Last weekend, I was talking to a friend about how some freelancers we know have gone back to a desk job, and how they struggle with the required discipline and structure needed – and implemented – in most offices. We dwelled on the idea how, many years ago, writers, developers, and designers found themselves looking at a goldmine simply working at home – in jammies or not.
Today, though, I think that many of you will agree that if you really are serious about making freelance writing a steady and reliable source of income, you have to treat freelance writing as a business. Otherwise, it is so easy to fall into the trap of “it’s fun and I make money while I’m at” mindset.
Not that that kind of thinking is necessarily bad, it’s just that if you consider freelance writing as your career, then you need to tap into the business person inside of you.
That being said, part of running a business is promoting it. In case you need some ideas on how to promote your writing business, here are several…
Don’t forget the people in your neighborhood.
We may make a living online, but that doesn’t mean the real world doesn’t keep turning. When was the last time you went to a bar or a restaurant? Did you notice how horrible the copy on their menu was? Have you checked the web sites of local establishments?
Maybe these small businesses can use your help. Don’t hesitate to look around for clients!
Along the lines of looking for clients in the (local) real world, you can make use of promo items or tokens that promote your writing business. The traditional way is to hand out business cards – but we know where those usually end up! So, how about considering other custom tokens such as pens instead of a business card?
You can also go for flyers. Yes, this seems so outdated, but if you have a local farmer’s market during the weekends, for example, they are perfect venues to reach out to potential clients.
Use social media wisely and tastefully.
Everyone seems to be a guru when it comes to social media these days, but anyone who spends a lot of time on social media platforms will know that self-promotion and over promotion just doesn’t bring a lot of positives. Indeed, you’ll probably be labeled as noise and end up being ignored.
That doesn’t mean, however, that you should not take advantage of social media to promote your writing business. In fact, you have to have a decent social media presence in order to be noticed. The trick is to choose what to post and when to post.
More importantly, don’t just be a broadcaster. Respond to tweets. Engage in conversations. Share other people’s work that you find interesting. Be human.
Also, using tools such as Buffer and Hootsuite will help you optimize your social media activities.
Be active in writing communities.
It’s not all about Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. There are many writing communities – FWJ being one of them – online that offer support (both work and personal). Don’t isolate yourself. Join these communities and participate in discussions. Even if it’s only commenting on Facebook, you can make a connection that can lead to future clients.
What methods have you tried to promote your writing business? Share them in the comments!