Since I ditched my day job, I have been busy trying to cultivate a growing customer base as a freelance writer.
I won't bore you with the usual list of benefits of having a Twitter feed, Facebook page or LinkedIn presence. Or how to write a killer CV, interesting blog or enthralling cold email. There are far more qualified posts about such marketing methods.
But I have stumbled on some more unusual ways to find clients and win business as a freelance writer. Here they are:
1. Scour the job boards
How do you know if a company needs your services? As a freelance writer, I scour the job boards for companies looking for bloggers, copywriters, marketers and PR experts. I will then contact the company in question and offer my services in the interim as they try to fill that position.
Some companies use me on a temporary basis to fill a much-needed hole in their resources - giving me a new contact. Others sign me up on a more permanent basis as they realise the benefits of outsourcing their copy and not employing a permanent member of staff.
2. Think local...
As a freelance science and technology writer, I'm perfectly positioned to approach the vast range of science and technology companies based in Cambridge. The city is a hub for innovative startups and established tech businesses alike, matching my skill set and writing specialisms perfectly.
The ability to meet up with potential clients and have a face-to-face meeting is a huge benefit - highlight this fact. Ask a potential client you can pop into their office - it's helped me to bag some big names and also learn a lot from the individuals I've meet up with.
3. ... don't discount going global
The world is a tiny space thanks to technology. Businesses and individuals have contacted me from all over the world so I've perfected a way of working with international clients. Collaboration tools are a must. Use Skype, Google Drive and other such systems so you can easily demonstrate to such clients that you can work closely - even when you're working remotely.
4. Competition time!
The technology sector contains many specialist outlets with a narrow niche of target audiences. If you already work with a company that develops, for example, specialist pharmaceutical software - you want to approach other companies that work on similar products under the proviso that you understand and have experience with this niche market.
Finding these specialist outlets is difficult - but it can be done. Try searching through industry-based competition entries to find businesses within your targeted niche.
5. Remember me?
My USP as a freelance writer is that I've worked in the science and technology industries I write about for the last 10 years - giving me a level of expertise and experience that many writers cannot offer. I've been amazed at the number of previous employers and old contacts that signed up to my services through LinkedIn and the odd introductory email letting them know about my new venture as a freelance writer.
As I continue to work as 'the freelance writer who gets tech', I'm sure I will stumble across more weird and wonderful ways to find clients. What experiences have you had finding business as a freelancer? Let me know in the comments below.
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I'm the freelance writer who gets tech. So, I blog on three core topics:
Science and Technology