Promoting your freelance writing services
Gone are the days when you promoted yourself as a freelance writer by posting flyers on a bulletin board or casually mentioning you’re a freelance writer-for-hire at parties. Today, writers can instantly present themselves as professionals by creating a business website or online profile. Let’s take a closer look at how each of these strategies works.
Build a professional website
Every freelance writer (and frankly, every freelancer) should build a professional website. Not only will this provide you with an excellent way to connect with clients, it will also put you in a more professional mindset by showing you’re willing to invest time, money, and effort toward your freelancing career.
Professional writer websites let you share samples of your published work with clients. They showcase the type of writing you do (blog posts, white papers, marketing emails etc.) and also your writing niche. They’ll let new clients know how to contact you. And they provide a space for existing clients to leave testimonials, attracting more business.
You can either learn how to build a business website yourself using an online course or outsource the job to a professional web developer. Incidentally, if you take the second option, you may find yourself working with a freelancer, letting you experience how freelance business relationships work from the other side.
While it’s understandable that you may be hesitant about building a website on your own, these days, resources like WordPress provide great templates and widgets that make constructing and modifying a website much simpler. You will need guidance, but you won’t need a PhD in computer science.
Establish a social media presence
If building a professional website isn’t in your budget, you can still promote yourself through social media. From Facebook to Twitter to LinkedIn, businesses are connecting with freelance writers everywhere these days.
Keep in mind that building a social media channel for business purposes is very different from starting a Facebook page or Instagram account to hang out with your friends online. You’ll want to immediately establish yourself as a professional writer who’s available to take on assignments.
This means crafting a freelancer biography that lists your credentials and the services you provide. It also means regularly updating your channel by posting new samples of your writing. Don’t have any clients yet? Then you should be sharing posts from your blog that showcase your writing niche and illustrate the kind of work you could be producing for your customers.
Some social media channels are better suited for attracting clients than others. For instance, LinkedIn can be a great place to connect with freelance writers and businesses that need their services.
However, if you want to reach these people, you’ll need to send out daily connection requests to LinkedIn members that can use your skills or share your work. You’ll want to interact with your contacts regularly, even if it’s just to like or comment on their posts. And you’ll need to regularly indicate that you’re available for hire by including a #opentowork sign around your profile photo, offering your services in your biography, or mentioning your availability in your posts.
If all this seems a bit overwhelming, keep in mind that staying engaged on LinkedIn and other social media channels often only means clicking on a few connection requests each day, or replying to a few posts during your lunch break.
Maintaining a consistent presence on social media—not spending hours updating your Facebook status—is the real goal.