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How To Land Freelance Writing Clients

August 17, 2016
Are you trying to build your freelancing business, but have no clue how to land freelance clients? If so, this post is for you. A Must Read!
This post may contain affiliate links. See disclosure policy here.

 

A few months ago a reader reached out with the question, “How do you approach freelancing clients for work?”

I was stumped.

Why?

Well, because I’ve actually only landed ONE client through pitching.  Honest to the good Lord, I really suck at pitching clients (and this is something I have to improve upon if I plan to reach my goals).

It’s not that I don’t know how to pitch. I’ve taken courses and I’ve gotten some extremely helpful pointers from the Client Connection offered by Carrie over at Careful Cents. I can write a darn letter.  

The only problem is, I just don’t know where to look! I mean, when I initially started this whole thing, I figured I would follow pf bloggers, show off my chops, interact, and if any ever needed a writer, I would just apply for the gig.

Well, the whole blogger needing a writer and me applying for it only happened once or twice. I’ve been freelancing eight months now and I’ve landed one client via warm pitching and zilch otherwise.

So how in the world has this chick been finding work and how am I going to tell you how to find clients?

Well, I’m going to share with you how I’ve landed my clients and encourage you to do what I need to be doing my damn self (pitching), and I’m also going to share a few articles that have helped me at the end. Let’s dig in.

 


If you’re interested in starting a blog and/or offering freelancing services on the internet, I’ve written a detailed guide on how you can create your own site. I’ve only been writing here since October 2015 and I’m already making money online.!  Read How to Start A Blog Using Bluehost and get started today!  


 

Are you trying to build your freelancing business, but have no clue how to land freelance clients? If so, this post is for you. A Must Read!

 

How Did I Land My First Freelance Writing Client?

I landed my first writing gig via Twitter. I was just doing my thang, tweeting everybody’s stuff like I normally do, and I tweeted the work of my soon to be first client.

It wasn’t anything major, a simple $125 article that I wrote on a subject I knew a little something about – life insurance. (I work for a life and accident insurance, so I was comfortable enough charging a slightly higher rate since I knew my way around the topic).

This article led to a series of other ghostwritten articles at around $75.00 a pop. Since I was just starting out in personal finance, I figured this was a good rate for a maximum 700-ish word article. I still work with this client on and off for smaller projects, but it’s not consistent work.

 

How Did I Land My Second Client?

I landed my second writing gig via the Client Connection. Carrie sends a list of potential clients to work with every so often and I just happened to read one that I thought I would be a good fit for.

I wrote up my pitch letter and told them Carrie sent me their way and I heard back from them shortly and received my assignment.

I wrote it, turned it in, received payment, and waited to hear back from them. Then I waited some more. And some more.

I was hoping to receive a date of publication so I could add it to my portfolio and share with all my friends (because after all, I was a working gal and I was feeling rather proud). So when I didn’t hear anything back, I sent a quick letter thanking them for the opportunity.

I received an email back from a new person at the company because they had just gone through some personnel changes. They gave me a tentative publication date and that was the last I heard from them.

The article was published, but it wasn’t published under my byline. Since I didn’t hear anything back about any future assignments, I chocked it up to a one-time thing and kept moving along.

 

How Did I Land My Third Client?

By the way, I’m not going to go through all the clients, I just want to give you an idea of how things rapidly progressed for me (over a 2 month period).

I landed my third client by entering a contest.

Yep, you read that right – a contest!

Again, just minding my business, entered a contest for a student loan payment, and I won!  When the company reached out for my info, they noticed this thingy under my reply back to them (see screenshot below).

 

Using a wisestamp signature to land freelance writing clients

 

 

That’s a Wise Stamp signature and it’s associated to my personal email address (where the company reached out to me) and my Life and a Budget email address.

Since the signature provides all of my business, the prospective client saw I was a freelance writer. They low-key checked out LAAB and saw my writing, hit up my portfolio, and then saw that I was a newly published contributor at the good ole Huffington Post.

Seeing that I was new to the business and available for hire, they reached out about writing a few pieces for them and the rest has been history. I’ve wrote at three different sites for this client alone, one of which is a recurring writing gig for one of their sites.

Key Takeaway: Make sure you have a pretty signature that captures people’s attention, folks!  You can land gigs this way. (Wisestamp is not free, but I snagged a deal through Sumo for a lifetime membership for $24).

 

Now the question you’ve all been asking — How Can You Find Freelance Writing Clients?

 

1) Learn everything you can about rates, niche topics, and presenting your work.

I took a course at the very beginning of my journey here at LAAB, but it wasn’t as helpful in how to navigate the freelancing world. This course was only helpful on how to find freelance blogging work (which is a little different).

That’s when Careful Cents was preparing to launch a new version of the Client Connection. I’d stalked Carrie’s blog for years (way before I thought about being  pf blogger) and I knew homegirl was legit.

I wanted to learn what she was doing to bring in so many writing clients that she couldn’t handle them all. That’s why I enrolled in the Client Connection.

I’m not an affiliate of the Client Connection, but I can tell you this – without it, I wouldn’t have a freelancing career.

Why?

Well, I followed her courses to the letter T!  Getting published on the Huffington Post? Client Connection course. Learning how to pitch that second client? Client Connection. Learning how to boost my productivity by using systems? Client Connection.

By becoming a paying member, you have access to ALL of her courses for a rate of $39.00 a month. So, even though I’ve landed only one client through the Client Connection, I’ve learned so much invaluable information that has helped me these past few months.

That reason alone is why I’m still a paying member.

 

2) Have your own self-hosted site.

Without my own self-hosted blog, I wouldn’t have landed my third (and highest paying) client. Yes, I had my own portfolio, but my portfolio mainly consisted of content from my own blog at that point. (BTW, I use Contently to house my writing portfolio.)

Once I reached momentum with my own website and started interacting with other personal finance bloggers, I started doing a few guest posts.

I only had around four published guest posts at the time of landing my most lucrative client, so having LAAB and being published on the Huffington Post certainly provided an advantage.

 


Build your own freelance career using your very own website. It’s the easiest way to build your brand, discover your voice, and make it easy for clients to see your work!  I’ve created a DETAILED tutorial to help you start a blog for cheap. Rates begin at $3.49 per month if you use this link. You will also receive a free website domain (your very own web address), a $15.00 value, for FREE if you purchase using my Bluehost link and purchase at least 12 months of web hosting. Being self-hosted is the business if you want to be legit in the writing world and take your business to the next level. My freelance business is doing alright if I say so myself;)


 

3) Invest in a good course from someone you trust.

When I began freelancing, there were two bloggers/freelancers that I would frequently visit for advice and tips on freelancing. Those two were Carrie Smith and Elna Cain.

Since I’ve already bragged on Carrie, let’s talk about Elna for a bit, shall we?

Elna is a leading freelancer in the B2B digital marketing niche. Homegirl has only been freelancing for about two years and she is killing it.

She runs elnacain.com, freelancerfaq.com, and twinsmommy.com. And yes, she does all of this with twins.

Well anywho, Elna has this course called Write to 1K where she digs deep and shares all the info that helped her land her high paying clients on a part time basis.

This isn’t a get rich quick course. You’ll need some time to devote to taking it because it has 41 modules and the information spans a period of 7 weeks.

I’m all for taking courses if they are going to help you advance your freelancing career. While I didn’t personally take Write to 1k, I feel comfortable recommending it for any of you who have no idea where to start and need information, like right now.  Check out the course information and see if it is the right fit for you.

And even if you can’t afford to invest in a course right now, the information Elna and Carrie’s websites provide will be enough to help you get started.

 

4) Interact with other freelancers and be good to your clients.

Interacting with other freelancers is a good thing!  They are not your competition! Other freelancers are who you want to know when you find yourself needing work, so do yourself a solid and make friends.

Freelancers often refer other freelancers work. I’ve had one fellow freelancer introduce me to a client that she could no longer work for. Even though I decided not to work the gig, it pays to know that I’m building quality relationships with other writers who think highly of my work.

I, myself, have outsourced once to other freelancers when I found myself in an unbearable time crunch. The fact that I could email a fellow freelancer who happened to know another freelancer willing to take on the assignment really helped save my tail when I was backed up on work.

Last, make sure you’re good to your clients!

You know that very first client I landed via Twitter? Well, even though I hadn’t received work in months from this client, they reached out when they needed me again a few weeks ago. Then to top it off, they referred me to my fourth client!

 

5) But what about Elance, job boards, and all of that good stuff?

I hopped on those trains for a minute, but guess what? Nothing ever came of it.

Why?

They were paying pennies and I needed dollars. See I’m trying to pay off these student loans and I’m definitely confident in my skills.

When I first started, I set the minimum rate I would be willing to work for and I do not budge. If a client wants me to work for less than my minimum, either I negotiate the word count for the article down or we part ways.

For a few months, I searched job boards and places like Elance, but I never found any quality gigs that I was interested in pursuing. I know a few fellow writers/bloggers that have had a great deal of luck on job board sites, and that’s awesome!

If it works, ain’t no need in trying to fix something that ain’t broke.

However, once I took Carrie’s course on No More Job Boards, I learned that scouring job boards on a daily basis wasn’t necessary to build a lucrative career.

Now, will I never look on job boards again?

Nah, I’m not saying that. I never say never, but for now, I think building LAAB and publishing on the Huffington Post is opening the door to some awesome opportunities.  Again, if it ain’t broke.

 

6) Join some Facebook Groups.

The very first Facebook Group I joined was the The Freelancer’s Club (by Carrie Smith). The interaction there is amazing and folks often share opportunities over there.

Carrie has some pretty strict rules about what can be posted or shared in the group, so rest assured you won’t find any spam over there.

This group is where I found my editor and where I learn about a lot of happenings in the freelancing field.  

Also, join groups unrelated to freelance writing. I know, I know – why? Well, first you need to update your Facebook profile page and let people know you’re a professional writer for hire and you have your own site.

When you interact within these groups, be very helpful!  If you’re helpful enough, folks might just get curious and look at your bio and see that you’re a writer. Keep an eye on your direct messages on FB filed under other because someone may be reaching out to you about work!

 

7) Other ways to find freelance writing clients

Below are some awesome posts on finding freelancing clients. They helped me and I have no doubt they will help you too.

Earn More Writing: How One Writer Earns $200k Writing Online

4 Guaranteed Ways to Get Paid to Write Without Using Job Boards

20 Ways to Find Freelance Writing Jobs as A Beginner

How to Get High Quality Freelance Work With Clearvoice (by the way, forgot to mention ― I’ve landed a gig using Clearvoice too!)

How to Get Clients: 7 Best Alternatives to Traditional Freelance Job Boards

SEO Case Study: How to Attract More Freelance Clients Than You Can Handle

One of My Favorite Places to Hunt For Freelancing Clients

LinkedIn for Freelance Writers: EXACTLY How I Use LinkedIn to Land High-paying Clients

 

There you have it. I’ve spilled all the knowledge I’ve learned to date and shared the ways I’ve landed freelance writing clients so far. My process will probably change in the future as I move forward, but this should be enough to help some of you get out of stuck and get to acting on your hustle dreams.

 

Are you ready to bite the bullet and start pursuing your freelance writing career? If so, let me know so I can be your cheerleader.

Are any of you currently making a go at freelance writing part-time or full-time? If so, share some of the ways you land freelance writing clients!

 

 

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Latoya Scott
Writer/Creator
Latoya Scott is a personal finance writer and blogger for hire who loves talking about budgets and money. Her mission is to help women create better finances so they can live a carefree lifestyle.

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  • David @ Thinking Thrifty August 17, 2016 at 8:27 am

    Considering you don’t do much pitching you’ve certainly made a success of it! I got kind of lucky, had a couple of people reach out to me and ask me to write for them they’ve just spread the good word around for me. I’m still a bit nervous approaching people myself, but it’s getting easier the more I try. Great article!
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    • Latoya Scott August 17, 2016 at 10:44 am

      Thanks, David! Yay, to referrals. Those are sometimes the best!

  • Tanya August 17, 2016 at 12:40 pm

    Wow! I’m blown away! I had idea this was available. Thank you for sharing this info so freely. I’m bookmarking this article.

  • Kayla @ Shoeaholicnomore August 17, 2016 at 2:06 pm

    Excellent topic! I like that you mentioned working with other freelancers and treating your clients right so that you get mentioned or get contact with more people.
    Kayla @ Shoeaholicnomore recently posted…Why You’re Having a Hard Time Simplifying Your LifeMy Profile

  • Kara August 17, 2016 at 5:10 pm

    I love posts that reflect the blogger’s own experience! Thanks for sharing with us. I’m gonna read through those links at the end!

    • Latoya Scott August 17, 2016 at 5:35 pm

      I know! Those are the best because the experience can actually be applied. I hope they help. Let me know if you have any questions, Kara:)

  • Kate @ Cashville Skyline August 17, 2016 at 7:33 pm

    Killer advice, Latoya! I get asked the same question, too. And I’ve definitely suggested a number of these tips!
    Kate @ Cashville Skyline recently posted…Social Media Hacks for ArtistsMy Profile

  • Preschool2teen August 17, 2016 at 11:43 pm

    Great advice. I’m going to look more into this. I don’t pitch either, but it’s more out of knowing where to find clients. This was very helpful, now I know. Thanks

    • Latoya Scott August 17, 2016 at 11:56 pm

      You’re welcome!

  • Tomiko August 18, 2016 at 12:04 am

    I’m a novice only a year into blogging and this is great advice and tools!!

  • DC @ Young Adult Money August 18, 2016 at 12:59 am

    Really solid advice! As someone who has both freelanced and hired freelancers, I think it depends what you want out of it. If you want to ramp up clients you need to be proactive. If you’re like me and will freelance but aren’t exactly dying for more work, you will get random clients through your email signature (which I’m so glad you mentioned) or from people noticing you on social media. That’s how I landed all my clients. I also found my current writers by posting a job opening on my site and getting applicants that way. It helped me get people who already had blogs, too!
    DC @ Young Adult Money recently posted…6 Steps to Take to Become a Full-Time FreelancerMy Profile

    • Latoya Scott August 18, 2016 at 10:04 am

      Wholeheartedly agree! I definitely need to be a tad bit more proactive moving forward to meet my goals. It’s really all about knowing who to reach out to. I’m lacking in that area but I’m sure there is plenty of solid advice out there on where to look for clients.

  • Chonce August 18, 2016 at 9:33 am

    These are great tips! There are literally so many ways to land freelance clients and you highlighted quite a few options. I love what you said about considering taking a course from someone you trust. I don’t use job boards either, but I interact with a lot of other freelancers and I am finally getting more referrals.
    Chonce recently posted…Crucial Steps to Take Before Taking a Leap of Faith and Quitting Your JobMy Profile

    • Latoya Scott August 18, 2016 at 10:05 am

      I’m hoping to get to that point eventually too! Thanks for reading:)

  • Cleverly Changing August 18, 2016 at 9:56 am

    Very sage advice you shared. Pitching can be hard an very vulnerable, but it is necessary if you want to make money consistently. I need to step up my pitching game and start writing on topics that I enjoy while getting paid to do so.

    • Latoya Scott August 18, 2016 at 10:07 am

      I agree, it can be a challenge!

  • Emily @ JohnJaneDoe August 18, 2016 at 11:54 am

    Thanks for sharing, Latoya. This is a lot of great information to digest and work through. I’ve been thinking about branching out and appreciate the info.
    Emily @ JohnJaneDoe recently posted…Emily’s Investing Story, Part 2: You are Your Most Important AdvisorMy Profile

    • Latoya Scott August 18, 2016 at 2:35 pm

      You’re welcome, Emily:)

  • Ashli @ The Million Dollar Mama August 18, 2016 at 1:00 pm

    This is seriously one of the most helpful, in-depth articles I’ve read on the topic of landing freelance clients! I have had my eye on Elna’s course for a while now, just need to pull the trigger and enrol. I had never heard of Wise Stamp before – heading over to check them out right now!
    Ashli @ The Million Dollar Mama recently posted…Buying vs Renting & Selling vs Leasing – Our Current PlansMy Profile

    • Latoya Scott August 18, 2016 at 2:36 pm

      Yay!!! I’m glad everyone is finding it useful. Let me know if you have any further questions!

  • Joanna August 18, 2016 at 3:47 pm

    great tips and congrats. Definitely a good source when I go in that direction
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  • Joanae August 18, 2016 at 5:25 pm

    What awesome resources! I’m looking for some freelance gigs myself. Thanks!

    • Latoya Scott August 18, 2016 at 11:16 pm

      Thanks, Joanae. Let me know if you need anything!

  • Stacie August 18, 2016 at 7:11 pm

    This is great! I knew that freelancing was out there but really had no idea how to get started. I need to do this as another stream of income!

    • Latoya Scott August 18, 2016 at 11:16 pm

      Hi, Stacie! Yes! There are a number of ways to bring in additional income as a freelancer. Good luck!

  • Allison Jones August 18, 2016 at 11:10 pm

    I’ve never thought about freelancing but it’s something I think I’ll consider. These are great tips for landing clients.

    LiveLifeWell,
    Allison

    • Latoya Scott August 18, 2016 at 11:17 pm

      Thanks, Allison! If you do and ever need any help, just let me know!

  • Finance Solver August 19, 2016 at 12:19 am

    Thank you for putting the information together as I was wondering about your freelancing projects! I’m going to book mark this and will come back to it often to remind myself over and over 🙂 Great post!
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    • Latoya Scott August 19, 2016 at 10:07 am

      You’re welcome! Glad it helped!

  • Kiwi August 19, 2016 at 3:57 am

    girl you spoke some life into me. I am a freelance writer to but I want more opps for sure. I make money blogging but I cant always wait on ads,affliate marketing and sponsored post. So I do other gigs on the side but I want bigger and consistent gigs! Thanks for this and I pinned all of this for future reference and joined the group. I also hate Elance it was definitely not for me at all!
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    • Latoya Scott August 19, 2016 at 10:08 am

      You’re welcome:) As always, let me know if you need any help!

  • Christine @Moms 'N Charge® August 19, 2016 at 9:27 am

    These are great tips Latoya! I will definitely have to share with friends who are interested in getting more freelance gigs.

    • Latoya Scott August 19, 2016 at 10:08 am

      Thanks, Christine!!! I really appreciate it:)

  • Mimi Green August 19, 2016 at 10:43 am

    This was excellent information, I had make sure I pinned it to Pinterest because I need this resource. I want to get into freelance writing and this will help me get started.

    • Latoya Scott August 19, 2016 at 10:56 am

      Awesome! I’m glad it was helpful, Mimi:) Thanks!

  • Jaye August 19, 2016 at 11:47 am

    Really great information and I love that you got so much work from just doing you. It is the ultimate! Pinning and sharing this as I know lots of my peeps would love the info

  • Jonna August 20, 2016 at 5:26 pm

    I have a couple of freelance writing gigs, and I really only want a few because it’s time consuming. They both reached out to me based on the content I write for my own blog. But if I ever decided to leave my day job, I’d be freelancing way more.

    • Latoya Scott August 21, 2016 at 1:09 pm

      Hey, Jonna! That’s great your blog is helping clients find you!

  • Saisha August 26, 2016 at 1:44 pm

    I’m a bit of a beginner, thanks for this rather comprehensive information about your start. I want to make money and it is hard to turn down offers, even if they’re low, when you have no others on the table but sticking to your minimum makes sense. Thanks!

    • Latoya Scott August 27, 2016 at 5:40 pm

      You’re welcome, Saisha!

  • Keisha March 15, 2017 at 1:20 pm

    This is great thanks for sharing!

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