Actionable tips on how to land freelance clients
I’m not going to start with a meandering intro about how I got into freelance writing, because, let’s be honest, you don’t care!
All you care about is making money as a freelance writer, and here’s how I do it.
LinkedIn has been the holy grail of lead generation for me. I don’t waste my time on job boards; I don’t trawl writing platforms; I focus all my time on LinkedIn.
Here’s the LinkedIn message (below) that led me to sign a monthly contract for four blogs paying £1,200. It was my first four-figure monthly client, and I was amazed.
I’ve been getting lazy on LinkedIn recently, and I’ve not posted as much, but on my good weeks, I would post about 3–4 times. Not about anything specifically, not to educate my audience, but to generate conversation — or pure reach.
“But, I get zero likes on my posts” — you say.
So what? Who says people aren’t lurking from the shadows watching and reading as you post? And they definitely are, by the way.
How many times do you scroll down your LinkedIn feed, read something and smile, agree with what this person says and then scroll on by without so much as a ‘like’? You probably do it many times a day. I do it; everyone does it.
Sometimes people can’t be bothered to comment, but they’re out there, and that’s all that matters.
Here’s an example (below) of a post that didn’t get much interaction, but look at the views. Some of my posts that get more likes and comments don’t reach as many people.
You have to stop looking at vanity metrics as a measurement of success.
I know it’s daunting to lay your thoughts bare on a social media platform, believe me, I’m not the most sociable person. And it terrified me too. But once you get over it, you’ll realise there was nothing to be worried about.
All I’m saying is, why don’t you give it a try?
Follow these steps:
1. Re-write your profile to address your audiences’ problems
This includes re-writing your ‘about’ section. Tip: freelance clients don’t care where you went to school, what you studied, or what you’re passionate about. They just want to see themselves in your profile.
Draw their eyes to what you want them to know:
“Oh, look, they’ve worked in my sector before!”
“Yes, you’re right, a freelancer is cheaper than hiring in-house!”
Oh, and also re-write your headline. That’s the first thing people are reading along with your name.
Don’t forget those keywords ‘b2b copywriter’ ‘b2b content writer’ ‘freelance content writer'.
I’ve written ‘marketing SaaS’ in my job history section, and people have found my profile for those keywords, even though they’re not in my headline.
2. Actively grow your connections
LinkedIn is cracking down on the amount of connection invites you can send, so when you send them, make sure they’re relevant people who might actually accept your invites.
Adding people means you’re just expanding the pool of potential clients.
Try searching for:
content marketing manager
VP content marketing
head of marketing
inbound marketing manager
When you add someone, you never know if they’re already looking for a content writer.
3. Post your own content and comment on others’
Posting is great; it shows you’re active. It also keeps your name popping up in the feed in front of your growing audience.
But, commenting on other peoples’ content is also a must. When you comment, your headline is visible to everyone else commenting. It’s free marketing for your freelance business.
Consistency is the key to unlocking LinkedIn lead generation. If you stay present on this platform, companies will find you and message you.
Here are some leads I’ve received through LinkedIn this year. And so far, two have already converted into clients. The people in the below image were two co-founders, one managing director and a head of marketing.
Other things I do
I have a website — I don’t put samples on it, but I do put pricing. I want people to contact me for specific samples; they can already get a feel for my writing by reading my website content.
I save all my content samples with their URL and through a screenshot (I use screengrab). This is just in case the link no longer works/exists.
I invest in professional proposal software (I use PandaDoc); that way, if we get to the proposal stage, they can see my processes are slick. I embed a video into my proposals using free video software from Loom. This is so I can create a walkthrough video of my content creation process. I talk prospective clients through the tools I use and how I would generate content ideas for their business.
I have a business email attached to my domain — you don’t have to do this, but I think it looks more professional.
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