How To Get Freelance Writing Clients Within The Next 30 Days [Ultimate Guide]

25

Min Read

Brandon Leuangpaseuth

Maybe you are a new copywriter who is looking to explore freelancing or perhaps you are a more experienced freelance writer who is wanting to tack on a few more clients.

Wherever you are in your journey or freelance writing career, being able to find more clients is a must for your business.

Of course, everybody knows they need companies to contract for...

But a lot of writers struggle to find freelance writing clients.

Hey, Brandon here.

Before I became a freelance organic growth marketer, I was an independent copywriter. Writing is my bread and butter skill that has allowed me to grow tremendously in my professional career.

I’ve been through the trenches and I'm especially grateful for all the opportunities writing has given me. I want to pass along the marketing strategies and tactics I’ve learned on how to get freelance writing clients.

To this day, cold clients still reach out to me to write for them.

This just shows you: my methods work.

Listen closely, because if you follow my instructions carefully and move, you'll land a freelance writing client within the next 30 days.

Now, let’s get into it.

The Primer To Land Freelance Writing Clients

Before we start talking about all the different strategies and techniques you can use to land new freelance writing jobs, let's talk about the fundamental things you can do to close more deals.

It starts with having a solid portfolio of freelance work to show your prospective clients.

Build A Writing Portfolio

When you talk to prospects, this is probably the first question they will ask you: "can I see your writing portfolio?"

And it's for a good reason too.

They want to see hard proof that you have the skills to write for them. You know, to see if you two will be a good fit.

The first thing you need to do is get a portfolio where your previous work can be shown. This doesn't have to be an elaborate website. It could just be a blog on WordPress, your Medium profile, or your LinkedIn.

If you are a more experienced writer, this should be fairly easy for you to show new clients your previous work. However, what if you are just starting out?

A little loophole to get around showing your prospects your work if you've never closed any deals before is to...

Write for yourself.

Really, it's as simple as that. Write different blog posts for topics in your niche to build a portfolio. If you are a direct response copywriter, start writing emails or sales copy every day to sell products or services.

Writing for yourself is a great way to land your first client AND build up your skills.  Later in the article, I'm going to tell you about how to write for blogs, get instant social proof and close more deals.

You could also reach out to friends or other business owners, and offer some free work. This tip is controversial. I can hear it now. All the people screaming “never work for free—know your value!”.

The thing is, if you haven't built up any relationship with a cold business, you don't have any relevant writing samples or great testimonials to provide, it can be hard for a company to trust you.

I've landed clients by using samples from work I completed at no cost for other business owners. The free work really paid off in the end.

Now let's talk about the other important things you need to do first before you start finding work for writing.

Optimize Your Website or LinkedIn

If you've got a website, you need to optimize it to show you are an expert writer. Think of your site as a landing page to get visitors to sign up.

Add social proof elements like testimonials from previous clients, case studies, and writing pieces to convince visitors you have the writing skills to pull off a gig.

Sure, websites cost money but they are a great way to showcase your portfolio and present yourself as a successful freelance writer.

If you are a new writer and you don't have the money, I'd recommend you optimize your LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a great free tool for finding freelance writing jobs as well. We'll talk more about that later.

Let's first talk about how you can optimize your LinkedIn to appear as a website or landing page.

Tips To Optimize Your LinkedIn

Again, optimizing your LinkedIn is a free way to communicate who you are, what you do, and who you work with without a website. I'm going to lay out some ways you can optimize your LinkedIn and website to start landing writing gigs.

Get Professional Photos Taken

First things first, go get some professional photos taken for your profile picture. Your profile picture is the first impression potential clients will get of you when they see your LinkedIn so it is really important that you appear professional.

Reach out to photographer friends and see if you can get some nice professional pictures taken. You can always hire a professional photographer to take some brand new headshots of you.

If you don't know anyone or can't afford to get some nice professional photos shot, search on the Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist. You can ask to model for any freelance photographers in your area who would like to build their portfolio on these platforms.

Really, this can save you a ton of money and is a great hack to get some nice photos taken. Freelance photographers are looking to build a portfolio too so it can be a great win/win situation.

Fill Out Your Profile

After you get a nice professional profile picture, next up is to completely fill out your LinkedIn profile. A beefed-up LinkedIn profile can make landing work much easier.

Start with your profile's headline. Write an impactful headline to attract connections and to inform people what you actually do.

You can use industry-specific keywords like "freelance writer," or even more specific ones like "freelance writer for health and wellness." to appear in the search results more often.

Here are some great examples of profile headlines that mention who they are, what they do, and what they are looking for.

Good Example

This is a wonderful headline because it is benefit-driven and you can clearly tell what he does and who he works with. It's ultra-specific. This person used all the space available in the headline section to pitch himself.

Bad Example

This profile just says their basic occupation and "digital marketing" Business owners don't get a clear idea of who the person is and the market they serve.

Update Your Bio

Next up is your bio. Answer these 3 questions so your potential clients can get a clear idea of your freelance writing business.

Answer:

  • Who you are
  • What you do
  • Who you serve

Write out a few short sentences for each so potential clients can really get to know your writing business.

After you finish your bio, fill out EVERY section on your LinkedIn. From education to community service, to licenses and certificates. Add all your projects, publications, organizations, and awards you received or were a part of.

Ask people you've worked with, friends, or previous clients to write a recommendation for you on LinkedIn and to give endorsements for your skills.

Try to hit that magic number of 500 connections by constantly adding potential clients or people in an industry you'd want to work with. Growing your network is vital to getting new freelance business.

If you're a freelance writer with 500+ LinkedIn connections, your posts will also appear in the feeds of the network of the other people who engage with your posts. This means more people will be able to find your profile more easily.

Think of your profile as your writing business's brand. How would you want to appear to companies who might want to work with you?

Then, build out your profile to match your personal brand.

Flesh Out Your Freelance Writing Offers

As a writer, you are a small business and every company has an offer. What are you selling? How are your packages structured? What's your pricing? Spend a day building out a concrete offer to your target market and memorize it by heart.

If companies ask you how much your services cost, you have to be able to lay it out for them without skipping a beat. Practice reciting your offer in front of a mirror or with family and friends so you can say it with confidence when a business asks.

When talking to a client, there is nothing worse than mumbling, stuttering or just appearing unconfident in the service you provide. If you can't say your offer confidently, how is a client supposed to have faith that you'll do a good job?

Start practicing how you pitch your offer and be able to present every detail without flinching.

Niche Down

Let me ask you this. Would you rather hire a brain surgeon or a general doctor to perform brain surgery on you?

Probably the specialist, right?

Well, as a freelance writer, you could close more deals by building your reputation, and being an authority or expert in one niche or field instead of being a general writer. Companies would much rather work with a specialist who solves a specific problem in an industry than a generalist.

You'll want to research and pick a niche or market to serve. The more specific, the better. Plus, experts get paid much more than generalists.

Let's discuss how to pick a profitable niche as a freelance writer.

How To Pick A Niche Market

When selecting a profitable niche, you'll want to ask yourself some questions to identify the right market to serve.

Ask yourself:

  • What specific knowledge or background do I have? 
  • What am I passionate about?
  • Is this a niche I am somewhat interested in?
  • Do the people in my niche have the funds to pay me what I ask for?

Maybe you are a B2B SaaS copywriter or an email copywriter in the health niche. Select a niche to serve and be the best person to go to in order to solve the problems from businesses in that market.

1. Go To Business Events In Your Area To Find Freelance Writing Jobs

Look, I know Covid-19 turned the world upside down and canceled live meetups, but I’m telling you there are going to be a TON of live events after the Coronavirus era.

Live business events or meetups in your area are prime places to pick up clients. In fact, the first freelance writing client I ever landed was from a live event in my own hometown.

In college, I decided I wanted to pick up writing clients to earn money on top of my part-time pizza delivery job. So, I looked up marketing events in my area to attend.

When I showed up, I was blown away by how many entrepreneurs and marketers needed freelance writers for their businesses. They were more than happy to connect with me and listen to my pitch.

I'd also recommend you start to practice introducing yourself to strangers. Sure, it may seem scary or intimidating at first, but I promise it gets easier the more you do it.

Walk over to a stranger, make eye contact, smile, and say "Hi, nice to meet you I'm..."

It takes a little bit of discipline but the more you practice, the better you'll get.

Have your freelance samples ready or get your potential client's contact information so you can send them your work.

Check meetup.com or search for marketing events in your hometown on Google.

In my experience, paid events have been a LOT better to find writing leads than free ones. Every time I've invested money into conferences or live events, the connections I made or the clients I've landed have more than paid for the cost of the business gathering.

I'd keep this in mind when you are searching for events to attend.

Action Steps

  • Lookup 10 events or meetups in your area you can go to, and mark your calendar so you can attend them
  • Attend the events
  • Walk up and introduce yourself to 5-10 new people (try to connect with them on LinkedIn!)
  • Constantly follow up with prospective clients about working for them

2. Write Blog Posts For Other Companies

I can honestly say I’ve built my career off of guest posting. Guest posting is simply pitching an article to another website and writing for their blog at no cost.

Sure, I'd be writing a free article for a website, but I would gain a lot of credibility by working with other brands. In fact, I've leveraged guest post articles to land multiple new clients.

I'd send over articles I'd written for other brands to close deals or new clients would reach out to work with me after they read my guest post articles.

In short, guest posts give you a TON of social proof. I'm going to show you exactly how to find, pitch, and write for different blogs.

How To Find A Blog To Pitch

As I mentioned before, every business needs good content. As the ol' saying goes, "content is king". Companies are always looking for help with their content marketing or advertising copy.

All you have to do is find blogs accepting guests posts and send them topics to write about. Think about all the blogs you want to write for and start pitching them.

You can discover blogs accepting guest posts by using search modifiers on Google. Type in: "write for us" or "guest post" into the search engine along with the niche. i.e. "guest post" finance blog

Then, Google will pull up websites mentioning they accept guest posts on their website. Find and carefully read through their guest post submission guidelines.

Your pitch would be much more successful if you read all of their requirements and understand what kind of content they are looking for.

Also, scroll through and read some of their previous guest posts or content. Then, you'll really get a good idea of the articles they are looking to have published.

After you've seen the articles they have on their site, brainstorm topics or ideas for relevant blog topics you can write about. Then, you'll need to run a Google search to check if they already have topics written on them.

if they don't already have an article on the topic you are thinking about, it is time to pitch the blog.

Find Blogs To Write For On Twitter

Twitter is a great place to search for blogs who are looking for writers to write for their blog. Search hashtags like: #guestpost #guestauthor to find editors looking for writers to submit a blog post.

You could also use all the search modifiers we talked about for Google on the Twitter search engine to discover businesses who are looking for freelance writers.

You just need to look.

How To Cold Pitch A Blog Idea

After you've come up with a few ideas, it's time to pitch them to businesses.

There are many different ways you can pitch blogs, so I'd recommend you constantly test which ones work best for you.

A few subject lines that have worked well for me are:

"guest post for {{site name}}'

or "Quick question"

Then, talk about the article idea in the pitch.

Here's an example of a pitch I used to land a guest post.

Hi George,
I hope you are doing well during these bizarre times.
My name is Brandon and I am a freelance writer that would love to write a guest article for {{blog name}}.
I have a lot of experience in writing all sorts of niches. You can check out some guest posts I have written here:
https://cxl.com/blog/advertorials/
https://blog.mindvalley.com/lack-of-motivation/
https://www.saleshacker.com/sales-language-hacks/
The guest post article I am pitching is: “How To Do Customer Research that will Skyrocket Your Conversions”
I checked to see if the topic was already written on your blog and I saw your case study article. Because of my copywriting background, I can provide a unique, in-depth, and actionable guide with tactics I use to collect valuable intel on an audience.
I think your audience would get a kick out of it :-)
Let me know what you think about the topic?
Cheers,
Brandon

I've seen people have success with attaching a completely written guest post article in the email. You might try that too if you'd like. When one blog turns the article down, they would just pitch the completed article to other related blogs.

Again, try and see which methods work better for you. If the editor responds, they will either accept your pitch, give you feedback, reject the idea or turn you down.

Regardless, it is a numbers game. Keep your head up and continuously propose topics to different blogs.

Now, get to pitching!

Action Steps:

  • Make a list of relevant blogs in your niche or ones your prospective clients read
  • Brainstorm topics to pitch the editors of each blog
  • Send at least 5 pitches a week to websites
  • Post your article with a call-to-action to work with you in your author bio

3. Cold Outreach

Cold pitching businesses isn't the most popular option among freelancers. But the fact of the matter is--it works. Nobody likes to be spammed. But just like how pop-ups on sites can be annoying, if they offer value and help users, they can be quite effective.

A simple message you can send to prospects on LinkedIn or cold email is:

Hey Brad,
I stumbled upon your website (or ad) and I was wondering if you are open to testing out new copywriters?
Would you be down to chat more about it?
Cheers,
Brandon

A marketing strategy that has worked time and time again for me to land good clients is to provide value in my cold pitch.

I'll show you what I mean.

If I wanted to write emails for a website, I'd write a set of emails for the companies to use and test against their controls or I'd give them free tips.

I'd write to them by saying something along the lines of:

"Hey, I've been a part of your email list for 3 months now and I saw you used a lot of this subject line:_________

That must mean it's working pretty well for you. Here are 10 different variations of the subject line that are similar and would be just as effective"

I was able to close my first big writing client because I delivered value first. The client asked me how I could help their business when I outreached to them.

So, I rewrote an entire landing page from one of their brand's ads I saw on Facebook. I wrote it in a Google Doc with comments about why my changes would convert better than their old page.

The business owners were so impressed, they hired me for a freelance writing job right away.

Instead of coming across as another spammy email, I came across as someone who might help grow their business. Plus, I was able to flex my credentials and knowledge in my particular field. I landed a handful of good clients by doing this.

So, just like how a store gives you samples of products so you could try it, give a free trial of your work. Write for them at no cost.

The key here is to show your value and get them hooked on your writing. Here are some tips on what you should avoid doing when you are cold pitching clients.

The Value Of Following Up

If I gave up on a cold pitch after a prospective client doesn't respond on my first attempt, I would have landed little to no clients. Listen, you need to be persistent.

Successful freelance writers are tenacious.

If the prospect doesn't respond to you the first time, keep following up and providing value. Send them free tips, give them feedback on their ads or articles, and invite them to hop on a call.  

It's vitally important that you have a call-to-action to work with you at the end of your emails where you provide value.

You need to sign off with a question like, "do you need help with this?" or "would you like to hop on a call and chat about this?".

Again, you have to be persistent. I'd say the difference between broke writers and successful freelance writers that get paid, is persistence. Your prospects are busy and sometimes they just forget to respond.

Be persistent and keep following up.

Action Steps

  • Find freelance writing jobs by cold pitching 20-30 businesses a day
  • Look up companies you want to write for and send them a pitch
  • Follow up on your pitches.

4. Promote You Are A Freelance Writer On Social Media

Look, the number one way to find freelance writing clients is through networking. Reach out to your personal network, friends of friends or any connections you might have who work either for a company that hires professional writers or as an editor at large publications. Don't forget about family and acquaintances in the industry too -- they may be able to make an introduction.

Offer a referral commission to people who send clients your way. Giving out a 20% commission to people in your network who send you freelance writing jobs is well worth it. It saves you a lot of time from looking for a writing job.

Just like how you optimized your profile on LinkedIn, do the same for your Facebook and other social media platforms. After you optimized your profile and exhausted your contacts, now I'll show you a marketing strategy to leverage your social media to find writing clients.

Add Prospective Clients As Your Friend

If you want to start promoting yourself as a writer to your network, you want to maximize the audience that sees your advertising. What's even better is if the right person sees your marketing efforts. Here's what I mean.

Let's say you want to work with affiliate marketers or coaches in the self-improvement niche. Whatever niche you want to write in, think about where your target audience would hang out on Facebook.

Think of all the different types of groups and communities your ideal client would hang out in. Now, engage in the group by commenting and posting frequently in the group. When a prospective client comments or engages with your post, add them as a friend.

As your list of friends grows, it would get easier to simply 'cold' add a prospect because they will see you have many mutual friends.

Now, let's talk about how you can market yourself in front of these folks.

How To Market Yourself On Social Media

Well, since you are a copywriter, why not use content marketing on social media to generate leads for yourself?

Everyone in your network needs to know that you are the "go-to" person for your specific niche in writing. You can land jobs from referrals from friends or clients will reach out to you if they know you are a writer and they need some projects done.

Post Facebook or status updates giving free value or topics surrounding writers. You might want to post 3 times a week, and always engage with your audience to send the right signals to the social media platform that your content is worthy to show on other people's news feed.

Give writing tips

Post updates with tips to help businesses get better results from their content. The key here is that the advice should actually be helpful.

Your statuses have to be well-written because you are a writer after all!

I've had clients reach out to hire me just from seeing my status updates. They already knew I was a competent writer. Giving high-quality writing tips could help you too because you'll be sharpening your own skills too. After all, in order to effectively teach other people a topic, you have to know it really well yourself.

Another great tip is to call out your target audience in the introduction whenever you write a post. For example:

"Attention fitness coaches...

If you aren't doing this in your content marketing...

Then you are flushing thousands of dollars down the drain."

Or...

"Listen, if you are a fitness coach...

Then you need to be doing these 5 little-known copy secrets to close more leads."

Provide value to your audience with your posts / social media content marketing and everyone in your network will know you as the person to go-to for freelance writing.

Publish Your Work & Share Client Testimonials

You need to let your network know you are a reliable, successful freelance writer by posting testimonials from happy clients. If you are constantly showing off the amazing results you get for your clients, other business owners will want to work with you when they need freelance writing jobs done.

Post images of results or screenshots of messages from clients that say how great of a writer you are.

Share some of the blog posts you write for other brands or for your clients. Let more people see your marvelous writing and it will help you find clients to work with.

Action Steps

  • Optimize your LinkedIn and Facebook profile to promote your freelance writing business
  • Join 10 different Facebook groups with your target market in it
  • Engage with the group and cold message people who take part in your content
  • Try to get people to hop on a call to see if you could help grow their business

5. Job Boards

Job boards are a wonderful place to find high paying clients who are actively looking for writers. Sure, a job board could take about 20% of your profits, but having a marketplace of ready-to-buy prospects could be worth the cost.

I've known many copywriters who have built up a nice profile on a job board, and leads of high-paying clients are constantly in their pipeline.

That's the beauty of job boards. There are a ton of high-paying (and low-paying) freelance writing jobs available. The thing is, however, they are awfully competitive for freelance writers.

Well, I'm going to show you some strategies for you to start landing freelance writing jobs on job boards.

Pitching A Business Owner For A  Freelance Writing Job

The key to pitching a business owner or client through a job board is to personalize each pitch and avoid the "spray and pray method" or copying and pasting the same pitch over and over again.

I've hired many writers on Upwork and the pitches that stand apart are the ones where I saw they put a lot of effort into their pitch.

Read through the requirements for the job in the listing post. The company will tell you everything they are looking for in a writer. Write an in-depth response in the pitch answering how you match their requirements and are perfect for the job.

A neat little personalization hack I use is to read the job poster's reviews or feedback from other writers that have worked with the company. Typically, some of the reviews will mention the client's name. So, when I write my pitch, I always address them by their first name.

Spend the time to write a well-thought-out pitch and you'll be surprised at how much time it will save you. Instead of constantly cold pitching clients with mediocre pitches, put a lot of effort into your pitches on job boards.

Some job boards you could get paid as a freelance writer are:

Check out Bonsai's top 50 places to find freelance jobs.

Action Steps

  • Create a freelance writer profile on a job board
  • Find clients in your niche and send 5-10 well-written proposals a day

6. Run Facebook Or Google Ads

This marketing strategy is going to require some capital to implement. You could run Facebook ads or Google ads to folks in your niche.

It is fairly easy to set up a Facebook Business account and start driving traffic to your ads.

There are a ton of free resources to pick up how to do paid advertising. If you can get really good at paid ads, you won't ever have to worry about running out of clients ever again.

If running paid ads is not your expertise, you could waste a lot of money. A great idea is to partner with a freelance ad specialist or someone who is an expert in paid ads and have them run your campaigns. You'd of course cut them a commissions for each sale or deal you close.

This kind of partnership can quickly land you more companies to work with. This strategy does require capital to invest money into, so I'd recommend you try the free strategies first.

Action Steps

  • Reach out to freelance ad specialists in your network to talk about a partnership
  • If you have the knowledge already or if you think you could handle it, open a Facebook Business or Google ads account to start ad campaigns

How To Keep A Consistent Stream Of Clients Coming In

One of the problems a lot of freelance writers have after finishing up gigs is they need to find more work after. I'm going to show you some tactics to cut down marketing costs and time spent on finding new freelance clients.

Leverage Referrals

If your writing was good, you delivered great copy in your writing gigs, and your client was happy, ask them for a referral. Referrals are golden because they can turn a cold lead into a warmer one with social proof.

If someone is recommending you to another business owner in their network, it means they trust you because they are vouching for your quality of work.

You could even declare, before you start a project, that if the client is happy with the work you deliver, for them to refer you out to 3 people in their network who need writing work done.

Now, you can leverage your clients to multiply your freelance writing jobs and have a consistent stream of freelance writing clients coming in. Just ask for referrals.

Write Case Studies

As a freelance writer, you could easily build credibility for your service by writing in-depth case studies. Go into incredible detail about where your client was before they worked with you, and the results they acquired after.

You might talk about how you wrote your blog posts and the thought process behind the articles. Ask your clients if you could share the traffic numbers or conversions your articles, emails or content you wrote. The next time a prospect asks you how you could help them, you could send them these detailed case studies as a testimony to your work.

You can publish the case study articles on your own website or just a Medium or LinkedIn blog post. it doesn't really matter where you publish it, it is important you have something to send to prospective clients.

Time To Get Moving!

I laid out everything you need to know to land a new writing client in the next 30 days. I promise if you pay attention to my advice and move, you'll find yourself landing more freelance writing gigs.

If you want to make money in your freelance writing career, the key is to be consistent. Fail, get rejected, pick yourself back up, and keep on trying.

Brandon Leuangpaseuth
Brandon is a freelance growth marketer from San Diego, CA. He loves helping other writers and scaling companies through top-notch content.

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