One question freelance writers have is where to find clients. The good news is that potential clients are everywhere. Once you get in the mindset that everyone you meet could be a potential client, you will start to see opportunities for your business that didn’t exist before. Here are some places where you can find freelance work:
1. Existing Clients
Once you finish an assignment, thank the client and ask if there is anything else you can do. If appropriate, pitch a new article idea or make a suggestion that will help the client’s business. You may find that you get a steady stream of work in this manner.
2. Former Clients
If you haven’t received an assignment from a client for awhile, take the initiative to get in touch. Remind the client about the project you worked on previously. If you have added any new skills or types of writing to your repertoire, be sure to mention them. The more the client knows about what you have to offer, the more opportunities you have to get hired.
3. Job Ads
There are a number of websites that post job ads, including Freelance Writing Gigs, and you can connect with clients who need writers right now by responding to them. If you decide to go this route, make sure that you follow the instructions in the ad to the letter regarding attachments or the number of samples to include.
4. Post Your own Ad
You can post your own ad on CraigsList or on a professional association web site. You may find someone who is looking for a writer.
5. Your Family and Friends
The people you know can be a great source for finding freelance writing clients. Get in the habit of talking about what you do to people you know. They might need a writer or be able to refer you to someone who could use your services.
6. Writer Website or Blog
Your writer website or blog can help you market yourself to quality clients on a 24/7 basis. Make sure that your site is easy to navigate and includes well-written copy. Include samples or a link to your portfolio.
If you are using a blog to attract clients, tell them how to contact you for writing projects. Make it easy for them to hire you. The question of whether to post rates on your website or blog is a very personal one. Some writers post a rate sheet, while others prefer to quote each job individually. Another option is to post that their rates start at $X so that potential clients have an idea of what they will be charged by the writer.
7. Query Letters
Sending query letters to publications is another way to get a freelance writing gig. Before you contact an editor, be sure to review the writers’ guidelines thoroughly to make sure that your idea and the angle is right for the magazine. It’s worthwhile to take a look at some back issues before you make your pitch to make sure that it’s a god fit.
8. Social Media Marketing
Get active on Twitter to connect with prospects and look for gigs. Follow potential clients or do a real time search for phrases like “need a writer” or “looking for a writer” to find work.
This method may make some writers groan, but it can be effective. Pick up the phone and call prospects directly. Call marketing managers to find out whether they hire freelance writers. It has the advantage of letting you get in touch with several potential clients in a relatively short amount of time. (If you divide up your calls to a few a day, it may not seem so daunting.)
10. Direct Mail
While a prospect’s e-mail box may be stuffed, sending something by snail mail will at least be opened. Take some time to put together a slick postcard or brochure with a letter to show the potential client what you can to do help him or her.
Some of the best freelance writing gigs come from referrals. If you have been working with a client for some time and the client is happy with your work, ask if he or she would pass your name on to other people who may need similar services. You don’t need to look desperate for work, just ask if they would mind helping you to build your business. Most people are happy to oblige.
Here are some more resources on finding freelance: