There will come a point in your copy writing life when clients begin to come to you, and that's a great day. When you are approached, it means that you have not spent precious moments scanning scads of Craigslist postings, writing resumes and personalizing cover letters. Instead, it means that a client has heard about you in some way, and then chose to approach you. But how to get to that magical place? Here are some freelance writer marketing ideas.
- Approach new editors. New editors are likely to need to develop a cadre of go-to freelancers to send work out to. Although they may have a few contacts from past positions, chances are that they'll need to round out their lists when they come into a new position. But how do you find editors who are brand new? Well, chances are that you actually run into editorial postings all the time when you're looking for freelance writing jobs. These are postings on LinkedIn, Craigslist and MediaBistro that are hiring full time writers and editors for in-office positions. Have you ever read a job description, and got all excited because it was "perfect" for you, only to find out that it wasn't freelance, but was instead a full time job? Well, all is not lost. That position represents an editor you want to introduce yourself to.
- So how do you get to that new editor? There are several possibilities. Vista Print offers very cheap postcards. I feel like a personalized postcard is that little something "extra." It's a physical representation of you that's a little harder to throw away. Study up on some good copy writing practices, and make sure your postcard hooks the editor's attention. If you don't want to lay out an initial monetary investment, you can send a snail mail letter addressed to "the new editor" (or whatever the official title is advertised as). If you want to go the email route, you may be able to send a message and resume to the person who is in charge of hiring for the position, in the hopes that they will pass it on once the position is filled.
- Another way to market is through LinkedIn. The first step on LinkedIn is to make sure your profile is complete. Fill in all required information, and be sure to ask for recommendations from past employers or clients. Next, join groups that are in your niche subject area. When I first joined LinkedIn, I joined groups related to writing. While these members are good for advice, and to market this site in particular, I won't get much work from fellow writers. That's sort of like preaching to the choir. Instead, choose groups that are in your niche.
- Connect with alumni from your university. This marketing tip comes from a personal story. I noticed from my school's website that one of its alums worked with a major publisher who I had got work from in the past. The combination of the alum connection and the fact that I'd already been hired by that company emboldened me to approach the editor and introduce myself, and ask for more work.
- When you do apply for projects straight out (as opposed to marketing and watching them come to you), think about doing some form of follow-up. Even if you're not selected for the initial project, sparking a conversation with the company, publisher or website owner is a form of marketing for the future.
- Lastly, be sure to speak to past clients- even those from a year or two ago. Keep in the forefront of people's minds, and they'll be likely to hire you again.
Good luck in your marketing efforts!