21 Jul 2015
Marketing Your Writing Services
Almost anybody can be a writer; however, being a freelance writer requires an additional (and crucial) skill: marketing. You can happily write until the cows come home, but don’t expect a paycheck if nobody knows about your services. Thankfully, there are many ways to market your skills in today’s technological society.
1. Create a Website
This is probably the most obvious approach, but is also one of the most important. Potential clients can view your writing website and decide after a glance if you’re a good fit for their company. It’s okay to choose from the numerous “do-it-yourself” website builders, just be sure to keep it professional. The ideal writer’s website should be well-written, informative, and impeccably organized. This is by far one of the easiest ways to land freelance writing jobs online and offline.
2. Social Media
Platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn are powerful tools for today’s freelance writer. Be sure to proceed with caution, as they can also be powerful weapons when used incorrectly — simply put, keep it classy. Every social media account that you have should be current, up-to-date, and clear of any unprofessional or offensive content. Engage with the people you follow, and the people that follow you. Posting helpful articles or links will increase the chances of your content being shared.
3. Guest Blogging
One of the best ways to bring traffic to your website is by “piggybacking” well-established blogs with a large readership. Guest blogging is typically unpaid, but will allow you the opportunity to showcase your writing and drop a link or two. Don’t jump at every available opportunity — the demand for guest bloggers is high, so do your research and be selective. If your target client is someone working in real estate, write for a couple real estate or home improvement blogs.
4. Client Referrals
For every happy client you have worked with, you should always ask yourself “what’s next?” You may still maximize your benefits even when they no longer have any work to offer. Ask for testimonies that you may publish on your website or social media. Pro tip: the most vibrant testimonies will have photos and links, so don’t forget to ask for the extras! You can also take advantage of your client’s network by offering a referral discount. Think something small, like 5% off future projects for every additional client they refer.
5. Pitching Perfect
Your pitch is typically how the majority of clients will develop an impression of you. Regardless of how brilliant your ideas are, no decent-paying publication will give you a second thought if your pitch is full of obvious grammar errors, typos, and missing attachments. Triple-check every pitch before sending it out — bonus points for having a friend or colleague read it over. Keep your pitches brief and relevant. Answer your editor’s questions before they are asked: why here? Why now?
Overall, the time spent marketing your writing services should make up approximately 20% of your working hours until you have a varied and steady customer base. No matter which approach (or combination of approaches) you end up taking, remember that you are representing yourself with every word you write.