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February 11, 2010
Quick question: what's your favorite way to market your freelance writing services?
For me it's blogging without a doubt. While you have to stick with it to keep growing, every post you write as the potential to help you market yourself indefinitely (especially thanks to search engine traffic and long tail keyword phrases). More than that, blogs keep you connected with your professional network -- the people who send referrals your way. They're also a great example of a marketing tool that not only can attract customers or clients, but that can also bring in more direct income. What's not to love about getting paid to market your own business?
Tell us about your favorite marketing tool or tactic and why you love it!
June 27, 2011
I'm kind of a newbie so I've only really tried two marketing tactics.
1. Querying magazines: this, for me, is always a lot of work (I'm kind of a perfectionist) and I can't say I really enjoy it, but it has paid off. And once you're in with an editor, you're in, so one query can end up being worth a lot of money. I also get a feeling it will get easier as I gain more experience and better clips and get a reputation in my specialty.
2. In-person networking: I am a very shy person so I was totally shocked to find networking with real live people to really be not that bad. There is a freelancer's group in my neighborhood that meets a couple of times a month and it very small and informal and I find it really nice to talk to people who've been through some of the same things I'm going through. Although I can't say I've made any connections leading to work from it, yet, I have gleaned some valuable information and it has made the whole world of freelancing seem more real and less scary to me.
On the other hand, I don't know how well I'd do at some giant networking event where you're thrown in a room with a name tag and 200 strangers. It gives me the vapors just thinking about it.
July 6, 2011
Letters of introduction have always been my best marketing tactic. While I have written some queries, I have written a lot for trade pubs and LOIs seem to work a lot of the time with those.
I'll admit that I'm lazy when it comes to querying ideas. It feels like too much of an investment of time for me to submit an idea that may or may not sell. But I do query when I have a good idea that I'm excited about.
February 11, 2010
I don't generally write LOIs myself, but occasionally I ghostwrite trade pieces for clients. And they do send the letters (often prior to finalizing our own deal). They work! And I know at least one colleague who's suggested them in the past as a great supplement to query-writing.
July 30, 2011
August 22, 2011
I began freelance writing about 2 years ago, and my most effective tool has been 'personal contact'. I normally send a few article samples and ask for a trial. One thing is sure – as long as they get what they want, they will stay.
The fact is, the quality of a job will always speak for the writer. Personally, I get really impressed when a client blurts out "Not your average article writer, outstanding work!".
February 11, 2010
I have to agree. Even when business gets tough or just exhausting, a kind word from a client can go a long way towards cheering me up. It's just nice to know we're appreciated sometimes.
October 10, 2011
Although I'm fairly outgoing, I just can't do the face-to-face networking kind of thing. All my freelancing leads have come from people I've worked with previously. When I need work, I send out some sort of a "reminder" email that either asks directly for work or updates them on new capabilities/recent successful projects. So far (3 years) this has worked, but I know I need to start doing the whole branding/blogging/building my platform routine. Naturally, the person who writes Web sites for other people does NOT have one of her own!
November 10, 2011
I would have to say my favorite tactic is networking with people at seminars and over Skype. In the beginning, I put a lot of "leather to pavement" to get started, but nowadays it's much easier.
The friends and business relationships I've developed over the years are priceless.
One tip for those who might be hesitant to network (and one example straight from my own business)…
It's not as hard as you make it. When I started out, I read a particular book…loved it, and thought "Man, that author is really out of my league…I mean, he' has got this successful book and everything" only to find later that author was really a person…just like me
But I just gathered up the courage and emailed him one day…complimenting him on his book.
Over the years, quite a few emails, and a few phone calls that author and I are now friends…I'm featured in his book, and we have exchanged ideas, stories (corn flakes anyone?) and business over the years.
That author's name? Peter Bowerman…author of The Well Fed Writer
So keep in mind that even the stars of our business are people…just like you. Just approach them…and remember the most valuable relationships are the ones that take the most time to build.
March 29, 2012
One of the biggest ups of being a freelance writer is that you get to be an entrepreneur. It feels pretty awesome networking with other people because my most favorite method is posting on blogs which are visited by my target audience. Sending email to new prospects work too, but there are those times when they just don't bother to reply. Building your client base takes time so regardless of which method you like, you should be focused on practicing it consistently and being patient.
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