How To Find Serious Business Clients and Customers For Your Freelance Writing and Editing Business

A Little Help For a "Budding" Freelance Writer!

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Starting A Home-Based Freelance Writing Business

If you have started a Freelance Writing Business or you are thinking about doing so, there is an endless supply of clients and customers waiting to be found. In today's world, selling products and services is a key to success in the business world.

Companies pay millions of dollars each year to have their products and services advertised through a variety of media platforms. Many companies will pay Freelance Writers to perform Product and Business Reviews, create Newsletters and Mailings to their clients, and many other Writing Assignments for Freelance Writers.

The key to being a Successful Home-Based Freelance Writer is knowing where to find these clients, secure contracts, and keep them as a long-term client. This article will discuss where to look for potential clients, how to contact them, and how to keep them as long-term customers and clients.

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Which Method Do You Prefer For Finding New Clients?

  • I prefer cold-calling
  • I like mailing letters to would be clients
  • I use both methods
  • I use different methods
See results without voting

Know Where To Look For Potential Clients

Chances are there are many potential future clients and customers right where you live! If there are businesses in your area then they may be your best potential clients to pursue.

Many businesses are too busy or lack the talent to write reviews for their products and services. What do they do? They Hire outside companies to do the work for them! This is where you step in as a Freelance Writer.

Many businesses do not like cold-calling or door-to-door soliciting. To avoid being rejected before you even get started, there are some things you should consider about Who and How to contact for potential business relationships:

  • Do not solicit to businesses that you have no background or knowledge of. One of the first questions they may ask you is if you are aware of the products and services that they offer.
  • Get familiar with the business and the products or services they offer by doing your research first. Many businesses today have a website that explains the products that they manufacture or sell along with any services they provide.
  • Consider sending them a post-card about your Freelance Writing Business and include the types of services that you can provide to help them attract more business.
  • Whenever you contact a potential client, your greeting and opening remarks should reflect that you know that they are busy and that you would like an opportunity to speak with them about how you can potentially help them to advertise their business services and products.
  • Never make a promise or guarantee that you can't back up! Stay away from statements like, "I can Guarantee that you will double your business in 1 month if you let me advertise for you..." Statements like this sound like pure garbage and you will get a very bad reputation as a Freelance Writing Professional before you know it.
  • The only thing you should guarantee is 100% Satisfaction with a money-back clause. You may retain a certain amount of money from the rejected project or charge a fee for the time it took you to complete the project. These along with any other considerations and promises should be written in the contract. Be careful that you don't offer a writing project to a client and they tell you they aren't satisfied and then turn around and use your work anyway!


To Get Clients You Need A Strategy Like Playing Chess!

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Understanding "The Game"

Getting New Clients is not always easy. As a business owner, you have to understand and be able to deal with rejection. You are selling something of value and you take pride in your work and effort. That's great! It also doesn't mean that everyone will agree with you or want to utilize you as a Professional Freelance Writer.

As in with any other business, acquiring New Customers and Clients is a "Numbers Game". A "Numbers Game" is the idea that if you pitch a product to 100 people, the following statistics will generally occur:

  • Pitch your product to 100 people
  • 75% will say they will look at it
  • 50% might look at it
  • 35% will look at it
  • 15% will commit to buy
  • Less than 10% will follow through to the end and buy the product!

So that is the "Numbers Game" and how advertising works. Don't allow rejection to get the best of you! Sometimes you will have great days and weeks where 70% will actually follow through and purchase your product. Other times you will get 0 out of 100. That is just the way it works! How you deal with the rejection is what will separate you as a professional!

Typical "Bread & Butter" Assignments for a Freelance Writer

Products to Offer
Details
Brochures & Flyers
Create a Brochure or Flyer that explains Products or Business Services
Resume Services
Write Professional Resumes
Drafting Letters
Create a Variety of Business Letters for client to use in Mailings
Newsletters
Create a Newsletter that is published periodically
Topic Research
Many companies pay for people to research certain trends
Instructional Materials
Create Policy and Procedure and Compliance Projects for Corporations and Companies
Genealogy and Family History
Many people want to know their family history but lack the time of knowledge to do it
Photography and Video
Presentations or Recording of events such as seminars or meetings
Special Interest
Government, Politics, Non-Profits are always looking for Freelancers
Business Manuals
Writing Business Manuals for New Businesses
Restaurant Menus
Create an attractive Menu for a new restaurant or and older one looking for a new look
Restaurant and Food Reviews
Writing reviews of local restaurants and their food
Technical Writing
Science, Engineering and Technical Writing can be profitable
Visitor & Tourist Guides
Including Brochures and Reviews of Local Businesses
Newspaper Featured Articles
Write and Submit articles to local papers
Magazine Articles
Write and Submit articles to magazines
Online Writing
Many different areas including Blogging, Taking Surveys, Writing Advertised Gigs through Publishing sites, etc.
Editing
Many companies are looking for professional editors to edit their work
Ghost Writing
Many Authors look for collaborators to help them write
Press Releases and Press Kits
Many companies need Press Releases to make Official Announcements
Speeches
Many Public Speakers hire Freelancers to write their speaches
Translation Services
If familiar with multiple languages you can translate anything for profit
White Papers
An Authoritative Industry Report
*A Note on Printing: If one of the products you plan to offer involves mass printing (color brochures and pamphlets) you may consider subbing out the work to a commercial printer to save money. Printing can be very expensive and you should always thi
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Getting New Clients: Marketing Your Services

Now it is time to get out there and start connecting with your potential clients! Marketing your business and products is "futuristic" in theory. What you market today may not pay off for months down the road. It is important to market on a regular basis, even when you are busy with current projects.

If you take on too many projects at once, you may get overwhelmed and miss deadlines which can kill your business. If you are not marketing on a regular basis, particularly when you are very busy, once your current work load is completed you won't have any new business! Most businesses fail in their first year because they don't manage their time well, don't do enough research, or consistently market their services.

Starting and Marketing a Freelance Writing Business requires an Investment in Time. You don't have to spend money necessarily, but there are some Financial Investments that will make marketing your business easier and will make you look more professional. Let's look at a few things that you might want to consider spending money on to help market your business:

  • Business Cards are like a mini portrait of your business. It tells the client what you do and how they can contact you. Adding a phone number and website along with your e-mail address is a great way to market your business in a small but effective way. Many businesses allow people to post their business cards on a board for free.
  • Brochures and Fliers. What better way to show off your skills at creating fliers and brochures than to advertise your own business on one! That shows the potential client what your product looks like and has the added bonus of sharing your contact information.
  • Mass-Mailing Letters. Create a single letter and sent it to multiple businesses. Include an introduction of what you do and you may consider mailing your business card and brochure in the mailing. It will cost you postage and you have to remember the theory of the "Numbers Game". Keeping it local is a great idea because people connect with businesses that are close and can be vouched for.

You can get creative as a Freelancer and think of interesting ways to advertise your business. Going door-to-door is acceptable if you approach it the right way. Consider walking into a potential client's business and acknowledging that they are busy and you just want to make an appointment with them to discuss potential business.

Bring them a brochure and a business card and explain to them that when they have time they can look over the material and contact you if they are interested. The point is that you are not discussing business, you are just introducing yourself and offering them information about your business. Consider this possible dialogue:

"Hello. My name is J.S.Matthew and I am a Freelance Writer. I know that you are very busy and I don't want to take up any of your time so I would like to give you a brochure that explains what I do and how I can help your business. I am also including a business card so that you can contact me if you feel that you could benefit from my services. I appreciate your time and I look forward to a future business relationship with your company. Thank you and have a nice day."

You can use similar language if you decide to draft and mail letters to companies. Remember, time is the most valuable business asset and respecting other's time during business hours is a must if you want to build business relationships. By making a conscious point of stating that you know the potential client is busy and that you respect their time, they will be more likely to consider your services. This first interaction should take about a minute and by leaving your contact information you are planting a seed and when the potential client has time, they might take a look at what you have to offer them.


Time: The Most Valuable Asset

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Retaining Clients Over Time

Getting clients can be difficult at first so you want to retain your clients once you get them. If you keep deadlines and present high quality work then your clients will not only keep coming back but they will refer you to other businesses.

Word of mouth is the most effective advertising principle and it goes both ways. If your clients are happy with the work you produce they will be your best references.

If you don't produce quality work and don't keep your deadlines, then you can be sure that you will get a bad reputation and will not be able to get any more writing assignments in your area. Never take on a project if you can't produce quality or keep a deadline.


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© 2012 JS Matthew

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Comments 36 comments

TheInspiredLife profile image

TheInspiredLife 4 years ago from North Carolina

There is a lot of good information in here! Thanks for sharing.


Kris Heeter profile image

Kris Heeter 4 years ago from Indiana

Great article! I especially like "time" as the most valuable asset.


cclitgirl profile image

cclitgirl 4 years ago from Western NC

This is a wealth of information here. Designing flyers and stuff like that is something I never even thought of. The layout is great and you are an amazing writer. Are companies knocking down your door! Hahaha. You've got my votes.


J.S.Matthew profile image

J.S.Matthew 4 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

@TheInspiredLife: Thanks for stopping by! I am glad you liked this article!

JSMatthew~


J.S.Matthew profile image

J.S.Matthew 4 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

@Kris Heeter: As Benjamin Franklin once said, "Dos't thou love life? Then don't waste time cause that's the stuff life's made of!" It couldn't be more true! Thanks for stopping by!

JSMatthew~


J.S.Matthew profile image

J.S.Matthew 4 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

@cclitgirl: Hello! Creating and distributing fliers that represent your business can be very effective. You have to shop around if you are looking to have them printed commercially. Printing at home can be very expensive unless you have the money to buy a decent commercial color printer. It really is a great way to show both your product and your business information in one package. I am still waiting for a big company to offer me more than I am making but it hasn't happened yet! Thank you for your kind words and votes!

JSMatthew~


DeborahNeyens profile image

DeborahNeyens 4 years ago from Iowa

This is great information. I'm going to start marketing my writing business and this is just the resource I needed. Thanks!


Seeker7 profile image

Seeker7 4 years ago from Fife, Scotland

An excellent hub with lots of good and usable information on how to get potential clients. I think this is probably one of the most daunting areas for freelance writers, but having information like this does make it a lot less stressful!

I really enjoyed this hub + voted up!


alocsin profile image

alocsin 4 years ago from Orange County, CA

Quite useful information, especially about "The Game." For me, retaining clients is easy. They say "Jump" and I say "How High?" Voting this Up and Useful.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 4 years ago from United States

This is a wealth of good information to be a successful freelance writer. Great hub. Rated up and awesome.


Ardie profile image

Ardie 4 years ago from Neverland

Excellent tips and information! I need to get the clients first and THEN worry about keeping them hahah


Deborah Brooks profile image

Deborah Brooks 4 years ago from Brownsville,TX

thank you for writing such a great hub.. so full of information. You are very wise. I am book marking this for future use.

voted up

Debbie


ytsenoh profile image

ytsenoh 4 years ago from Louisiana, Idaho, Kauai, Nebraska, South Dakota, Missouri

JS, thanks very much for more information. You certainly help to steer the boat for those of us who want to create a living by writing. Thumbs up.


Rock_nj profile image

Rock_nj 4 years ago from New Jersey

Good advice about getting a freelance writing business off of the ground. Building a good reputation is the key to success, which means returning phone calls and meeting deadlines. It's amazing how poorly some people run their businesses.

What about pricing? I know it varies depending upon where you live, but what kind of prices are business accustomed to paying for freelance writing services?


prairieprincess profile image

prairieprincess 4 years ago from Canada

Thank you! This was very helpful and I am sharing it for others to appreciate, too. I love your idea of going door to door. Brave and brilliant!


J.S.Matthew profile image

J.S.Matthew 4 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

@DeborahNeyens: Glad this helps! I wish you the best of success in starting your business!

JSMatthew~


J.S.Matthew profile image

J.S.Matthew 4 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

@Seeker7: Thank you very much for your kind words! I appreciate your comment and vote! Glad you enjoyed this!

JSMatthew~


J.S.Matthew profile image

J.S.Matthew 4 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

@alocsin: Hi! It really is a game and the formula I mentioned can apply to so many other things in life and in advertising. Understanding the game and how you deal with rejection is what determines your success. With your positive attitude, it is no surprise that you have no problem retaining your clients! Thank you for commenting and voting! It's always great to see you!

JSMatthew~


J.S.Matthew profile image

J.S.Matthew 4 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

@Pamela99: Thank you! I always appreciate your comment and votes!

JSMatthew~


J.S.Matthew profile image

J.S.Matthew 4 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

@Ardie: I love your sense of humor! Thanks for stopping by!

JSMatthew~


J.S.Matthew profile image

J.S.Matthew 4 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

@Deborah Brooks: You're welcome! Thank you for reading, voting and commenting!

JSMatthew~


J.S.Matthew profile image

J.S.Matthew 4 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

@ytsenoh: Thank you for such an awesome comment! I appreciate the thumbs up!

JSMatthew~


J.S.Matthew profile image

J.S.Matthew 4 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

@Rock_nj: I agree with you-it's all about building and keeping a good reputation. Many people have killed their careers by doing things like posting something stupid on Facebook or something similar.

In regard to pricing, it is hard to say. You really have to find out what other freelance writers in your area charge and stay competitive. Depending on the project, you can make from $25-$500. I know some people make up to $10,000 Ghostwriting memoirs and other books. There are so many opportunities out there.

One resource that has a list of general fees is the "Writer's Market". It's not the cheapest book but I think it has more information on publishing than any other resource. You can check it out on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Writers-Market-Deluxe-Editio...

There really is no definitive answer on pricing. You just have to do a little research and make sure you get compensated for your time and quality. I hope this helps!

JSMatthew~


J.S.Matthew profile image

J.S.Matthew 4 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

@prairieprincess: I am happy this was helpful for you! Going door to door can be difficult because you will face a lot of rejection. As long as you understand that, you can get some business by using this method. It definitely beats cold calling on the telephone! Thanks for stopping by!

JSMatthew~


jainismus profile image

jainismus 4 years ago from Pune, India

J.S.Matthew,

This is a well explained and great Hub, very useful for those who are looking for a career in freelance writing. Thank you for sharing the information. Voted up and re-shared.


J.S.Matthew profile image

J.S.Matthew 4 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

Thank you jainismus! I always appreciate your comments. Thanks for voting and sharing!

JSMatthew~


rahul0324 profile image

rahul0324 4 years ago from Gurgaon, India

This is a great hub.. very useful information for newbies like me.

Thank you


J.S.Matthew profile image

J.S.Matthew 4 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

Hello rahul0324! I am happy to hear that this is useful for you! Thanks for stopping by!

JSMatthew~


Glenn Stok profile image

Glenn Stok 4 years ago from Long Island, NY

I found this from your tweet. You wrote a lot of useful information here for anyone who wants to branch out into freelance writing.


J.S.Matthew profile image

J.S.Matthew 4 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

Thanks Glenn! That means a lot to me coming from you! It really is very difficult to get started in Freelancing these days. There are so many competitors and the market has changed so much in the last decade. So happy that someone found this on Twitter! I appreciate your comment.

JSMatthew~


Sheri Faye profile image

Sheri Faye 3 years ago from Chemainus. BC, Canada

This is very usefuk. Thanks!


J.S.Matthew profile image

J.S.Matthew 3 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

Hello Sheri Faye! I am glad this was useful to you. Thanks for stopping by! Best of success...

JSMatthew~


Vinaya Ghimire profile image

Vinaya Ghimire 3 years ago from Nepal

Matthew,

I'm a freelance writer and work from home. I'm always looking for writing opportunities. Thanks for the tips, I'm interested in ghost writing and article writing.


J.S.Matthew profile image

J.S.Matthew 3 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

Hello Vinaya. It's great to see you. I hope your freelance business is doing well. Thanks for stopping by.

JSMatthew~


SidKemp profile image

SidKemp 3 years ago from Boca Raton, Florida (near Miami and Palm Beach)

I've been a writer (mostly of books and training materials) for 20 years. I'm hoping my next business venture will give me what I need financially. But if it doesn't, or as a sideline, I've thought of freelancing as a writer. Your tips here are good. What I'm wondering is how much money a really good, fast, experienced writer can expect to make from freelance writing if working half time, after the business is up and running.


J.S.Matthew profile image

J.S.Matthew 3 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

Hello SidKemp . Sorry for the delayed reply but I have been so busy working lately I just can't keep up. Not enough hours in a day! To answer your question, it depends on several variables to determine what a seasoned author can make in a short amount of time. It depends on:

-What you write about (expertise and knowledge of a field)

-What types of clients you write for

-Whether you write for online or local customers

-etc.

If you are on LinkedIn you may want to check out some of the Freelance Writing Groups and you can ask the same question to get an answer from a variety of writers from all over the world.

In my area, local business are not willing to pay decent money for freelance work so I mainly do my business online. I wish I had an exact answer to your question but it really does depend on a lot of factors.

I hope this helps and best of success to you! Thanks for stopping by.

JSMatthew~

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