check out Simple Job Listings. Put simply, it lists the best remote jobs in the world. About 60% of the jobs listed there aren’t listed on any other job board.


Happy writing!




0 comments

Comments


bottom of page