Marketing Freelance Writing Services

Freelance writers can get jobs by applying to 'help wanted' ads or by marketing themselves.  I prefer to market myself - it takes less time and brings me the clients I want to work with.  When you market yourself proactively, like I'm about to outline, you'll find that you snag better clients.  Better means longer-term, higher-paying and more loyal - at least, that's what it's meant to me.

It's ONLY about what they want.
When I was new at this, I spent a lot of time learning by trial and error.  Now my marketing efforts are focused on the people I want to work with, which saves me a lot of headache and hassle of weeding through potential clients.

If you're motivated enough, you can do absolutely anything.  It may take a lot of different steps to get you to where you want to be, but I definitely believe that motivation will get you where you want to be.

So grab a cup of coffee - we're having a crash course for motivated freelance writers on marketing.

Here's what you need to know:

Once you've answered those questions, you'll know where your efforts will pay off the most.

Marketing Freelance Writing Services, Step 1: Get Online

Regardless of what you do, you absolutely must have a website or blog.  If you don't have the resources to purchase a domain name and pay a web designer to create one, use a free blog service (like this one).  There are literally thousands of free templates and themes you can use online; find one that suits your personality and spend a couple of hours setting it up.

Notice I said find one that suits your personality.  What is a successful freelance writer, really?  Someone who can put words together with panache and personality.  Start with your blog or website and make it a professional reflection of you.  I'm going to take this in a different direction than creating ads to market your freelance writing services, but you need to do that too (just click on the link... you'll see).

Marketing Freelance Writing Services, Step 2: Find Potential Clients

Now that you're online, go back to the type of clients you want to work with.  Don't neglect your local business owners.  Because freelance writers can work with people all over the world, we often forget to maintain our own backyards. 

Take a walk downtown.  Are there attorneys, doctors and real estate agents?  Of course there are.  Stop in and pick up a brochure. Go home. They all have websites.  Look them up - how is their content? 

Do a little research.  Did you know that attorneys would love to have a press release in the local paper every time they win a big settlement?  Consider that doctors like to advertise - and that they have the money to do so.  Realtors need to get their names out as much as possible, and if they get an exclusive deal on selling all the luxury homes in a new neighborhood, they'll need a press release to announce it.  Once you've got some background information, give them a call (and that's step 3).

Marketing Freelance Writing Services, Step 3: The Cold Call

Does that make your hands get clammy?  It shouldn't - you're not even face-to-face, and the worst thing a person can do is save your phone number and prank you in the middle of the night.  But that's not going to happen.

Ask to speak to the person in charge right away.  You know who they are - you were just in their office a few hours ago.  When they pick up, tell them who you are and that you're a freelance writer.  Find out if they're already working with someone who produces all their documents.  If not, let them know you'd like to help them with their (web content/press releases/ad copy/sales copy).  Before they say anything, ask if it's ok to send them some samples of your work with your contact information.

You're not asking them to hire you - you're asking them if you can give them something with no strings attached.

Who says no to that?


Marketing Freelance Writing Services, Step 4: Send Your Material

You got the green light.  Now put a few quality reprints of your best work in a manila envelope.  If you've got a brochure, put that in with a business card.  Print a return address label and the address label of the person you're sending it to.  Nothing says unprofessional like scribbly writing - seriously.

Include a one-page (preferably less, actually) note reading something like this:

Ms./Mr./Dr. So-and-so,

I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for your time this morning/afternoon.  After we spoke, I compiled a few tearsheets of my previously published work.  I'm enclosing my brochure, which details all the services I provide, and a few business cards for your convenience.

To receive a customized quote on my services, please call me at (888)IMA-WRITER or visit to contact me via email.

Again, thanks for your time and have a wonderful day!

Ima Sweet Writer

Marketing Freelance Writing Services, Step 5: Follow Up

Give it a week (3-4 days if they're local, because mail arrives faster locally).  Call the people you've sent your marketing materials to and ask if they've received them.  Find out if they had any questions.  Let them know you just wanted to follow up and say, "I'm looking forward to working with you in the future - thanks again for your time."

They'll very likely think of you when they need a press release, fresh web content or sales copy.

The only hurdle you've really got to jump over is making that cold call.  The worst they can do is tell you they're not interested - but they won't do that if you don't sound like a salesman.

Have you used techniques like these to get new clients?  Have you tried this - and if you did, how did it work out for you?

© Angie Papple Johnston, 2010; if you are reading this anywhere but on or Gather, somebody done stoled it!

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