How to land your first few clients as a freelance content writer

Thinking about becoming a freelance content writer but not sure where to begin? here’s how to land your first few clients.

It’s generally accepted that the global freelance market is expected to grow as more people opt to work online. And as with most things, getting started is often the hardest part of becoming a freelance content writer. 

To help you launch your new content writing career, here are a few tips that’ll help you land your first few freelance clients.

Build your portfolio

Depending on the kind of content you’re writing, there can be a huge variation in how much freelance content writers get paid. However, as you’d expect, more experienced writers with bigger portfolios generally get bigger clients, with bigger budgets, who are happy to pay higher rates for content. 

It should come as no surprise for you to learn that you need to build your portfolio as a new writer, which should include your best work. If you are a budding writer, you probably wonder how to build your portfolio since you don’t have any samples from a previous client. Here are two ways to build your portfolio.

1) Write guest posts

One way to market your skills is by writing guest posts. While guest posting may not always bring in revenue, publishing your work will help attract potential clients and win your first client.

Guest posts help potential clients know who you are, the specific writing services you offer, and how they can reach you. Most sites that offer new writers a chance to write guest posts ask for an author bio. Remember to maximize the author’s bio by providing relevant information without being too wordy.

2) Start a blog

Besides helping build your writing experience, starting a blog can help you get your first client. Consistent blogging helps you become a better writer as you will be holding yourself accountable for producing quality content.

Your blog can serve as your portfolio. It showcases your writing skill, and a potential client can evaluate your writing proficiency based on the published content. When clients see an active blog with high-quality content, they will be more willing to hire you. So you should write for your blog consistently and offer quality content.

Market your skills on social media

Social media is more than an interacting platform. You can easily secure a job through professional social media platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter. Unlike before, when resumes were highly prioritized, today, social media serves as the resume. So, if you are not using social media for your professional advantage, you are missing out.

Most online companies prefer to hire content writers with an active social media presence. In the digital world, businesses are striving for an online presence. Therefore, marketing your content writing skills on social media increases your chances of landing a client. 

Building your brand online is an ideal way to beat the competition and stay ahead of most writers. However, building your presence online doesn’t mean signing up to every platform and posting the same content all over. It means optimizing your social media account by writing a short description of your services and posting about your services, rates, and how a potential client can reach you.

Pitch yourself

If you haven’t worked with a client before, you may not feel confident enough to hit ‘send’ on that cold email you have been composing for days now. As scary as cold pitching can be, it is among the most effective ways to land clients. It is effective because you will be reaching out for your ideal clients and not settling for clients who have posted available opportunities.

Let’s face it everybody hates rejection, and being turned down after putting in so much effort can be disheartening. It can result in you feeling you are not a good enough writer. However, you need to take a leap of faith and try your luck. Don’t let the fear hold you back.

When sending your pitch, always do your research and send the emails to companies that align with your niche. Find a business or site you would be thrilled to write for, and explain how your skills will add value to their business in your email. Add a link to your portfolio as you send the email and politely request a response.

Ready to find your first freelance writing clients?

There is no one specific way to land clients. Therefore, try a mix of the above methods to land your first client. Remember, your first step should be building a portfolio where you can direct potential clients to review your work. Good luck!

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon