This is a four part series that is designed to take you from zero to having clients without a website or working for low pay on content mills.
Part Three – Getting Clients
I’m not claiming to be some big expert or that I know everything or even do everything the right way or best way. All I am doing with this four-part series is to show you how I went from no clients and no experience to making my full-time income from freelance writing and what I continue to do to this day. Your mileage may vary depending on how hard you work and your writing ability.
Now, let’s get to Part Three…
Two Ways to Get Freelance Writing Clients Today
I have gotten all of my clients through the two ways I’m going to tell you about right now.
There are two types of clients that you can try to get. They fall into these two categories:
- Web marketing companies
- Industry specific clients
When you get a web marketing company as a client, you will be writing content for all sorts of businesses. It just depends on who their clients are.
On the other hand, when you write for industry specific clients, you can decide what types of businesses you’d like to write for. My very first client was a web marketing company – I still write for them five years later, but for more money, of course!
My second client was an industry specific client. I have experience in several industries that include, banking, real estate, insurance, and accounting. So, I decided I would try and get real estate clients. That’s what my second client was. He was a real estate broker with his own firm.
No matter who you want to write for, you will go about trying to get clients the same two ways.
(If you’d like help setting your rates, you can get my FREE Rate Cheat Sheet for Freelance Writers here.)
Find Freelance Writing Work – Technique Number One
I’d say I have gotten 80% of my clients this way, and it is truly simple.
Go to Google and type in, “web marketing companies” or some variation on that, and a city or state.
For example, if I want to market to Georgia today, I’d type in, “web marketing companies Georgia.”
Boom…a whole list pops up.
You can do the same thing with industry specific clients as well. If you want to write for home builders, you’d type in, “home builders Florida,” or if you wanted to write for landscape companies, you’d type in “landscape companies Texas.”
I’m sure you get the idea. The reason I put a state or city name in the search is just to make the marketing a little easier.
Now…what do you do once the websites pop up? You click on the first one and go to the website.
Let’s try a web marketing company. I picked this one at random.
Here’s the website’s home page.
You’ll notice that at the top right it says, “Contact Us.” Once I clicked on that button, I get this page with the contact form.
This is how you’re going to contact them. You’ll fill this out with your information and add a little note.
This is the one I use…
Dear Marketing Team,
I’m contacting you to inquire if you are in need of a copywriter.
While I can write on any subject, I have a professional background in real-estate, business, banking, and education.
Contact: I can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at XXX-XXX-XXXX.
I look forward to establishing a long-lasting relationship with your firm and am available to start immediately.
P.S. I can send you my Client Information Packet with writing samples, services, and rates if you’d like. Just let me know.
And that’s it…
If I am writing to an industry specific website, I use the following message:
Subject line: Contact info for your web marketing manager – please
Hi. My name is Beth Nelson. I’m a freelance copywriter, and I would like to get in touch with the person who is in charge of your company’s web marketing efforts.
I would be very grateful if you could provide me with a name and email address.
Thank-you in advance.
With this one, once they send you the email address of the marketing manager, you will then email them, telling them you were given their email address by someone at the company, and in that email, you will go ahead and include your Client Information Packet.
In both cases, because you are giving them the information they need upfront, you don’t need a website to send them to. Some may ask for your website, but just send them the packet instead.
Find Freelance Writing Work – Technique Number Two
Believe it or not, there is even an easier way to get clients. When you are checking out those websites, you’ll notice that not all of them have a contact form.
Instead, all they have is a phone number. You don’t want that to go to waste. I know some of you are starting to freak out right about now, but don’t.
Instead, pick up the phone and call them…
Keep in mind – and this is very important – you’re not trying to sell them ANYTHING. All you’re going to do is ask the person who answers the phone one simple question:
Do you use freelance writers for your content needs?
That’s is. That is all you’re going to ask.
They will either say:
- I don’t know but let me find out
If they say no, thank them and hang up.
If they say yes, ask them if you can send them your information. (That would be your Client Information Packet.)
They will give you the email and person you need to send it to. Do so immediately after you get off the phone.
Sometimes, they will say yes and end up giving you work on the spot. It does happen!
I know this sounds really scary to some people, but believe me, peeps, after doing it once or twice it isn’t.
Calling the company and asking them that simple question, “Do you use freelance writers for your content needs,” will get you business faster than anything else, and it’s because no one does it.
Using one or both of these on a consistent basis will get you clients very quickly. As I mentioned, I did this and had two clients in two days. And that’s two days after I put up my little 4-page website. (I didn’t have the Client Information Packet back then.)
I can’t promise you’ll get clients in two days, but you will get clients if you work at it. It’s all really just a number’s game…
And speaking of numbers, I know for myself, I’d much rather be making $50 or a $100 or $300 dollars for a 500-word article than $3 bucks any day.
Not to mention, when you have your own clients, you truly are your own boss. There’s no middle man telling you want to do or how to do it, and isn’t it the freedom you’re looking for from working at home?
I know that’s what is important to me.
The one thing I want to leave you with for now is that, people tend to make this process harder than it needs to be. If you want to be a freelance writer, then just start contacting people and you will find clients and make money. There is more work available than there will ever be writers to take it, so take some for yourself today.
Here is your action steps for Part Three:
- Send a message to 10 companies using a contact form
- Call 5 companies and ask them if they use freelance writers
That brings us to Part Four – Ramping Up to the Next Level.
Here’s to your success!