When you are looking for freelance writing opportunities, it may be tempting to think of yourself as just a writer. When you are contacting potential clients and ask the question, “Do you need a writer?”, the answer may well be “No.”
The client may not have ever hired a freelance writer before. They may not know what kinds of services you can offer (articles, advertising materials, blog posts, press releases, etc.). Part of marketing yourself to potential clients is to tell them why hiring you will help their bottom line, because that is what matters to them.
Your challenge is to think about what value you bring to the client’s company.
- Can you provide quality content that will bring repeat visitors to their web site and increase sales?
- Do you write advertising copy that makes buyers want to make contact right away?
- Are you able to write blog posts that capture the company’s personality and give it a more human face for readers?
- Do your press releases effectively draw attention to the noteworthy things the company is doing?
This is the kind of information your potential client needs to know. You write; that’s true, but you are much more than a writer. You are someone who takes ideas and brings them to life. You have the power to influence people’s opinions, to educate and amuse them, and to influence the decisions they make based on the characters you put on paper, in a document, or online. Pretty heady stuff, if you ask me. You help your clients express ideas effectively and you solve problems for them, which makes you a valuable resource….not “just” a writer.
The next time you are writing a cover letter, think about what you can bring to the table if that client hires you. Then make sure you tell them exactly what you can do for them: simply, directly, and truthfully. This information will make you stand out from the other applicants and make it more likely that they will hire you.