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Freelance Writers: How to Get Your First Writing Client in 1 Month
By William Ballard, Freelance Writer and Author
What if you could rest assured that you would have your first writing client within the next four weeks? I’d like to share the best system I know for making that happen.
The Best Advice a Freelance Writer Can Get!
To succeed as a professional freelancer writer, the best advice that you can get is to view your writing as a business. There are a few reasons for this. One is that seeing writing as a business means you don’t get too emotionally connected to your writing. Yes, you should be emotionally connected when you are writing it, but once you have submitted it into the editor at a Pub, it should then lose your emotional hold on it and then become a piece that the Pub is emotionally connected to. Your main aim is to find paying gigs, not to become the next Shakespeare. In fact, Shakespeare didn’t start writing because he wanted to become Shakespeare, he was already Shakespeare, his writing just helped us to recognize that very fact. Another is that you can implement the systems and methods that businesses use to grow and develop. This includes developing a system for your marketing.
Sound daunting? You might be thinking: “I’m not a business person” or “I want to be a writer to escape the business world.”
Don’t worry! Thinking like a business owner is actually quite a simple thing to do. That is, once you know how to do it. Moreover, you don’t have to wear a business suit. You can still work in your pajamas if you want to.
Systems are actually really helpful. With the right systems in place:
With all that in mind, I’d like to share a 1 month system for marketing your writing services. This is the system I use every month in my freelance writing business. It works for me. Within a couple of weeks, I’d usually find a writing client with no hassle. Within six weeks of actually implanting this system, you can schedule for of writing clients to keep you busy full-time.
Now, obviously, I can’t guarantee that you will find your first client in a month. Nevertheless, if nothing else, putting this system in place will help you establish a marketing mindset. Once you’ve started, you can keep digging, and in the end you’ll hit writing gold.
I learned the basics of this system from the book Get Clients Now! by C. J. Hayden. If you decide to implement this system, I recommend picking up your own copy of the book, so you can learn exactly how it works.
How does it work? For the next four weeks, you commit to completing ten marketing tasks a day. You select each of the ten tasks based on the fact that they’re likely to bring in new clients to your freelance writing business.
Each task should be as specific as possible. For example, let’s say you’ve decided to network with potential clients on Twitter. You could set one daily task as “follow people on Twitter” and another as “retweet people on Twitter.” These are the right type of tasks, but they’re too vague.
How could you make them more specific? Let’s say you’re looking for copywriting gigs in the IT sector. You could set daily your tasks as:
By making your tasks as precise as possible, you do two things. First, you increase your chances of getting work by focusing on clients within a specific niche. Second, you allow yourself to track your results.
Aside from networking on Twitter, what other daily tasks could you feed into your system? Here are some general ideas you could develop into specific tasks:
You might also consider other marketing strategies such as public speaking, cold calling, or direct emailing marketing.
Once you’ve created your list of tasks, you’re ready to transform it into a system. To do that, create a spreadsheet with the first column headed “Tasks.” In this column, set up a row for each of your ten tasks.
Now, go along the next 30 to 31 columns giving them the header “Day 1″ through “Day 30 (or 31).” Your system is now ready. You can track the tasks you complete each day with a simple “Yes” or “No” in the appropriate cell in your spreadsheet.
To help you along the way, remember the following:
Finally, don’t be surprised if the system you’ve set up doesn’t lead to direct results. When I launched my freelance writing business with this system, I got some work using it. However, my main gig came as a surprise, from outside the system. This is something you should be prepared for. As C. J. Hayden writes in Get Clients Now:
“There is an interesting phenomenon that occurs when you get serious about marketing in a focused, consistent way. You begin to get results in unexpected places… Don’t make the mistake of thinking these out of the blue opportunities are accidents. There is a direct connection between the level of effort you put into your marketing and the results you get out of it, even when it seems as if the results are completely unrelated to your efforts.”
So why not start a 1 month marketing plan today? Do it as an experiment. Do it to see whether it works. You’ll be surprised about what happens.
Share your systems in the comments below!
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About the Author
William Ballard is the author of, "8 Tips to Freelance Writing Success (Article Writing Series)" and "3 Steps to Blogging Success: Discovering Your Passion, Finding Your Audience, and Developing an Income Stream (Article Series)".
He has been writing professionally for over 10+ years and has much experience within the industry, both in publishing and in freelance writing. He has successfully self-published over 10 books and eBooks. Visit his Amazon Author Page to see list of his most recent projects.