Snagging New Clients


It's always great when clients find you; all you have to do is give them a quote, send a freelance writing contract and start writing.  Sometimes, though, you've got to look for them.  They might not know they need you, so how do you approach the situation and score some work?

Find the Clients You Want

Look for people you'd like to work with.  People who need freelance writers.  And people who have the money to spend on freelance writers.  Lawyers, doctors, web designers, private tutors - people who realize the value of the written word and can use your services to generate more business for themselves.  That's a win-win.

Pointers:

  • Do an Internet search for those professionals in your area.  Sometimes people want to deal locally - and if nothing else, your hometown can be used as an icebreaker.  "Hey - I'm in Mililani, too; that's how I found you."
  • Ask your friends if they've got any of those professionals in their families.  Chances are somebody went off to school and came back with a doctorate and now owns a business, right?


Reach out and Touch Them

Not literally.  Especially not a lawyer.  But there's nothing wrong with contacting someone to let them know you're there, willing to help.  Will it take a cold call or a cold email?  Yes - but what's the worst that can happen?  They won't answer or they'll tell you no.  Big deal!  The best that can happen is you landing a thousands-of-dollars gig, and if you get just one of those after 50 phone calls or emails, it's worth it.  You might get ten hundreds-of-dollars gigs.  Either way, you're golden.

Pointers:

  • A short, friendly email can work wonders.  Something like, "Hi - I found your website and wanted to let you know I'm a copywriter in case you ever need my services..."
  • Put those rollover minutes to use, for Pete's sake.  The worst thing that can happen when you cold call someone is that you'll learn some new, flowery language when you interrupt their lunch.  Let the guy you're calling know you're a writer and have experience that can help him grow his business.
  • Be prepared to respond.  If they want samples, have a list ready to pull from so you can fire off a quick response email.  Have references ready beforehand.  Update your freelance writer resume so it's ready to go and be prepared to send some marketing materials that illustrate how awesome you are.
  • Make sure your website is current and still fashionable - people check, and if it looks like crap they're not going to have much faith in you.

Got any tips of your own for snagging new clients?  How about a cold call horror story to scare everyone else with?

Image courtesy of RWLinder at RGBStock.com


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© Angie Papple Johnston 2011.

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