Now you have been going through numerous business listings looking for freelance gigs, and you land one solid prospect. What do you do? If you are a serious and stereotypical sales type and a wont-take-no-for-an-answer person, you will pick up your phone and call them with high-pressure tactics only known to you. Well, you do not need to be the above description of a freelance writer, but at times, you have to put your proverbial best foot forward. Once you land on prospects, how do you turn them into clients?
Some freelance writers start their journey on the road without signs hoping to find a niche in freelance writing. They also hope to work for clients with a budget meant for pro writers hoping for the best. Of course, there will be a few wrong turns, but one has to get back on track in the vast forest of freelance writing and look for a path to success. You never know when you will land a $100-per-hour paying client.
Persistent is a virtue you have to possess because it leads to unprecedented results. If you are looking for such clients, consider the following pointers:
Utilize your freelance navigation skills
You do not have to be a cutthroat closer and land a perfect client, even if you are the best salesperson. In freelance writing, you can possess personality traits that will assist you to find freelance work. Some of the navigation skills you need to possess as a freelance writer include:
A knack for research
Well-paying freelance work demands you to do some research. You have to know your niche, major players, where to find them and the developments within your industry.
Ask questions and the right ones for that matter. Study your target clients, magazines and their competitors. Ask your sources about their work and connect with them, their wins, and what pains them.
Journalists have to be persistent to get the story. In freelance writing, it is something you need to have if you want to land more gigs.
These skills are crucial especially if you are looking for clients that pay better per hour.
Find your perfect freelance client
Many ways abound when it comes to finding clients who are in need of freelance writers. Some of these ways include:
- Attending events in person because you will meet people and prospective clients
- Social media is awash with different clients who prefer it better than other platforms
- You can use your LinkedIn to make connections and get leads with your profile
- Referrals coming from your network, and for your information, it is one of the most overlooked sources of freelance gigs
- You can study publications within your niche especially those from major players, leaders, business owners
Most importantly, do not overlook small or mid-size companies because of some of the CEO and business owners like cold-callers. They know how it is hard to grow a business.
Send an introduction letter
After you land a prospective client, you can send them a customized letter of introduction to break the ice and start a conversation. It helps to ascertain if you are the prospective clients are a good fit. Once you send a letter:”
Sometimes getting a response is hard, but that is not a sign for you to give up. Many reasons contribute to a lack of a response from a prospect. You can send them to follow up emails and voicemails.
You can never give up if you are in need of serious freelance work. You want to remain focused even when responses do not seem like they are coming anytime soon.
Persistence bears fruits
Sometimes a response may not be forthcoming if your prospective client is busy with other things. You might even be surprised that they need a person with your set of skills. Sometimes you second-guess yourself when you do not get a response from a prospective client. You might take yourself as a terrible writer, or all the content of your prospective client is generated in-house. Sometimes too much silence might not be a direct no, but a client may be occupied by other crucial things, which is why persistence is one virtue you need to possess.
The highway to well-paid freelance gigs
From this approach, you can consider a few steps to land these clients. You can
- Research and identify companies within your wheelhouse
- Find the right person to contact at the company depending on its size. When your prospective client is a small firm, you can contact the CEO. For midsize companies, the VP of marketing or the director are the go-to people
- Formulate a follow-up plan
- Be ready for silence and prepare to contact another person in that company
- Do not take it personally and assuming silence is a ‘no’ would be a mistake, and most importantly, do not give up.
You can engage your prospective clients by sharing a nice and useful article, resource or tool mentioning one of their n recent achievements. Do this once or twice per week.
Freelance writing is not rocket science, and winning an excellent client may take just a little bit of effort and the right steps. Landing a client who can pay per hour is an excellent idea, but maintaining the client is a task that solely falls on your shoulders. You need to have excellent skills, meet, and surpass their standards.
Reliability on your part is crucial because you want to show the client that you are dependable. Even though you are looking for the best clients to pay you per hour, the client is also looking for a person who is worth his budget. You have to show them that you are reliable enough even when times dictate otherwise. In a field where a cross-section of writers is not as trustworthy, you must strive to stand out through high standards of quality work for the client, because only then can you get and maintain an excellent client.