Every freelance writer has the same dream – to be contacted by clients interested in a professional partnership. As a newbie in the niche, you probably think that this moment will never arrive. Building a stellar reputation and putting emphasis on perfecting your skills will both be essentials for having clients queuing to work with you. When learning how to become a freelance writer, you will have to put s bit of effort in convincing potential customers you are the right person for the job.
Every beginning is difficult and the rejection can become overwhelming. Being strategic about your communication with customers will help you land those initial gigs and ensure the continuous workflow.
Work on Your Writing Skills
The first and most obvious aspect of learning how to become a freelance writer and find customers online is obviously focused on becoming the best writer that you can be.
Continue educating yourself and building upon the writing style that you have already created. Read your favorite publications and find examples of good texts in the niche that you are interested in.
Learn the basics of web writing, reporting, ebook writing or the creation of product descriptions. Each type of writing has its specifics. You should also put emphasis on the creation of catchy headlines and opening paragraphs. Knowing how to engage the readers and make them go through the entire text will win you the sympathy of many customers.
Invest in good writing and editing software. The technical aspect of content creation is sometimes overlooked. You may want to familiarize yourself with WordPress or other content management systems. Everything that you do should speak of professionalism, experience and quality.
Build a Portfolio of Highly Specific Samples
If you are really serious about knowing how to become a freelancer, you will have to put some work in the beginning without expecting returns.
Build a portfolio of examples. Focus on the type of writing that you want to do for customers. A few unique, well-written and to-the-point samples will tell customers much more than any pitch.
When it comes to a writing portfolio, quality is much more important than quantity. Refrain from uploading everything that you have ever written. A potential client will be capable of evaluating your style from a single sample. Pick just a few of your best works and rely on these to do marketing for you.
Blog or Build a Website
Good writers have their blogs or websites. Even if you write as a leisure time activity, you should make it easy for clients to find information about you online.
A blog or a website could be dedicated to professional topics, it could be humorous or taking a look at hot contemporary topics. Make sure you are not creating an online diary, write with a purpose and do it well.
Learning a little bit about search engine optimization and implementing this kind of strategy will enable customers to discover your writing. Sooner or later, they will start contacting you on the basis of information available online.
Be Serious about Each Pitch
Creating the perfect pitch is the only way to impress online clients. You need to put a lot of thought and effort into each individual email, project description and offer that you create.
Pay attention to the client specifications and offer a customized solution. Refrain from relying on a template when creating freelance writing pitches. If you are serious about turning this opportunity into a career and making money online, you will need to spend some time on convincing clients you are the person for the job.
The best pitch has a few key characteristics:
- An introductory message
- Information about your experience
- How is this experience relevant?
- What makes you different from the competition?
- How quickly the project can be completed
- A very precise and detailed cost analysis
- Links or examples of any work that is similar to the project
- A message encouraging clients to get back and ask questions
Make it detailed, make it informative and let your skills shine through. If you want to learn how to become a freelance writer, you will have to learn how to write the perfect pitch.
Get Ready to Negotiate
Often, clients will be interested in working with you (especially if you have the right skills) but they will be concerned about a particular aspect of the pitch.
You have to be open to communication. In certain instances, you will be capable of finding the middle ground or clients will sometimes have unreasonable expectations. You have to distinguish between reasonable compromises and illogical requests.
Reducing the price just a little bit in order to lure a new client may be a good idea. Slaving away for pennies, especially if the client wants a highly specialized type of work done, is certainly not acceptable.
The more you communicate, the better understanding you will gain of the customer’s requirements. Eventually, you will find yourself capable of convincing that person to give you a try.
How to Become a Freelance Writer: The Importance of Pricing Decisions
Every experienced freelance writer will tell you that the price is one of the most important factors for finding clients.
In the very beginning, you will probably need to make a couple of compromises. Make sure that your clients know this is a test sample price. Once you win bigger gigs, you will get to increase the price.
You should still come up with a reasonable threshold that will still enable you to generate a little bit of revenue. In the beginning, you will be building your portfolio and customer base. Once you do that, you will find yourself capable of increasing the price and finding new clients.
Here is a simple example from my career. The very first project I accepted paid four dollars per 800 words. Yes, the pay was ridiculous but I needed to get started from somewhere. I experimented with hourly pay, as well. In the beginning, it was 10 dollars per hour. Soon after, the figure became 15 dollars per hour. Currently, I am making 20 dollars per hour, which is more than reasonable for the country where I live in and the average pay here.
Naturally, I don’t work full hours, getting paid 20 dollars per hour for a 40-hour work week. Still, I can charge much more than I did in the beginning and I can justify the price.
Do you need some assistance with learning how to become a freelance writer? Do you need additional suggestions for finding clients? My book about online entrepreneurship can give you a lot of useful information. You can find more information about it here or purchase the book from Amazon.
Photo courtesy of: Marsmetn Tallahassee