Today’s tempting tidbit of freelance business advice comes to you from James Chartrand of Men with Pens, a featured Freelance Writing Gigs blogger. Enjoy!
Marketing yourself to land new clients can be an overwhelming, frustrating task. How do you do it? Where do you look? What do you say to people to convince them they need you? Sometimes it just seems easier to do nothing and hope for the best.
Well, instead of doing nothing, why not try to write a few pitches and send them out? Here are a few tips to help convince people to hire you:
Believe in Yourself
Sometimes our own politeness and discomfort at blowing our own horn gets in the way of promoting ourselves. Don’t be shy; these people need you – they just don’t know it yet.
So let them know. Write a brief email and use strong, confident language. Convey that you know you’re the best person for the job – right here, right now – and mention why. List strong qualities that prove you’re better than the next person (even if you don’t think you are).
Focus On the Benefits
A common mistake that many writers make when writing to potential customers is listing credentials. Boring. People are only mildly interested in your qualifications. They’re thinking, “So what?”
Answer that question. Every time you write something about yourself, your credentials and your work, give the “so what” that makes a difference. An English major? So what? 10 years of experience? So what? The answers are the only ones that count.
Know What They Need
Do you know what customers need? Good content is the wrong answer. People don’t care about that. They don’t want articles or ebooks or website copy. They want a better life. They want less work. They want more money, more attention, more sales and more success.
So tell them how you’ll help give them that. Business owners care only about results, so list some of the potential results they’ll achieve from working with you or using your content. Show them how you’ll change their life. Pitch beyond what you sell, all the time, every time.
Go Find the Work
Email campaigns – gather a list of likely contacts and sent them an introductory email
Job boards – set up a profile on a good job board and start pitching for gigs
Offline marketing – put together a folder of some samples and hand it out to local businesses
Article marketing – write articles about how better content helps businesses succeed
Advertising – buy ad space on websites, forums and in local newspapers
Blog commenting – leave valuable comments on blogs that potential clients visit often
Want ads – peruse Craigslist for likely gigs and answer ads looking for writers
Pitch to companies – visit websites of magazines or companies and see if they have job openings
Try every resource and give each your best effort. Believe that everything you try will work, and have the patience to hang in there for a while.
You never know what could happen and you have nothing to lose but a bit of time.
Can you think of other ways to promote yourself? How do you stand out from the competition and get people to notice you?