Quick Tip: Look Beyond Local for Better Freelance Writing Gigs

For freelance writers, location should never be a limitation. - AllFreelanceWriting.com

Where are most of your freelance writing clients located? If you only target local clients, you're leaving money on the table.

While some freelancers can attract more local clients than they can handle, others don't have the same client supply in their local areas. Fortunately there's an easy fix. Target clients outside of your town, city, state, region, or even country.

Why Pursue Non-local Freelance Writing Clients?

Here are three reasons why targeting non-local freelance clients can be a great idea. (There are many more I'm sure. Why not leave yours in the comments below?)

  1. You have more overall opportunities. Think about international companies looking to break into English-speaking markets. They often hire non-local writers to help them. And even if you feel like you have enough potential gigs locally, think about how much more negotiating power you'll have when you open your doors to even more prospects within your specialty area. You can earn more money. And you can be more selective in the gigs you take on.
  2. Being able to target clients anywhere means you can specialize even in niches or industries that aren't well-represented where you live.
  3. Your freelance writing rates never have to be influenced by your local cost of living. Your local clients won't pay your ideal rates? Clients elsewhere will.

How to Land Non-local Freelance Writing Jobs

That's why you might want to target a broader client base. But how can you find clients that aren't in your local area? Here are some ideas:

  1. Check writer's market directories, and pitch the prospects you'd like to work with.
  2. Build an online presence that isn't married to your local area. If you want to focus on local SEO, dedicate a page to your local market -- not your entire website.
  3. Focus on niche networking opportunities rather than only local ones. For example, join forums and social media communities tied to your specialty area or attend larger conferences and other events. Just like you would locally, you need to go wherever your clients are.

Do you limit yourself to local freelance writing clients, or do you broaden your search? If you target non-local clients (even internationally), why did you choose to do that? What's the biggest benefit to you, and how do you go about targeting those prospects?

Are you still figuring out who your ideal clients are? Download my free target market worksheet for freelance writers.

Profile image for Jennifer Mattern

Jennifer Mattern is a professional blogger, freelance business writer, consultant, and indie author. She runs numerous websites & blogs including All Freelance Writing, Freelance Writing Pros, NakedPR, and Kiss My Biz.

Jenn has 25 years' experience as a professional writer and editor and over 20 years' experience in marketing and PR (working heavily in digital PR, online marketing, social media, SEO, new media, and thought leadership publication). She also has 19 years' professional blogging and web publishing experience (including web development) and around 18 years of experience as an indie author / publisher.

Jenn also writes fiction under multiple pen names and is an Active member of the Horror Writers Association.

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6 thoughts on “Quick Tip: Look Beyond Local for Better Freelance Writing Gigs”

  1. Another advantage of non-local clients? If you take time off during the day you won’t run the risk of running into the client – or someone who knows them – and creating the impression that you’re not working hard enough on their project.

    • Excellent point Paula. I can see how that could cause problems. Not everyone is understanding about the flexibility of a freelancer’s schedule. A well-deserved day off to you could easily look like slacking off to a client. They have no way of knowing that you cleared projects up early, have later working hours scheduled that day to accommodate another client, or that you simply keep different business hours than them.

  2. Great advice, Jenn. Companies and publications love hiring specialists, but for some specialties the local market is small.

    Think big. You can interview people anywhere with Skype. Time zones can be a challenge. You can work around that.

    • Very true Angela. I have clients on anywhere from a 3-9 hour time difference, and I can’t recall it ever being a big issue. Many years ago I had a couple of clients who would forget and call me at obscene hours. I switched my basic communication methods and it’s never been a problem again (most communication via email so I have things in writing, and calls are all scheduled in advance).

  3. I have no local clients. My area is known for its low pay so I do not actively pursue gigs here. For my niche, most of the home offices are based back East so I go where they are. 🙂


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