Getting a freelance writing job is nice. Know what’s better? Getting a freelance writing client that pays consistently for your writing work.
If you’re a good writer who’s doing everything right, but you’re just not getting quality freelance writing clients, here are seven reasons those clients might not be hiring you.
1.) You're not the expert they're looking for
Because conveying brand authority is an important part of content marketing, companies are looking to hire freelance writers who are either experts in the field they’re writing about, or at least willing to research and learn.
That’s why it’s important to have a niche (or two) that you focus on. You need to convey to clients that you're an authority on their topic.
Here's how to establish a freelance writing niche:
2.) You’re so focused on a particular niche you’re not adaptable
I know – in one breath I’m telling you to have a niche, and in the next I’m warning not to focus too much in one area.
It may sound like a contradiction, but writers who have a niche – and are adaptable enough to write well on a variety of topics – often get the gig.
Being adaptable also spills over to being able to adopt different writing tones. One manager from an internet marketing company said that adaptability in writing style is a crucial trait when they look to hire freelance writers:
“We. . . review different writing samples for variance in tone based on the publication or client the writer is representing to make sure they can adapt to fit the style we need.”
So while it’s good to have a niche and be an expert, don’t become so focused on it that you can’t write about anything else – or in any other style or tone.
3. You don’t have any online presence
If you don’t have much of a following – or at least a presence – on social media and/or your own blog, you may well be overlooked as the best freelance writer for the job.
Like it or not, the more you can show what you can do online, the more likely you’ll be hired as a freelance writer.
4.) Your work is unoriginal and inaccurate (what?!)
I sincerely hope this isn’t a problem for you, but think about it from a client's perspective.
A marketing manager at a UK agency says he can usually get a sense for whether a writer is going to work out from the very beginning.
Red flags he commonly encounters range from inconsistencies with the writer's knowledge on topics they say they're expert in, right through to outright plagiarism.
So don't say you can write about something if you can't – and keep it original.
5.) Your email pitch isn't up to scratch
Shockingly, writers who can’t even write an email are an all-too-common phenomenon.
One company that hires freelance writers on a regular basis said this of the emails they receive from writers:
"A shocking number of them have egregious spelling and grammar errors. Many others adopt a strange tone, or read like templates.”
Who’d have thought that something this rudimentary – your first ever contact with a potential new freelance writing client – could be where you stumble and fall.
Here are some tips on how to pitch to freelance writing clients:
6.) You’re unresponsive
Before you skim over this one because it’s not relevant to you – you’re always on your email, right? – it may be worth reading a little further…
There are red flag tell-tale signs that suggest to potential new clients you may become unresponsive further down the line.
Clients use these early signs to gauge how reliable you are as a writer. They'll look out for things like:
Poor communication indicates a lack of engagement. This is a huge red flag, because clients know that those who aren’t fully engaged from the start will usually be unreliable in the long-run.
7.) You’re unfamiliar with business and marketing concepts
Clients hire freelance writers who have some degree of business acumen.
A professional freelance writer who gets the best freelance writing jobs will not only write well, but will also be able to promote what they write.
If you let clients know you can bring ideas to the table to ensure your content performs well – think SEO principles, image selection etc. – they'll be more likely to hire you instead of somebody who just writes.
Hope that helps!