March 28, 2018
This could be you.
You have been having trouble getting freelance clients to sign up with you over the last couple of weeks and you’re wondering what you’re doing wrong. You’re afraid if you don’t get one or three new clients soon, you may not be able to hit your financial target.
And that’s not all, you have monthly subscriptions to pay for, and the WiFi you are paying for needs to realise its worth. But, nothing has been happening despite the numerous cold pitches and proposals you have been sending out. You are defeated and you feel you have hit a wall
Fine, there are good and bad days for every freelance writer, but even those few clients you’ve had before barely needed much done for them. You landed them by chance and didn’t pitch on what you’re really good at. You hoped they would reach out to you for more business, but your inbox has been awfully quiet.
A troubling thought, isn’t it? Don’t brand yourself a loser just yet. Yes, you may have exhausted your confidence in your proposals, but maybe that’s not what you need to focus all your attention on.
Here’s the most important part: it’s about the client, not you.
Let’s see exactly how this works.
Understand what your client needs
Before you give up on perhaps the best thing that will happen to you (if writing is truly your passion), try to get into your client’s mind. Understand what it is they need and if you are capable of solving their problems.
I’ll walk you through the process.
Do Your Research
Once you have picked out your prospective client, find out all there is to know about them. Check out their website and content and make a note of their last post date. You may need this for your proposal. Check out any major issues with their site and write them all down. Let me give you an example.
The site could have the following flaws:
- An ‘About’ page that does not give a clear description of what they are.
- Page names and titles that are not correctly done to optimize the site.
- Lack of fresh content or content that isn’t original and engaging.
- Old or lack of customer testimonials.
- Lack of contact information.
There could be more that the website needs. Remember this is just an example.
Next, put down what you can offer to improve their content. Again, this will help you a great deal when you prepare to send out your proposal much later.
Here’s how to do it. Using the flaws we previously listed, let us create solutions for each of them.
- An ‘About’ page that clearly states the name and gives a brief overview of their products or services.
- Basic SEO of the website and subsequently, every article that will posted.
- Posting new and fresh content on a regular basis.
- Acquisition of positive reviews
- Addition of a contact page with working phone lines and a responsive email address.
Now that you’ve noted your clients’ problems, it’s time to hear from them, or should we say place yourself in front of them? One major way to get into a client or prospective client’s mind is through a survey. What a better way than to ask them directly what they need. This part is easy.
But don’t stop there.
Reach out to the client
Now that you know that you have something to offer, get yourself in front of your prospective client. The hard question here is, how do you to get them to open your email, read through it and actually respond to it? Your clients are busy people and hardly will they give your email any attention. However if you do it well, you may not only grab their attention, you might just get yourself a detailed response and perhaps hope for a lasting relationship
- Firstly, ensure your subject is clear and short
Remember, your prospective client doesn’t have time to waste trying to understand you. A hint of what you need in the email subject will save everyone’s time.
- Make your questions short and to the point
They can be in form of questions with an intro to go with it. Here is a template you can follow.
I was looking at your website content, and it is incredible. I especially love [list some blog topics that blow you away]
I’m a web content writer, and I was wondering if you could spare some time to advice me the following:
- What do you look for in your web content writers?
- Do you have an in-house writer or do you work with freelancers?
- What stood out about your current writer
- Do you have any unsolved challenges with your writers?
You are definitely one of the leaders of your industry, and I’d love to learn from the best. I understand you’re busy, but I appreciate if you take a few minutes in this. Thanks so much for your time! I look forward to hearing from you soon.
You can choose to make this a survey if you’d like to deliver your message faster. A survey can easily be identified with the questions popping out to the reader’s attention.
You need to realise that not all your emails will get responses. This can happen because not everyone will give your email time. Some may ignore it, some may archive it and some will spare a minute and read it. Out of those who read your email, not all will respond to it. So, try to send your proposals to several prospects making each one powerful and personalised. That way, you will have increased chances of grabbing their attention.
Identify your unique skills
You now know that the client needs: A person who is: –
- A web and article writer
- SEO conversant
- A ghostwriter with copywriting skills as an added advantage and…
- A writer who will be available to build and create content on a regular basis
Next, ask yourself these questions:
Do I understand what the client needs?
Do I have the skills to deliver?
Put in mind that you are you are presenting yourself as a problem solver. If you are to get a position within the company, you have to be relevant. And in order to be relevant, take care of your client’s problem.
Remember, we said earlier that it’s about the client, not you. So, you need to be able to meet their needs, to be worthy of the position you are working hard to get.
Sell yourself and do so, smartly
You have researched your clients and found out what kind problems they face. You then identified your unique strengths that you know would interest them. You are now empowered and ready to jump in and get their attention.
So how exactly do you do this? Let’s find out.
Using the simplest language, explain what you can offer the clients. Be careful though because you may sound like you are begging for an opportunity. Be bold, but not too corny, either. Your clients need to know that you’re an expert, yet someone they can easily work with. Here is a template you could use.
I would like to work with you to ensure your website is up to date and gets as much traffic as is possible.
I can create an attractive ‘About’ article, and provide you with regular content. I would also ghostwrite a couple of reviews that you can use as your testimonials and lastly, optimize your website to make it more responsive.
I will be happy to discuss further on how we’ll go about it
It really is that simple.
You got your foot in the door and worked your way in. Now that you have succeeded in getting this client, don’t stop there. Prove to your client as many times as possible that they were right to hire you.
Retain your clients and be assured of more business
In order to build your client list, let the cycle continue.
- Identify another client
- Do your research
- Reach out to the client to understand them better
- Identify your unique skills that will benefit them and
- Sell yourself smartly.
Always deliver your best work. The last thing you want is to get kicked out by a better freelancer. And you can.
After working very hard to earn your client, work equally hard to retain them. Ask for feedback of your work and help them achieve their goals. You will not only gain their loyalty, but contacts to your next potential clients.
But the bottom line is this:
With your new contact list, your name has already been put out there with a lot of confidence. However, this does not mean that you should approach them lightly; work as hard as any other freelancer striving to get their attention, and as usual deliver your best. It will be the beginning of a successful journey in freelance writing.