As a freelance writer, your most important ongoing task is to fill your pipeline with writing gigs – and keep it full.
If you’re a beginner, your main focus should be on landing your first few clients and building up to a stable monthly income. But even as a more established writer, you can’t afford to rest on your laurels.
Freelance writers who let their marketing efforts slip can fall prey to the “feast or famine” cycle. One month you could be up to your eyeballs in work, but if you fail to keep prospecting, the next month you may find that the work has dried up and you’re left with very little money to pay the bills.
Freelance writing requires “hustle” – if you’ve been doing it for any length of time you’ll know this to be true.
Marketing yourself is absolutely crucial to your success, so it pays to find at least one marketing method you enjoy (or can tolerate!), and stick with it long enough to see results.
Here at WriteWorldwide we understand that different marketing methods suit different people. There is no “best” method of marketing that will work for everyone, but it’s your job to experiment and find the best method for you.
In today’s post I’ll give you a helping hand by looking at social media for writers – and how to land freelance writing gigs. You might think that social media is just a place to post pictures of cats and chat with friends, but it’s actually so much more!
There are lots of social media platforms out there, and many of them can be great places to find freelance writing work. In this post I’ll be focussing on 2 of the most popular – LinkedIn and Twitter.
If you’re a regular reader of the blog you may know that LinkedIn marketing is one of my favourite methods of landing new clients.
One of the reasons I like LinkedIn so much is its built-in people search function that eliminates the need to build a list of prospects.
All you need to to do is enter your search terms and the site will pull up a list of prospects for you to connect with. For example, you could search for marketing managers at tech companies based in New York.
Once you find prospects who could be a good fit for your services, you can send them a request to connect with you. Personalised connection requests are a particularly effective way to quickly grow your network.
Using this simple method, I’ve grown my network to over 600 targeted prospects within my niche. I send new connections a short introduction message (similar to a cold email) in an attempt to open up a conversation and set up a short discovery call.
If you’d like to give LinkedIn marketing a go, you’ll need to complete your profile to make sure it attracts your ideal clients, build your network, and start reaching out to prospects using a proven template that gets results.
For a step-by-step guide showing you how to do all this, check out my previous article How to Find Freelance Writing Clients on LinkedIn (A System That Works).
Jorden Roper also recently posted an excellent article that shows you how to land freelance writing clients on LinkedIn. And don’t worry if you lack Jorden’s experience! In her words, the article shows “the exact method I used to get clients from LinkedIn as a newbie freelance writer with no connections and no college degree.”
Twitter may seem like a distraction, but it’s actually a great place to find freelance writing work. As with any social media platform, if you’re looking for work you’ll need to play smart.
The first thing to do is set up your profile the right way so that potential clients can see what you’re all about.
Make sure you have a professional-looking profile picture – a picture of your face is best. Don’t use a random image or leave the profile picture as the default Twitter egg icon. Potential clients want to know you’re a real person, and a good picture helps build trust.
Next, upload a Twitter header image. This could be an image related to your niche, but it’s also great real estate on your profile for a custom image with more information about you – such as your website address. Use a simple design tool like Canva to create a header image that will make your profile stand out to prospects.
Next, complete your bio using keywords related to your niche so clients can easily find you. As an example, I’ve described myself as a “pro pet industry copywriter” on my Twitter bio. I also include “for hire” in my bio, so that prospects know I’m available to work for them.
Your bio is also a great place to include a link to your writer’s website, and your city (if you’d like to target local clients).
Once your profile is set up, start following people and businesses within your niche. The next step in the process is to interact with the people and businesses you are following. This doesn’t need to take you a long time – your interactions can be as simple as liking or sharing a tweet, but it’s also worth leaving relevant comments on content that your target clients have shared.
The aim of the game here is to start building relationships with your ideal clients. This might seem like a lot of work, but you really only need to interact for a few minutes each day. As with many areas of freelance writing, consistency is key.
After just a few weeks using this method your target clients will start to notice you and check out your profile. So how does that help you? Simple. Now you’re on the radar of some of your ideal clients. They know what you do and how you can help them. So now’s a great time for you to pitch them your services!
Another way to build your authority on Twitter is by regularly posting interesting and relevant content that your target clients may enjoy. Keep things interesting by sharing a mixture of your own articles and other great content that you’ve curated from around the web.
For more ideas on using Twitter to land freelance writing gigs, take a look at this article from the Write Life.
Do you use social media to find freelance writing gigs? Which platforms have you found most useful? Let us know in the comments!