Being a content writer means writing 10% of the time and marketing yourself 90% of the time. Even the most introverted scribes must muster the courage to sell their writing services. After all, if you don’t market yourself, who will?
Being a self-employed professional means thinking of yourself as a business rather than a salaried employee slaving in a cubicle. And just like any business, you need to sell your services. That means marketing yourself and your writing skills like crazy.
Sadly, a lot of eager storytellers fail to bag high-paying clients in their first year as freelancers. Others, who do manage to get clients, end up working for peanuts.
So how do successful freelance writers earn heaps of money in their first few years? They market themselves really well.
If you’re looking for some valuable tips on how to market yourself as a writer, we’ve got a simple list below:
Use Social Media Platforms
Promoting your work on social media platforms is the easiest way to get work. Join writing groups on Facebook, post an eye-catching graphic with a quote from your personal blog on Instagram or participate in Twitter chats. Ensure that your name, bios and profile pictures are consistent across different social media platforms. And always share your website or blog’s link in all your bios.
Marketing yourself on social media, connecting with potential clients, having a sizeable fan-following and having a kickass bio not only improves your chances of landing high paying gigs but also tells editors that you have a knack for promoting your work. It also shows them that you’re a hardworking and consistent performer. Everyone starts a social media account with zero followers. So getting a significant amount of fan-following means putting in a lot of time and effort.
Network Like Crazy
This is a great tip on how to market yourself as a writer. Yes, most writers are introverts who prefer the written word over delivering a sales pitch to a live audience, but it’s the most effective of getting work.
Print business cards. Introduce yourself to many people. Attend writing workshops, seminars and events.
Here are some other tried and tested ways to get clients:
Email all the magazines, websites and companies you want to work with. Send a short, crisp email introducing yourself, give them a sample (or samples) of your work and pitch potential blog posts or articles that might get them more traffic.
Ask friends and family to help out. I know it isn’t easy to ask them but they might know someone who needs a freelancer ASAP.
Contact local companies and ask them if need a copywriter. Maybe your local florist wants to hire a wordsmith to spruce up their website content. Maybe your nearby pet shop is looking for someone to publish a weekly blog on their website.
Reach out to your professional contacts to see if they want to hire a freelancer. If not, ask them if they can refer you to someone who might need some writing work.
Just Call Magazines and Companies
Sometimes, emails get lost in the clutter. This is especially true for websites and e-magazines that get hundreds of pitches from writers every year. Instead of writing an email, why not call all the places you want to work with? What’s the worst that can happen? They might say no or put the phone down. Big deal. You have nothing to lose by cold calling the marketing manager of a company or the editor of a prestigious publication.
Carol Tice, in her post on how to market yourself as a writer, claims that after 10 or 20 calls, writers usually get a “yes.” So brush up your sales pitch and get calling!
Videos show off your unique personality and add to your existing skillset as a communication expert. Editors are always on the lookout for writers who can do more than just write. In fact, a study done by Orbit Media found that using videos in blogs is steadily rising.
How can you market yourself in videos? Talk about yourself. Start a YouTube channel and post weekly or monthly videos on topics that interest you. If you like writing about home décor, having a video about five tips to add some color to your room will definitely give you an edge over your competitors.
Do A Barter
When most writers think about how to market yourself as a writer, they forget to use all their available resources. You could barter your writing services for products, services or recognition. For example, if you’ve got a local pet store whose website hasn’t been updated in ages, offer to tidy it in exchange for a bio below a blog post and some dog food for your puppy. If you’re a mother with kids, offer to write a brochure for your children’s school. The goal is to get the word out that you’re available for hire.
Every person you meet, every email you send, every phone call you make and every interaction you have is an opportunity to market yourself as a seasoned writer. Take advantage of these opportunities and tell people how awesome you are.