Marketing. Love it or hate it, if you want to be a successful freelance writer you need to market your business consistently. So, what exactly is marketing? There are countless definitions online, but here’s my personal favourite:
“Marketing is helping people buy your product or service.” Jason Falls – Social Media Explorer
Think about that sentence for a moment. It’s a simple definition of marketing but it makes a lot of sense.
If you want people to buy your writing services you have to help them do that. How? First, they need to know you exist! Second, they need to know that you can provide a solution to a problem they have.
As a freelance writer you have a lot of competition. But the good news is that the majority of your competitors aren’t marketing to their ideal clients on a consistent basis.
Oftentimes, their ideal clients don’t even know they exist!
That means if you DO market consistently, you’ll have a huge advantage over your competition. Your ideal clients will know about you, and they’ll know exactly what you can offer them.
And even if they’re not ready to hire you right away, when they need a writer you’ll be top of mind.
Now I’ve answered why you should market consistently, let’s take a look at how to do it in the simplest way possible…
Schedule Marketing Time
This point may sounds obvious, but scheduling marketing time is incredibly important. The best way to do this is to block off time in a planner or a calendar app like Google Calendar.
I’ve experimented with a few ways of blocking out time for marketing. Here’s what I’ve tried and how it worked out for me:
Daily marketing can be a great way to keep a steady stream of leads flowing into your business. And it doesn’t need to take up all your time.
Just fifteen minutes of marketing each day can generate big results over time, but if you need more clients you should dedicate more time to your marketing.
If you decide to market daily, I recommend taking at least 5 small marketing actions. One marketing action could be sending a cold email, commenting on a prospect’s post on LinkedIn, or pitching a guest post.
Any small action that puts you in front of your ideal clients counts.
It’s also a good idea to do your marketing as the first task of the day. It’s too easy to get caught up with client work and put off marketing until tomorrow if you schedule it later in the day. Trust me, I’ve been there!
I’ve experimented with setting aside a whole week to market my business and have achieved some great results. The obvious advantage of this method is the amount of marketing you can get done in a week if you focus completely on it.
Marketing weeks are most suitable for freelance writers who want to land more clients, fast. They are also ideal for completing longer tasks like creating blog posts, newsletter articles, or lead magnets.
Obviously, if you’re slammed with client work it’s difficult to set aside a whole week for marketing, but consider a marketing week if your business needs a boost!
My favourite way to market my business is to set aside marketing days. This method works best for me because I prefer to focus on one type of task per day e.g. writing or marketing. I also find it much easier to fit in a marketing day around client work compared with a marketing week.
During a marketing day I usually focus on one or two activities such as cold emailing or LinkedIn marketing.
Other days I choose to write newsletter articles or blog posts for my business. Whichever method you use, just make sure to stick to your plan and avoid getting off track and working on non-marketing tasks.
Create a Simple Marketing Plan
Now you’ve blocked off some time for marketing, it’s important to use it wisely.
I’ve given you a few examples of actions I take to market my business, but it’s a good idea to think clearly about your own goals and create a simple marketing plan that you’ll stick to.
There are a HUGE variety of different ways to market your freelance writing business, many of which we’ve talked about right here on the blog.
If you’ve been a freelance writing for any length of time you probably have a couple of marketing methods that work best for you.
There is no right or wrong way to prospect, and everyone has their preferences. The most important thing is that you’re comfortable enough with your chosen marketing methods to do them consistently!
If you are just starting out as a freelance writer, it’s worth experimenting with different marketing methods to see what works best for you.
And of course, even established writers shouldn’t be afraid to test out new marketing methods throughout their career.
Just beware of shiny object syndrome, and avoid jumping from method to method without going deep enough with any one marketing method to gain traction.
Keep Taking Action
Your marketing efforts will compound over time, and taking action consistently will pay off if you keep at it. Here are some tips to help you make marketing a habit.
Use Tools to Speed up Your Marketing
Two of my favourite tools for getting my marketing done faster are Mixmax and LinkedIn Sales Navigator.
Mixmax is a nifty tool that enables you to insert a cold emailing template directly from Gmail in a matter of seconds. Check out Nick’s article for the lowdown on this timesaving tool.
LinkedIn Sales Navigator has some very powerful features including advanced search and filtering options to help supercharge your prospecting efforts. My recent article gives a step-by-step guide on how to use it to find freelance writing clients.
Set Personal Goals
Think deeply about why you are a freelance writer and what you’d like to achieve. Then set some goals that really speak to you. Short to mid-term goals that are aligned with your values will work well to keep you motivated.
Here are a couple of examples: Want to quit your day job and write full-time? Set a date and work towards it. Maybe you want to save money to travel? Work out how much money you’ll need and create monthly income and savings goals.
Leverage the Power of Accountability
Freelance writing can be lonely and overwhelming. It’s hard to do everything on your own and stay motivated.
An accountability partner or group is a great way to leverage the psychological power of accountability to help you succeed as a freelance writer. Check out my post for more on this important topic.
Have you had any recent marketing wins? Let us know in the comments!