December 9, 2018
Referrals from previous full-time jobs probably account for about 70 percent of my business. But Diana, I don’t know anyone in publishing! I heard that whine. Do you know anyone in any business? I’m willing to bet you know people whose company has a blog, newsletter, email newsletter, or website with content and editorial needs. Let those people know you’re a talented freelancer and can help with their editorial needs.
(Don’t forget to re-read this post ‘What Skills Do You Need to Become a Six-Figure Freelancer?’)
No, that’s not a typo. I borrowed it from podcaster Jordan Harbinger. Instead of the sales tool “Always Be Closing,” ABG represents “Always Be Giving” or “Always Be Generous.” That means you should look for opportunities to give to your network, whether that’s referrals, free content to newsletter subscribers (Psst, you get a FREE PDF of my 15 Best Freelance Writing Tips when you sign up for my newsletter below.)
Make sure you’re using a high-quality photo that shows your face (I suggest avoiding selfies–especially car selfies), write a solid “summary” that includes words people will use to find you, write a strong profile headline, and look at your competition. Check out the “People also viewed” section on LinkedIn and see if they are using keywords that should be on your profile. Feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn and add a note that you found me from this freelance writing blog.
If you build it, they will come. Even better than a bunch of ghosts to your baseball field…your clients will find you. (Sorry if that ‘Field of Dreams’ reference went over your head.) Let your potential clients see what you’re offering and stop wondering why you’re an Internet ghost. Launch a barebones site that has some of the work you’re proud of on it, your “About” page, and what you can do for clients, as well as a way to contact you. I also suggest your social feeds be on your website as well. I like WordPress and SquareSpace when you’re starting out.
You want to come across as professional and brag a bit about your accomplishments but also show your voice and style as well. In my “About” page, I take you on a journey of my first published writing—on the walls of my childhood home. Convince someone that they want to hire you and work with you. You’re fun! You’re talented! You do things besides type on your laptop! Here are 5 tips to make more money freelance writing this year.
Scan the brands and people you’re following and already reading. Dig around to determine who might run the content on their website or blog. Pitch that person and mention a great post you saw them share on social media. Full circle action here! Here’s how freelancers should use social media to make money.
I’m not advocating for your 1980’s mall glamour shot but you need a need a clear, high-res, well-lit photo that you can share on LinkedIn, your website, and any other profile you create online. Many websites now want each contributor to have their own page on the site with a photo, a description about you, and your social feeds. It’s a great opportunity to use their audience and grow your network. Ask a friend with a nice digital camera, or, use a high-quality smart phone camera and make sure you have good lighting. I recommend getting a couple of shots with different looks if you have time. If you’re fitness writer or yoga pro, you might want your photo to reflect that. If you’re a fashion blogger, get some photos that reflect that. Do I think you should get freelance writing jobs based on your looks? No. But when an editor asks for a photo and bio to include, it’s helpful to have some recent photos at your fingertips that you’re happy with. (Here’s a recent bio on ApartmentTherapy.com, another one on Muscle & Fitness, and in this one I’m swimming with dolphins on DailyBurn.)
If you like these tips, I take a deeper dive into how to execute each of these and more to grow your business as a freelance write in my course “Get Paid to Write” on Teachable.
Diana can help with:
Email Diana about opportunities: Diana(at)DianaKelly.com.