Quick Tip: Think Outside the Echo Chamber for Freelance Writing Success

echo chamber

As freelance writers it's not uncommon for us to get information online and even connect with our colleagues that way. And sometimes our circles, or at least the information they expose us to, are more limited than we realize.

It's easy to get caught up in the echo chamber, with the same stale ideas endlessly reinforced. But if you want to stand out and attract the best freelance writing clients, you need to be able to think for yourself. Here are three tips that can help you avoid falling into the echo chamber trap.

This isn't to say you should ignore everything you hear regularly. Business fundamentals apply to all freelancers. So, for example, if all of your close colleagues remind you to have a business plan in place or market your freelance writing services regularly, don't dismiss that.

That said, tools and tactics do not apply to everyone equally. There are countless markets you can target as a freelance writer. Each market is influenced in different ways and by different triggers. Figure out what those are and ask yourself "how can I tailor this to my specific situation?"

For example, most of your colleagues might send email queries whereas your specific clients respond better to cold calls. Or you might be told to blog every day but find that your client base doesn't have time to read that many updates.

Make Supply and Demand Work for You

Along those lines, don't rush to follow friends and colleagues to every "gold mine" they say they found for freelance writing gigs. If your fellow writers are all abuzz about a source of freelance leads, leave them to the masses. Go where prospects don't have as many options clamoring for their business.

Instead of joining several freelance bidding sites for example, you might instead join small niche forums where you can build more meaningful relationships with your target clients.

I gave another example of this in relation to traditional writer's market directories. Rather than relying on them alone for prospects to pitch, I suggested that you try media directories that PR professionals use. Why? Fewer freelance writers know about them, so you have less potential competition. And they can feature tens of thousands of additional leads that aren't included in even the largest writer's market directories.

Look for Inspiration in Unlikely Places

Instead of turning to the same old "influencers" in your specialty area for freelance writing advice, broaden your options by learning from other sources.

For example, you might get marketing advice from other types of freelancers. You might seek inspiration from local brick and mortar businesses that you could tailor to your freelance writing career. Or you might even learn from your clients' successes and failures.

How do you keep yourself open to new information from outside the usual echo chamber? What are some of the most unique sources of business advice you've benefitted from so far?

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: Think Outside the Echo Chamber for Freelance Writing Success”

  1. Great post, Jenn.

    I get new information from clients. The ways they’re trying to attract business can often turn on light bulbs for me. Also, I read entrepreneurs’ stories, sales articles, and anything that touches on how to be successful at business. Not everything applies, but a lot of what I read can trigger ideas for my own business.

    Actually, my husband is often a great, unexpected source of business info. He hasn’t run a business, but he runs my ideas through a BS meter and often has an even better idea or a tweak to my idea that works.

  2. I love this, Jenn… it’s so easy to get caught up in what others seem to be saying… I think because it is easy… Years ago a wise man hinted to me that the easy path wasn’t always the best… I’ve found him right over and over again.



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