Handing out freelance writer business cards can be one of your best sources of new (and repeat) business.
Once you've got your freelance writer business cards (with your real name or your pen name), it's time to start passing them out. Give them to everyone you meet - you'll probably be pleasantly surprised at how receptive people will be.
You may feel awkward handing your freelance writer business cards to strangers at first, but that'll go away after the first ten. Really, it will.
There are several ways to give people your freelance writer business cards; here's what worked for me at first (now I just walk up to people and hand 'em over).
Freelance Writer Business Card Tip #1: Leave a Paper Trail
- Leave your freelance writer business cards with a tip when you go out to eat.
Of course, if you're going to leave a bad tip... skip the card. This is really a good one, though - you never know when your server knows someone who knows someone with a small (or large) business, a crappy website or a need for sales copy.
You have two options when you're leaving your freelance writer business card with the tip: you can leave it on the table or you can hand it directly to the server. If you choose to hand it directly to the server, say something like, "Thanks so much for the wonderful service. We'll definitely be back. I'm leaving my business card with you - I'm a freelance writer - in case you know anyone who needs any business writing done. Thanks again!"
I definitely recommend handing it directly to the server (that way he won't think you're hitting on him AND you've made a lasting impression).
Freelance Writer Business Card Tip #2: Counter-act Your Competition
- Ask local businesses to let you leave your freelance writing business cards on their counter.
If you know the business owners because you've worked with them, that's great (and if you don't, you should try to get work through them). Even if you don't know them, what's the worst they can say? "No." And big deal if they do - you didn't want to leave your cards there anyway.
Think pizza places, dry cleaners and print shops; these are the places business owners visit, right?
Freelance Writer Business Card Tip #3: Talk to Strangers... But Pass on the Candy
- Turn around in the grocery line and hand that dude your card. Seriously.
While you're standing in line, contemplating snapping a few shots with your phone for People of Wal-Mart, there are likely other people around you. There's absolutely nothing wrong with smiling and starting a conversation - and I know, if you're seriously introverted it sounds impossible. But think about this: a few minutes of conversation that you were brave enough to start could land you hundreds of dollars.
And hey, the Tooth Fairy and the now-retired DoubleMint twins could probably use some brochures or web content.
Freelance Writer Business Card Tip #4: Thanks, Mr. Client-man - Don't Forget How Much Fun We Had!
- Stick two or three of your freelance writer business cards in the thank-you note you send to your clients upon completion of a project.
Thank-you notes are SO important (even if you don't have freelance writer business cards) - please, if you do nothing else, thank your clients when you've finished a project. Some people don't - they treat their writing business like it's a gas station ("Pay here. 'Bye!).
Nothing makes you stand out like thanking your clients - so while you're doing that, toss in a couple freelance writer business cards so they've got easy access to your contact information (and can hand one over to a friend who needs your freelance writing services) next time.
Freelance Writer Business Card Tip #5: Capitalize on Sibling Guilt
- Brothers, sisters, moms, dads and friends all have the same ability you do to pass out business cards - so put 'em to work.
Your siblings owe you for blackmailing you into chores, ratting you out for that cigarette and all that teasing. Well, you may have been the instigator (I was) - but even so, there's nothing wrong with asking friends and family to pass out a few freelance writer business cards for you.
Mom can take them to church, Dad can take them to the VFW and the sibs can take them to work. Give each family member a dozen or so (more if you're optimistic) and ask them to keep their ears to the ground for you.
The Bottom Line
The more people who have your business cards, the better. More people seeing them = more potential business. Give them to as many people as you can - even if you think they don't need your services - that's seriously one of the secrets to becoming a successful freelance writer.
How do you hand out freelance writer business cards? What advice do you have for new writers with their first batch?
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© Angie Papple Johnston, 2010; if you are reading this anywhere but on FreeFreelanceWritingTips.Blogspot.com, it's stolen.
Freelance Writing Tips by Angie Papple Johnston is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at freefreelancewritingtips.blogspot.com.
"Business Card" image courtesy of Valerio at stock.xchng