10 Proven Ways To Get Freelance Writing Clients
June 27, 2022
June 27, 2022
I've been a freelance writer for 5 years.
I support my family -- a four-year-old princess and a 28-year-old queen -- on an income that is well above average.
And perhaps the most common question I get from new freelance writers is about how to find clients.
Maybe you're just starting out. Or maybe you're looking to fill a few spots.
Either way, in this article I'm going to show you how I've kept a steady stream of clients that make me $20,000+ every month for the past 60 months.
These aren't theoretical. They are real and practical.
90% of my clients over the last 5 years have come through referrals.
My clients tell their friends what I do and it just so happens that they need my expertise, too.
How does this happen?
First, I treat my best clients like gold. The better I treat them, the more likely they are to tag me on Facebook or LinkedIn when someone is looking for a copywriter or SEO content writer... the more likely they are to share me with their friends.
Second, in some cases, I offer 20% commission to people who refer me clients. This incentivizes them to recommend me instead of other writers they might have been considering.
Third, always do your best work. The more you impress your existing clients, the more that they'll want to spread the word.
If you want to work in the online world, then you've got to be active online.
You've got make a name for yourself.
Not a big, bombastic way. But the people who follow you on Twitter, are friends with you on Facebook, or are connected with you on LinkedIn, they should know who you are and what you do. They should be aware of you.
The second most common place where I get clients is probably through social media.
What's funny, though, is that I rarely post about work-related stuff.
Most of the sh*t I post is random stuff like this .
Just things I think are interesting or inspiring.
And while it's not directly related to my work as a freelance writer, consistently posting and being active makes people aware that I exist. Sometimes it makes the right people aware. Sometimes those people visit my profile and find out what I do. Sometimes those people hire me.
Stay active and trust the process.
This is related to my last point.
You need to be active on social media -- ideally Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter. It doesn't matter what you post about. But it does matter what your profile looks like and says.
If people visiting your profile have no idea what you do, then all of that activity is for nothing.
Make sure to "brand yourself" by making a profile that tells people who you are and what you do.
For example, here's my LinkedIn profile...
And here's my Facebook profile...
The point is, people should know what you do when they visit your profile.
That'll help turn your social media acitivity into leads and referrals.
This is something I did early on in my freelance writing career -- actually, I met with like 5-7 new people every week for six months.
But I decided to make this tip more realistic. Meet with one new person every week.
And by "meet", I mean get on a video call.
The person might be an entrepreneur who's just getting started, an executive at a big company, an investor, another freelance writer, or something else entirely.
The important thing is that you're meeting new people and opening yourself up to opportunities.
The more people you meet with, the more random cool stuff will come your way.
How do you do this?
Since you're staying active on social media, just start ticking away at your friend's list. Find people who look interesting who you've never actually connected with before. Message them and ask them if they'd be open to hopping on a call for a coffee chat so you can learn more about what they do. Tell them you're not trying to sell anything, you're just genuinely interested.
Another big source of my clients and leads comes through the fact that my name is on tons of articles all over the internet.
I've got my byline on AdWeek, Carrot, ClickFunnels, SmartBlogger, SUCCESS, Get Response, The Good Men Project, Addicted2Success, and tons more...
That was intentional.
I felt -- and was right -- that the more I got my name out there on interesting and well-written content, the more that people would start to notice me. And the more leads I'd get organically.
That turned out to be true.
So whenever you can, ask for authorship. Maybe even consider charging a lower rate if a client will give you authorship of the articles you write.
There's this no-nonsense culture in the freelance writing world that believes the following...
Those things are good. I do those things.
But I didn't in the beginning. In fact, to start, I would write articles for free for new clients, I would charge very low rates, and I would work with clients that were a little bit annoying.
If you're just starting out, though, that's part of the process.
Don't be unrealistic about where you are.
Be willing to hustle.
Still today I'll charge a lower rate if I really want to work with a client. And I"ll charge a higher rate if a client is a pain in my ass. It's all relative. Do what's going to get you results and stop listening to people who give you a set of arbitrary rules to follow.
Perhaps the easiest and fastest way to generate a stream of new client leads -- for beginner or seasoned freelance writers -- is to pitch B2B SaaS companies.
You can find these companies on a directory like Product Hunt.
Reach out, offer them your services, and see if you can catch their interest.
It's a good idea to get in the habit of doing at least a few pitches every day. That'll help you keep your freelance writing business afloat when the referral well is going through a dry season.
What exactly do you say?
I've got pitching templates (and tons of other goodies) over here for those of you ready to take your freelance writing business to the next level.
The more that people see your name online -- and the more places you can put in your portfolio -- the better.
That's why you should guest post.
Find sites that you'd love to write for, read their guidelines, and pitch them articles.
You'll be writing these for free... but it's worth the authorship and publicity you're going to get from their readers. Do this for a lot of different publications and you'll suddenly have a massive portfolio to show your potential clients.
Here's an awesome list of 350 sites that accept guest posts.
Or at least, five days a week.
Even if you don't have a client. Find something to write. Maybe you're writing articles that could be guest posted somewhere. Maybe you're writing an article for someone for free. Maybe you're writing social media content to schedule for the following week.
If you keep writing, things are going to work out.
They have for me.
There are tons of great online freelance writing communities.
Inside of these groups, freelancers network, share opportunities, and give advice.
You will likely even stumble upon client leads every now and again that other freelance writers are looking to pawn off to people like you.
So join a few of them and stay active.
I've enjoyed being part of Peak Freelance and highly recommend joining their group if you're not sure where else to go.
There aren't any great secrets or other things you need to know to find freelance writing clients. The main key is being consistent and believing in yourself. You've got to keep going. And you've got to trust the process.
Things will work out if you stick with it.
And if you want to do freelance writing over the long haul, then I highly recommend picking up my freelance writer's survival kit by clicking below. It'll give you everything you need to survive and thrive as a freelance writer.
Apply here to work with Mike