You know I'm a big advocate of query-free freelancing -- helping clients find and come to you instead of the other way around. That's especially important when it comes to finding freelance copywriting jobs. While it's not uncommon to find regular copywriting work advertised, freelance copywriting is a different story. Yes, some of these jobs are advertised, but many are not. So how do you find them?
Here are some tips on how to find freelance copywriting jobs, online or off.
- Improve your search engine rankings. -- If a client is looking for an SEO copywriter (common when the copy is written for the Web), they're not just looking for someone who understands marketing or PR or sales. They're also looking for someone who can write search engine friendly copy. The easiest way to land these clients? Practice what you preach. If your own professional site doesn't rank well when they're searching for an SEO copywriter, why should they trust you to do better for their own site? Even if you're not writing SEO copy, you'll increase your chances of landing freelance copywriting jobs if people can find you more easily when they're looking for a writer just like you.
- Reach out to your network. -- Let existing clients know you're available for more work (you might even send them an idea, such as for a holiday or seasonal campaign piece). You can also ask them if they know of any colleagues that might be able to use your services. Good clients breed more good clients -- you might be surprised by how willing they can be to send other work your way. Going back to colleagues, don't forget about your own! If they don't know what you specialize in, and you aren't staying visible enough to be fresh on their mind, they're not likely to think of you if a job comes along that you'd be perfect for. Your colleagues aren't always interested in the offers they get, or those offers might not be in line with what they write. It's in their best interest to send a qualified referral (like you!) so that client knows they're looking out for them, and they'll sometimes go back to that other writer when they do have a project in their specialty area.
- Showcase your knowledge. -- Whether it's releasing a free report, adding a blog to your business site, or just participating with tips and advice in communities where people want to learn about what you do as a freelance copywriter, sharing your knowledge can attract clients. When you discuss what you know, you show that you know what you're doing and that can be attractive to people looking to fill freelance copywriting jobs. They might be looking for someone to step in quickly for a project, where they don't have time to try to figure out if you know what you're doing. The job will go to someone who clearly does. Be that writer.
- Make that pitch. -- Just because I don't personally choose the querying approach, that doesn't mean it can't work. Look for companies that might need you (even if they don't realize it yet), and pitch them on your services. You can do that through email, cold calling, direct mail, or any other method that would be effective with your target market. You can do this for offline projects (calling local businesses), or on the Web (identify a company with awful Web copy and offer to help them improve it -- tactfully of course).
There is no single way to find freelance copywriting jobs that necessarily works better than others, but these tips will point you in the right direction. You need to determine what marketing style is going to work best for the types of clients you'd like to work with.