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How To Find Serious Business Clients and Customers For Your Freelance Writing and Editing Business
A Little Help For a "Budding" Freelance Writer!
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.
Which Method Do You Prefer For Finding New Clients?
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!
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
Brochures & Flyers
Create a Brochure or Flyer that explains Products or Business Services
Write Professional Resumes
Create a Variety of Business Letters for client to use in Mailings
Create a Newsletter that is published periodically
Many companies pay for people to research certain trends
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
Government, Politics, Non-Profits are always looking for Freelancers
Writing Business Manuals for New Businesses
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
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
Write and Submit articles to magazines
Many different areas including Blogging, Taking Surveys, Writing Advertised Gigs through Publishing sites, etc.
Many companies are looking for professional editors to edit their work
Many Authors look for collaborators to help them write
Press Releases and Press Kits
Many companies need Press Releases to make Official Announcements
Many Public Speakers hire Freelancers to write their speaches
If familiar with multiple languages you can translate anything for profit
An Authoritative Industry Report
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
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