|As a freelance writer, your name|
should become as synonymous
with your craft as this old symbol.
As a freelance writer, your name (or pen name) becomes your brand. I have two brands - Unique Web Copy and Angie Papple Johnston. In some cases, they're intertwined. Some people know only one or the other.
Either way, everything attached to either is considered my brand.
Your brand needs to get out there so people can figure out that you = writing... and then pay you to write something for them.
Free Publicity for Freelance Writers
Business cards and websites/blogs are the standard must-haves if you want to hack it as a freelance writer - but there's also publicity without a pricetag. Ten Internet high fives to you if you pounce on free publicity when it's available.
Quotes & Credibility
Check out places like Help A Reporter Out, where journalists come to find expert quotes on just about every topic under the sun. HARO sends mass email queries to subscribers and you can respond with a quote. If the reporter needs more info from you, they'll contact you and ask. You get quoted, your name reaches more people, and you might see some business as a result.
If nothing else, you can say you've been quoted in such-and-such publication as an expert in ____. It doesn't have to be writing (although requests for quotes from professional freelance writers occasionally do come down the pipes) - if you're a psychologist, a doctor, a pipefitter... your name publicly associated with what you do will build your credibility.
Free E-books in Your Field
What's your field of expertise? By trade, are you an attorney, a homemaker or an artist? Take a couple hours a day to compile an e-book on some little-known aspect (or a well-known aspect that's got little published information available) of your trade.
If you're a homemaker, for example, an e-book on getting dog pee out of just about everything in the home (carpet, curtains, couch cushions or wherever else a dog might decide to go) might launch your name to recognizable status when people link to it on their blogs, websites and through e-mail. You'll have to promote it, but don't forget - self-promotion is the name of the game when you're a freelance writer.
Like free e-books, specialty blogs attract the masses to your name and your content. Your blog doesn't have to be about writing; in fact, you should probably blog about something you do full-time or you're excessively passionate about. I have other blogs about things like being a female serving in the Army and hiking on O'ahu.
Attach your name prominently to your specialty blog, and mention somewhere on the site that you're also a freelance writer. Links to your professional website are a must, so anyone reading who also needs a writer can find the right info quickly.
Consider writing your own press release every time you expand your services. Upload it to several free press release submission sites. This won't get you a lot of traffic right away, and it might not bring you any business - but if nothing's coming up when people search your name on the 'net, this is an easy fix.
Send your press releases to those tiny, hometown papers, too. You never know when they're looking for filler, and they might just include your press release because it has a local slant.
What free, quick methods do you use to brand yourself as a freelance writer?
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© Angie Papple Johnston 2011.
Don't steal from me or I'll come getcha. Really... I've got that kind of time.