We have been programmed to think that experience is everything. The more experienced you are in doing something, by default, the better you are. So, if you are a content writer, you might have fallen into the trap of thinking that experience should be enough to get you more clients. But, on the other hand, if you are a fledgling writer, just spreading your wings in the world of content marketing, this assumption can be nerve-racking.
If you need the experience to have clients, how will you ever get the experience you need if clients don’t hire you because of lack thereof? On the flip side, if you are an experienced writer, this assumption is dangerous because once you have a lot of experience under your belt, you rest on your laurels and assume that there is nothing else you need to do to get clients. You simply expect them to come to you, mesmerized by your experience.
However, experience is not everything, far from the contrary. Several other factors come into play when it comes to landing new writing gigs and increasing your clientele.
Your portfolio shows who you are. How versatile your portfolio is, shows what you can do. Having one gazillion pieces in your portfolio of the same content type makes you experienced; in just that niche. On the contrary, if you have a variety of content in your portfolio, it shows that you can handle a variety of projects such as blog posts, SEO copy, webpages, landing pages, white papers, newsletters, social media posts, etc. Even if you only have a couple of each, it still makes you more experienced than the owner of the one-gazillion ones.
The writing style is not something that can be learned. No matter how much experience you have, your writing style is what it is. You either have it, or you don’t. It is not something you can learn; much like how you interact and behave is innate and not learned. Your character is what it is, and your character and personality reflect in your writing. A dull and drub person can write thousands of content pieces. Even though the pieces might be impeccable in terms of information provided, readability, grammar, and syntax can still be boring the readers to death. So, your writing style is more important than your experience. It is what makes you unique and irreplaceable. A client will choose a writer whose style sets him apart from the crowd. Your writing style, and not your experience, is what will give voice to a brand and create its style.
An enthusiastic writer will pour her enthusiasm into her writing. When you are excited about your work, you will deliver top-of-the-notch quality projects. If you are not excited with what you are doing, you are feeling burned out, and you view your content as just another copy, chances are you will not be very successful in delivering writing that will increase leads and conversions. A client will prefer to work with an enthusiastic writer rather than an experienced one. An enthusiastic writer will be open to suggestions, willing to try out new things, and work hard to meet clients’ expectations.
Familiarity With Your Client’s Brand
A client will choose a writer who knows the brand well and can give it a genuine and unique voice. Experience will not serve you well if you are not familiar with the particular brand. Do you know the company’s competitors? Do you know what your clients’ services and products are? What about the industry your client operates in? These are questions that you must be able to answer in the affirmative. If not, then regardless of your experience, the client will turn to another writer.
Experienced writers usually charge more. They feel that they have worked their way to the top, and their experience allows them to be more pricey. However, a client with a limited budget will be willing to try out a new writer, even if he is not terribly experienced. After all, there is always a chance that a true gem can be hidden within a less experienced writer. So why lose the opportunity to strike gold, and go after very experienced writers, who may turn out to be coal, instead?
Experienced writers may have a lot of projects that they need to tackle at once. This may prohibit them from taking on urgent tasks that require immediate delivery. Beginning writers, however, may not be so busy. Therefore, when the deadlines are stringent, a client will ultimately opt for a less experienced but more available writer when an urgent project arises.
How available are you as a writer? Are you willing to have frequent meetings with your client? Are you willing to make corrections as needed? Clients will usually prefer a writer who has the time to sit down with them and envision their brand’s story. Being available is very important, especially if your content is close to sales and further down the sales funnel. Your content will immensely impact your clients’ returns, and they will want an available writer to share their worries, anxieties, concerns, hopes, and dreams.
We have been programmed to equate experience with quality and value. However, not everything is black and white. There are several shades of grey in between. An experienced writer is not all that jazz; everything that shines is not always gold. However, a true gem can be hidden within an inexperienced novice writer. All it takes is for the right opportunity to show up. So roll up your sleeves, my dear content writer. The battle may be over, but not the war. Many qualities make up an excellent writer, and experience is only one of them.