Working as a writer can be an excellent way to make some cash from the comfort of your home. But it’s easier said than done.
In fact, most freelance writers throw in the towel after trying for a few months because the hustle to find clients is too difficult.
I agree, it is difficult. But I like it.
You have probably came across articles or income reports where the author claims to be earning thousands of dollars a month from their writing clients.
The problem is most of these successful writers rarely share their client-finding strategies (or if they do, they’ll charge an arm and a leg for it).
They will tell you generic advice like “Check Job Boards” or “Look on Facebook” but that doesn’t really help much.
Today I’m going to share with you some strategies I use to find clients.
It’s Work. But It’s Satisfying!
Before we begin, there are a couple of things I need to make clear.
For starters, finding clients takes time – it’s work.
But when you have a few regular clients you won’t need to look for new ones, at least, not as often.
Secondly, it’s so satisfying to find clients on your own.
It makes you feel proud. You don’t need to rely on anyone. You can make money on your own.
And to make more money all you need to do is take on more clients.
So the end goal is well-worth it, at least in my opinion.
Getting there is the hard part.
Setting a Rate:
Back in 2008 I used to work from a content farm called Content Authority and was getting paid $2.10 for a standard 300 word article.
That’s pretty shit.
My first direct client payed me $5 for 500 words.
Still shit but a bit better.
There’s no reason for you to start that low though.
Set a rate.
My advice for you, as a complete beginner, is to set a rate and stick to it no matter what.
What’s a good rate? It depends. Consider how long it will take you to write an article, including all the research time.
And never charge below minimum wage!
For example, if I know it will take me about two hours to write 1,000 words, and I know the minimum wage is around $10 an hour, I’ll never charge less than $20 for the article.
As a writer you can charge your own rates, $20 for 1,000 words is still an incredibly low rate.
You can charge by hour or by word count.
Personally, I like to charge by word count.
Other writers recommend charging by the hour, it’s more of a personal preference, do whatever you feel comfortable with.
Just set a rate and stick to it. Don’t charge too high off the bat.
Try something like $50-100 for one article.
If someone tries to bargain say no thanks and continue with your client finding campaign.
You Can Work From Anywhere:
I recommend creating a website for your writing service because it can work as a place to keep all your samples and details.
The beauty of freelance work is that you can work from anywhere as long as you have an internet connection.
I often get work done while traveling as well, on my little Chromebook.
Let’s dive in.
Your Client Finding Campaign Starts NOW.
Right, so now I’m going to let you in on four client-finding strategies I use whenever I’m out of work (it happens occasionally!)
These are really simple and direct strategies you can use to find clients for pretty much any service.
Before you start, I think it’s a good idea to make a spreadsheet where you can keep track of who you pitch and how many pitches you sent out.
The idea is to send a certain amount of pitches a day until you reach your total pitch goal, which should be at least 100.
The more clients you want, the more you’ll have to pitch.
And when someone replies and says no thanks you can follow up on them later!
So let’s start with our first client-finding strategy!
1. Search for People in Charge of Content for a Company
With some simple Google searches you can find tons of leads.
Let me explain.
Most companies will assign a title to the person in charge of creating or managing content on a website.
It’s your job to find these people and send them a pitch.
What are the titles? There are quite a few, I listed some below:
- Content Manager
- Senior Editor
- Digital Strategist
- Chief Content Officer
- Marketing Manager
- Editor in Chief
- Lead Editor
- Managing Editor
There are more too, it’s a good idea to try variations of the same title to find different results.
So how do we find these people? Google is the answer!
When you perform a search query enclosed in quotes (“) Google will only show results that are an exact match.
We’ll use this feature to find email addresses.
Let’s use the first title for an example, Content Manager.
The above search query will show pages that contain the words “Content Manager For” as well as “@gmail.com” so it should lead you to some email addresses.
You’ll likely have to play around with different wording to find the most targeted leads.
The query above doesn’t show such decent results.
There are other specific terms you can use too, such as:
- Article Writer Needed
- Looking for Freelance Writer
- Copywriter Needed
- Writer For
- Editor For
- Hiring Writer
And other variations.
You can also add the year at the end of the query for results from this year because there will likely be lots of outdated posts.
You can also change the email address to “@yahoo.com” or “@hotmail.com” or any other email provider.
Let’s see what happens when we search for this query: “Article Writer Needed” + “@gmail.com” + “2017”
There we go!
Some nice leads right there.
Your job now is to go through each listing and see if you meet the requirements.
If you do, send a pitch.
You can use this strategy alone to find high-paying clients. You can even add a niche in there too.
I recommend playing around with this strategy a bit; use different wording to really narrow down your search.
2. Look for Clients on Twitter
Twitter’s search bar is particularly useful at finding employees with specific titles.
Use one of the titles we mentioned earlier, I used Content Manager.
Search for Content Manager on Twitter and sort by People and you’ll see tons of Content Managers.
Click on their profile, they’ll probably have a website. If not, send them a Direct Message with your pitch.
If they have a website, it usually has a contact where you can reach them.
Pretty simple, right?
Go through all their profiles and send them a pitch.
When you run out of Content Managers, type in another job title and repeat the process.
You’ll have some bites soon enough.
I don’t really like LinkedIn, I forgot my password and never got around to changing it.
But it’s a great way to find clients.
Follow the same steps you did on Twitter; type in job titles and see what shows up!
LinkedIn is more for professionals, so most profiles will have contact information there, such as email addresses, or website links.
4. Website Contact Forms
This is the strategy I used to find my main client; who I have been working with for more than 2 years now.
It’s pretty simple too.
Just search for a niche you want to target, like Health Blog or something like that, and click search.
Read over the site a bit, and use the contact form to send a targeted pitch.
Once again, try out different queries. I used “/contact” because I wanted to see all results with contact in the URL (it’s the most common location for contact forms anyways).
Websites you pitch like this will be less responsive but you can send them out faster once you have a pitch template.
And you can always narrow it down with more queries!
5. Facebook Groups
You can find tons of work via Facebook groups.
The problem is finding the right groups to join and interacting with people without getting banned.
It’s not that hard. Just follow the rules.
There’s one called Cult of Copy where you can post advertisements for your writing services.
Do a little digging!
If someone posts something asking for a writer, send them a private message with your pitch.
Or if someone shares a link to their website, open it, find their contact form, and send them a pitch there.
There are tons of different ways to use Facebook groups to find clients!
There are clients out there waiting for you, it’s up to you to find them.
Getting your first gig as a writer can seem like a challenge but if you use the strategies mentioned above, it shouldn’t be that difficult.
Just remember, most people won’t reply to your pitches and some people will flat out reject you.
That’s okay – it happens to everyone!
At least if you receive some sort of response you know your emails are going through.
Be prepared to have 90% or so of your messages ignored.
Just set a pitch goal and keep at it until you reach that goal.
If you don’t receive any responses after 100 or so pitches, it’s time to take a look at your pitch.
Maybe it needs work. Maybe you need to find a way to deliver more value in the pitch.
Regardless, with the strategies we talked about in this article, it won’t be long until you have your first writing client.
I hope you liked the article. Leave a comment below if you have any questions!