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5 Proven Strategies to Land Your First Freelance Writing Client

5 Proven Strategies to Land Your First Freelance Writing Client
Photo by Anete Lūsiņa / Unsplash

Imagine waking up to an email from your first freelance writing client. The excitement, the validation, the start of your journey! This article will guide you through ten actionable strategies you can use as you work to attract writing clients. Choose the ones that make the most sense to you, and when you put them together you’ll have a clear roadmap to kickstart your writing career.

Optimize Your Online Presence

A professional online presence shows potential clients what you can do and how you can solve their problems. Start with your LinkedIn profile and personal website (if you have one). Make sure you are showcasing your writing skills. Next, update your LinkedIn headline and summary to highlight your writing services. 

Make it easy for potential clients to see your expertise and contact you!

Having a strong online presence is important if you want your clients to find you. They want to see that you are active and serious about your craft. Make sure you:

  • Use a professional photo and cover image.
  • Write a compelling summary that highlights your experience and skills.
  • Regularly update your profile with new content and testimonials.

Create a Portfolio

A strong portfolio showcases your writing abilities. Compile your best work to show potential clients what you can do—even if they are unpaid or self-published. 

Next, you’ll want to use those pieces of content to create your portfolio. If you have a website, you can add a portfolio page. Just make sure it looks good! Or you can use another platform to create an easily accessible online portfolio. 

Quality over quantity is key here.

Your portfolio is your calling card. It should reflect your best work and demonstrate your range and versatility. As you start creating your portfolio, you'll want to:

  • Include a variety of writing samples (e.g., blog posts, articles, copywriting).
  • Make sure your portfolio is easy to navigate.
  • Update it regularly with new work.
  • Make sure you keep a PDF of any projects your clients post online. Don’t depend on links! If your client takes the project down, your portfolio will just have a broken link. 

Network Within Your Niche

Building connections can lead to opportunities. Some of my best clients have been referrals from people within my network! 

Join relevant online communities, attend virtual events, and engage with potential clients on social media. Participate in discussions and offer valuable insights. 

Networking isn’t just about selling yourself; it’s about building relationships and offering value. Don't just network with potential clients. Reach out to other writers and professionals in your field. DO NOT just ask them to refer work to you. Get to know them and build a relationship.

Helping You Master Content Strategy Creation For Your Writing Clients

Pitch Directly to Businesses

Many businesses need content but may not advertise it. Identify businesses in your niche and send personalized email pitches offering your writing services (LOIs). Highlight how your content can solve their problems or help achieve their goals. Keep your pitch concise and to the point.

Jennifer Goforth Gregory’s “Five (ish) Sentence Letter of Introduction” is a great template to follow. Her book, The Freelance Content Marketing Writer, is also a great resource if you are considering content writing. 

Tips for Pitching:

  • Research the business and make sure you understand their needs.
  • Personalize your pitch and explain how you can help (use this template).
  • Follow up if you don’t receive a response within a week.

Use Social Proof and Testimonials

Testimonials from satisfied clients build trust with potential clients. But how do you get them? 

Hint: they won’t just offer a testimonial. You need to ask for them. 

Start by asking for testimonials from previous employers or clients you’ve worked with, even in non-writing roles. Display these testimonials on your website and LinkedIn profile to showcase your reliability and quality of work.

Here’s the process I use. I request testimonials at the end of a project. It’s part of my final email when I close out a project. If the client is willing, I will provide a template or questions to guide the testimonial. The goal is to make the process as simple as possible!

Stay Consistent and Persistent

Building a writing career takes time and effort. Set daily goals for pitching, networking, and improving your writing skills, and stick to them. Consistency and persistence are key to overcoming initial challenges and building a successful freelance career.

Make sure you set realistic daily and weekly goals. You should track your progress and adjust your strategy as needed. It’s important to stay motivated by celebrating small wins and milestones! 

Now that you have a few strategies, it’s time to put them into action. 

Start by updating your online presence and creating your portfolio. Don’t wait for opportunities to come to you—go out and make them happen. 

Remember, the key to success is persistence and continuous improvement. Keep refining your skills, expanding your network, and seeking out new opportunities. 

The freelance writing world is full of possibilities, and with these strategies, you’re well on your way to finding your first client.

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