A step-by-step approach to obtaining writing clients. Get your writing career rolling!
Week 1- Get Ready To Promote Yourself
- Review your blog. Make sure there is a contact page, about me page and if you are looking to do any advertising, sponsored posts etc… on your blog, you will need a media kit.
- If you haven’t done so, sign up for Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn and if you want a page, Facebook. Make your profile complete on each site with contact information and the link to your blog included. Add these social media sites as buttons on your blog so people can hit and gain more information about you.
- Fill in as much information as possible on your LinkedIn page. Join relevant groups. Blogging and writer groups are great. If you write about a certain topic, find a group that discusses the topic you write about. For an example on how your LinkedIn profile should look, you can check out my profile. Hit the LinkedIn button on the top right of this page.
- Connect your blog to 5 new sites by filling in your profile and adding your blog link. Sites to try might be mom blogs, Klout, Quora, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, meetup groups, Goodreads, Digg etc… Remember, the more places your name and blog link appear in search results, the more relevant you become in a potential clients eyes.
- Write a blog post that shows off your blogging or writing skills. Make the piece informative or talk about your experiences. Demonstrate your knowledge or expertise on a given topic that you write about.
Week 2 – Prospecting for Clients
- Add a signature to your email. The signature should have :
Blog link or other relevant link such as your Facebook page
- Go through your email, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter contacts and make a list of people to write to.
- Write up and send out an email to prospects you would like to work for. To get a template of what to write and how to send out your information on LinkedIn, go to this link: Using LinkedIn To Find Writing Assignments
- Create a Word document to keep up on who you have contacted and their reply. The document should have the following information:
How you connected to them
Response to your email
Should you contact them in a few weeks/months ( put a date in if applicable)
- Put together clips of your work and make a price list. You will want these ready to go when a potential client asks for more information. To get an idea of what to charge and how to set up your list, go to: Pricing Chart
Please note that your clips can be more than what was published. You can use posts from your blog, assignments from a writing class or even pick a topic and write about it.
Make sure that the clip is error free and truly reflects your best work. Make sure that if your paper came from a school assignment that any indication that it was a school paper is not on the clip you pass along.
Don’t stress about having professional writing samples. Most of my clients have never asked for samples of my work. You can also submit a resume or send them to your LinkedIn profile if your profile is completely filled out and has recommendations on it. Most have asked for a price list though.
Week 3 – Continuing to Prospect for Clients
- Look at want ads. When you see a company that interests you and that is hiring, take the contact information such as the name of the hiring manager or address and send an email like the one you used the last week for LinkedIn connections. Try to send out 30 emails.
- Think about what topics you like to write about. We will use fashion as a topic example. Find local businesses (using a basic web search such as Michigan Clothing Stores or Michigan Clothing Designers) that would fit your choice in topic. Try to send out 30 emails.
- Join some networking groups. They provide an easy way to get in front of a variety of people. Networking events are everywhere. There are meetup groups in most cities (just Google meetup groups). You can go to some Chamber of Commerce events or find some great local groups by typing in your city and the word, networking into the LinkedIn search for a nice list of some professional groups in the area. Also, don’t forget that any group activity you get involved in is another opportunity to connect with others. Mention what you do for a living. Who knows who might be interested in hiring a writer. Aim for 2 groups and go to a meeting this week if available.
- Continue to expand your connections on LinkedIn. Aim to send out as many requests to connect as you can in a one hour period. If you would prefer, you can use the same tactic with Twitter.
- Pick one of these choices, or both if you are ambitious. There is no better way to gain some attention as a “real writer” than to find avenues where you can have your work published. *please note that there is no or very little payment. This is just a way to move up the ladder more quickly.
- You can try a local paper. Most of the papers have an online presence and are looking for people to fill positions online with their blogs. It’s worth a try. When you have your blog in a newspaper, you are looked at in a new light. Trust me, it’s not hard to do. Look around and see what types of local magazines circulate in your area as well. People like to read a story from someone who lives in the same area that the paper is circulated. It also helps when connecting to local businesses because they will be familiar with the paper.
- Yahoo was the first place I got some articles published. They were just articles I had written on my blog that I submitted to the Yahoo site. I ended up getting most of my articles approved for Yahoo Voices. Here is the link: https://contributor.yahoo.com/signup/ (unfortunately Yahoo Voices is no longer active).
Week 4 – Wrap Up
- Prospect for business on an ongoing basis. Even when you get busy, it is imperative to keep writing to new contacts. You’ll want a steady flow of clients contacting you. If you slow down your prospecting efforts when you are busy, then when you run out of work from current clients, there will be nothing new coming in. Try to email, call or send letters to 30 potential clients per week.
- Organization is key. By now you should have a filing system with the name of each client you are working with. All hard copies should be in each clients file. Email conversations and any Word documents etc… should be filed under the client’s name on your computer. You should have a mileage chart, an expense report and a contact list that you can add to as you go. Documentation is very important.
- Stay current with any social media platforms you use. It’s important to stay connected. If a potential client Googles your name, the more positive links they find, the more relevant you will appear in their eyes. Go ahead, Google my name and see how much pops up. Now Google your name and see what you can do to increase your presence.
- Really take that blog and make it into a working portfolio. Write at least three articles per week. Talk about writing, social media, changing careers and whatever else shows off your knowledge and skills. Make sure you have pages for awards, clips of your work, recommendations by past clients, and an about me page. You might want to consider a hire me page, media kit, price list, a list of work you do, or anything else that provides information to a person who is thinking about hiring you.
- Continue to expand your connections on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook etc… Aim to send out as many requests to connect as you can in a one hour period. Focus on getting your blog link on every profile you have. Add your link to blog directories, new social media platforms and within groups you participate in.
The goal from here on out is to be organized, prospect on a continuing basis and be everywhere when a person Googles your name or website.
I hope you have enjoyed the Jump Start Your Writing Career program.
Wishing you the very best in your career as a writer!
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