This morning I took up the task of creating a list of potential freelance writers for an online project. Which has *PING* sparked a sudden need in me to make a list of tips for freelancers trying to get business from the brands perspective. I did find some top folk to write for me so it all worked out in the end, but there’s some big differences in the way they’ve marketed themselves compared to other writers that swung it for me:

1. Perfect positioning

Whatever your specialism, be it boats, shoes, food or kangaroos there’s lots you can do to let brands know how amazing you are at writing about it. You don’t necessarily need centuries of experience (though of course it helps) you just need to know how to catch their eye.

– Write a blog about you topic, and update it at least once a week with quality content. More if you’ve got time! Write around the topic, take photos, attend events and interview other similar bloggers.

– Put your specialisms into you LinkedIn headline and go into more depth in your profile. You’re a writer, check your spollings and grammar!!!!!?! It also lets me find you, and trust me lots of people will be searching for niche freelancers on LinkedIn in the future.

2. Clear contact details

 This point speaks for itself, if I can’t find your email address or phone number I probably won’t have time to look it up. It also costs to contact people through certain website, so if you put your details on there, it could save me monies.

Also put a nice clear and smiley photo on your profile/CV/Website, it makes me like you more because I’m fickle.

3. Share in order to impress

What’s better than a freelancer that gets everything in on time? One who then makes the effort to follow through and share the content they create socially (providing the brands okay with it).

– Get yourself on social networks and interact with the community surrounding your niche subjects. Help them find things, give advice is you can and share your own work and that of others.

– Connect social feeds to your blog page. If someone compliments or reviews your work add a screen-shot to your CV/pages.

– When you create content for someone else consider their distribution plan. If it’s a bespoke piece you might know the best places to get it seen. Are there any forums or blogs you could share it with? These Editors will love you!

4. Pitch, ship and pitch some more

Spend time perfecting the pitch and your responses. Then get the work done well and on time. After you follow up with invoices, suggest further ideas you might have. Get in there my son/daughter!

– If  you’re a photographer or design offer your other skills.

– Research the brand thoroughly when you pitch to make sure you’re not doubling up on recent articles.

– If you find an idea elsewhere don’t copy it directly but copy the concept and do it better!

5. Solve a problem

Take a look at the business as a whole. Perhaps they’re considering creating a new blog or about to launch a new product. Maybe you can fit in. They might have really bad web copy, only use stock photos or have a no social presence. If you can present a new idea to them in a polite manner they might just take note and hire you more often.

More than anything stay in contact, any issues you have let the company be the first to know. Of course that doesn’t mean bombarding them with emails but a weekly update is nice.

What’s your tip for freelancers?

6 responses »

  1. amydavies says:

    Are the spelling errors in this meant to teach us a lesson? 😀 😛

    I’m not sure I’d enjoy a weekly update from my freelancers…. I’m not sure they have interesting enough lives. Maybe other people are different? Do you genuinely enjoy that – I suppose it depends on what they’re up to and whether it is relevant, you want to be careful you don’t sound like you’re either a) boasting about how much work you have which isn’t going to make me want to give you more or b) sounding so desperate that it makes me wonder why you haven’t got more work and therefore a little bit distrustful.

    Hmmm.

  2. charlotteelizabethclark says:

    I meant when they’re working on a project for me to be honest. I want to be kept in the loop. Also, if they’ve not working for me at the time but are on the books knowing that they’re going to a particular trade show or event could help me out.

    • amydavies says:

      That’s fair enough – when I was working on a project for Google, I’d send the project leader emails almost every day with questions and updates, that seems like a good strategy. I’ve had freelance work come back to me that’s been really bad, where if they’d have just said in the first place that they’d been having a problem, or didn’t have something, then I’d have been able to help 🙂

      A good tip is to create a shared calendar in Google with big events on, that you could ask your freelancers to indicate if they’ll be there, as well as potential availability for shifts and commissions.

  3. charlotteelizabethclark says:

    Good idea!

  4. […] Freelancers from a website editor’s perspective (charlotteclark.wordpress.com) […]

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