Finding clients is one of the hardest things about freelancing. If you're just starting out, it can be tough to even know where to begin. Lucky for you, I have some ideas ;)
Listed below are 6 places you can find high-paying clients for your freelance writing business.
In my first year of freelance writing, many of my clients came from LinkedIn. And guess what? They found me. My profile was highly optimized for my writing business and for my industry niche. My clients typed in their search terms and landed on my profile.
LinkedIn is a goldmine for finding highly profitable clients.
If you think about, it makes perfect sense though, right? It's the one social media platform designed specifically for professional networking. Business owners, job seekers, and everyone in-between... they're all using it. And you should be too.
So if you don't already have an account, go sign up for LinkedIn right now.
Here are some ways that you should be using LinkedIn:
•Optimize your profile. Use plenty of keywords. Put them in your headline and your profile summary. Make it clear that you have an industry niche or specialty. Put yourself in the shoes of your prospects. What are they looking for in a writer? SELL your writing services to them with a highly optimized profile.
•Make connections. Expand your network. Don't get click crazy and invite everyone you see to connect. But do make connections with other writers, marketing managers, business owners, etc. Particularly the ones who are in the same niche industry. It's always a good idea to send someone a personal message when you invite them to connect. Scan their profile and find some common ground ("Hey, I see we both graduated from the same University! I also work in marketing. We should connect!")
•Join relevant groups. LinkedIn Groups are great way to make long-term connections with a lot of different people. You can share ideas, give helpful advice, and find some quality leads. Look for industry-specific groups. Yes, writing groups can be helpful. But not for finding clients. Go where they go. Find out which groups your clients and prospects use the most.
In general, I would stay away from job boards and bidding sites. In fact, ALWAYS stay away from bidding sites (you know, like Upwork and Freelancer).
But there are a few quality job boards out there where you can find some decent work. ProBlogger is one of them.
Clients will post an ad on the ProBlogger website, looking for writers. The jobs will vary, but most of them are content writing in the form of blog posts. Most of them are pretty good about including pay rates right in the job description. Many of the jobs you'll find on here are not for one-off projects, but for recurring monthly work. Which is great!
ProBlogger is an excellent resource for new writers who want to find quality clients as quickly as possible.
But here's the thing. You have to be really good about checking the job board for new writing gigs. If you see something you're interested in, jump on it. Clients get TONS of applicants every single day. Make sure you are one of the first to apply. Check it several times throughout the day to find new jobs that fit your niche.
Here's a snapshot of what the ProBlogger Job Board looks like:
They do have an RSS feed you can sign up for, and get email notifications for specific search terms.
So if you're looking for jobs in the financial niche, you can have ProBlogger send you an email any time a new job is posted with the keyword "financial" in the job description. The only thing is, it's a daily email. So you might not see it until several hours after the job has been posted. By which time dozens of other writers could have already applied (or accepted) the job.
Seriously, these leads don't last long. So make sure you keep a close eye on the ProBlogger website.
Psssst.... Want even more tips on how / where to find freelance writing clients? Sign up for my FREE email course below! >>>>>
LimeLeads is a huge database of contacts that you can tap into for a low price per-lead. You can download a list of names and contact information for people you've found through their search engine.
With LimeLeads, you can narrow down your search based on job title, industry, and other important search terms.
When it's all said and done, you have a list of highly relevant leads that you can pitch your services to.
LimeLeads speeds up the process of finding prospects in your industry niche.
4. Google Search
Google can actually be a great resource for finding clients.
Here are a couple of great ways you can use the world's largest search engine to find highly profitable clients.
#1. Search for agencies who specialize in your niche. Working as a third-party writer for an agency has some great benefits. With agencies, the pay is going to be less. But it's steady work, and you get a lot of experience. Use google to search for marketing or ad agencies who specialize in the same niche as you. Agencies are always looking for freelance writers to help them out.
#2. Find out who has a budget for marketing. When you type in a search term, there's usually a few paid advertisements at the top and bottom of the search page. Clearly, these companies have a marketing budget. If they spend money on advertisements, they're probably also spending it on other marketing content, too. Check out their websites and see if they're a viable prospect. Remember, search for companies in your niche!
Don't underestimate the power of google. If you type in highly targeted search terms, you can easily find yourself some clients.
5. Trade Associations
You can use Google Search for this one too. But you might already be familiar with some of the trade associations in your niche industry. It's possible to get work writing for the association itself. Or, you could find out who the members are and see if any of them need your writing services.
Trade associations are an excellent place to start when looking for clients.
You don't have to be local to the area that the trade association originated from. In fact, a lot of these organizations are nationwide, or at least have regional offices.
But on the flip side, if working for local clients is important to you, then there you go! Do a search on the associations and organizations that are local to your area. It might be a good way to get noticed, too. (Have you ever worked for one of the companies in the association? Know someone who does? Maybe you've been a loyal customer to one of the companies... think outside the box!)
Sometimes you have to pay to become a member - even if you just want to see their member list. But that's not always the case. It depends on the trade association.
It's up to you if you want to make that kind of an investment. Just remember there are plenty of them out there, so start with the free ones first!
6. Chambers of Commerce
If you want to stick with the local businesses theme, check out your local Chamber of Commerce. They too should have a list of members on their website. Most of the time you don't have to pay to see which businesses belong to the chamber.
But again, you don't HAVE to stay local. I live in rural Minnesota. But there's nothing stopping me from looking up chamber businesses from a major city anywhere in the U.S.
Chambers of Commerce can be helpful because you're given list of businesses that understand the power of marketing and business networking.
Take advantage of that. Reach out to some of these companies and find out how you can help them with their writing and marketing goals.
Getting clients is a lot easier when you use these resources. So beef up your LinkedIn profile. Check out ProBlogger and LimeLeads. Get on Google and start doing some research. Find out what trade associations you could tap into, and reach out to some businesses who belong to a Chamber of Commerce.