Do you want to make more money as a freelance writer?
If the answer to this question is “yes!”, then you’re in the right place.
You CAN make good money as a freelance writer. Just ask Nick, who built a successful freelance writing business that brings in $2000 plus per month in only a year.
In this post, I’ll share some simple steps that have helped me make at least an extra $1000 each month from freelance writing since implementing them.
Ready to find out how? Then let’s get started!
Build a Core Offer
To earn well as a freelance writer you need to get your offer right. After all, it’s no good pitching prospects who don’t have a need or desire for your services.
Think hard about the services you offer, and conduct careful research to make sure they align with the needs of your target market.
If you want to write long-form sales letters, you probably won’t have much luck if you contact prospects who run small businesses on your local high street. They won’t have the budget to hire you to write a sales letter, and it won’t fit with their marketing strategy.
But if you want to write blog posts, small business owners could be great prospects to contact – especially if they already understand the value of content marketing. For these prospects, you could offer a monthly package of blog posts as a done-for-you solution to their content marketing needs. Here’s how writer Anne McAuley packages her blog posts:
Your core offer should align with the needs of your target market and the services you can deliver.
Here are some questions to ask yourself when building your core offer:
- What problems do my prospects have?
- How can I help them solve these problems?
- Which kinds of copy are they already using?
- Which kinds of copy can help them build their business?
- Which kinds of copy can I deliver?
So, how can you pick the right offer? First, decide which types of services you can deliver. Then research your target market and test the offer by pitching it to them. You’ll soon find out if prospects are receptive to your offer. And if they’re not, repeat the process.
For more information on building a core offer, check out this useful article from A-list copywriter, Roy Furr.
Ramp up Your Marketing
Here’s the simple, unvarnished truth: Most freelance writers aren’t doing enough marketing to sustain a successful business. They do some marketing, pick up some work, then run out of work and have to market again. This is known as the feast-or-famine cycle, and it’s no fun at all.
The solution? Ramp up your marketing. The best way to do this is by making marketing a daily habit – even when you’re busy with freelance writing projects.
Choose a couple of marketing methods you like enough to do consistently – my personal favourites are LinkedIn marketing and cold emailing – and build time into your schedule each day to get them done. If you’re busy, stick to 15-30 minutes a day. If you need more work, market for longer. It really is that simple.
Position Yourself as More Than a Writer
In his recent post, Yassir explained how a change in positioning helped him land a $1,600 writing gig:
“I transitioned from an employee mentality to a business owner mentality.
I started representing myself as someone who drives sales, rather than writes blog posts.
I offered more value and began presenting everything professionally.
This change has dramatically increased my response rate and has helped me land new, well-paying clients from my cold pitches.”
Don’t underestimate the power of positioning for building your income as a freelance writer. This ties back to your core offer I discussed earlier in the post.
Prospects want to know how you can help them grow their business. They aren’t concerned with how great of a writer you are. Become a trusted consultant who can deliver results, and you’ll earn far more than most freelance writers. Which brings me to my next point …
Improve Your Skills
Improve your skills as a writer, marketer, and consultant (remember, you want to position yourself as more than a writer), and you’ll be able to command higher rates.
There are a ton of resources available to help you improve your skills, so make it your mission keep learning and building your knowledge and expertise.
Make the most of free and low-priced resources, but seriously consider investing in specialized courses and training. Remember, you’re running a business, and every business needs investment to grow.
If you want to improve your copywriting skills, I highly recommend The Accelerated Program for Six-Figure Copywriting from American Writers & Artists Inc.
Arrange More Conversations with Prospects
A lot of freelance writers miss one vital step in the prospecting process that can mean the difference between landing lucrative clients and getting passed over for another writer …
Talking with prospects on the phone.
But wait! Before you roll your eyes and decide that you could never talk to prospects on the phone, hear me out. Would you talk to a prospect on the phone if I handed you a crisp 100 dollar bill every time you did?
Because that’s really what we’re talking about here. If you aren’t setting up phone calls and talking to prospects on the phone you’re leaving a lot of money on the table. Money that could be yours.
Phone calls build trust with prospects, and allow you to communicate your core offer and positioning as effectively as possible.
Most freelance writers avoid talking to prospects on the phone. But that’s good news for you, because if you do, you’ll give yourself an advantage over them.
Let’s be honest. Phone calls to prospects can be scary – especially if making business calls is new to you. I was the same way when I started talking to prospects on the phone, and I messed up more than a few times.
Accept that it will happen to you, too. Then start setting up phone calls. You WILL get better with practice, and you’ll most likely land A LOT more work.
So, how do I set up calls with prospects? I just ask for a call. Here’s the call-to-action I add to the end of my LinkedIn messages and cold emails:
“Could we set up a brief call next week?”
It’s as simple as that. Give it a try and start talking to some prospects.
Here are some great resources for overcoming phone anxiety and mastering prospect phone calls (even if English isn’t your first language):
Upsell Current Clients & Reconnect with Dormant Ones
Existing clients are those you work with on a regular basis. Dormant clients are those you’ve worked with in the past, but haven’t connected with in some time.
Both of these groups share one thing in common: they’ve purchased your services before. Assuming they’re happy with the service you provided, it’s much easier to sell to these clients than it is to a new prospect. In fact, according to Marketing Metrics, the probability of selling to an existing or dormant client is 60-70%. But the probability of selling to a new prospect is 5-20%.
Use this knowledge to your advantage by suggesting new ideas that can help your current and dormant clients grow their businesses. Again, this ties back to your positioning as a trusted consultant as well as a writer.
Here are a couple of examples:
- If you’re writing monthly blog posts for a client you could suggest a newsletter, lead magnet, or case study to generate more leads and sales
- If you wrote some brochure copy for a client last year, you could reconnect with them and suggest a white paper to highlight the features and benefits of a new product or service the company is now offering
Always be on the lookout for opportunities to pitch new projects to current and dormant clients. Lots of freelance writers overlook this potential source of income, but it can be very lucrative.
It’s definitely possible to build your income as a freelance writer, but it will require consistent action on your part. I recommend picking a couple of these strategies and committing to them for at least a month. Doing this will give you the best chance of success. Let me know how you get on!
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