For those of us who have felt the calling to be freelance writers, we’re here because we love writing. It’s something that’s part of who we are, rather than a career path we chose because it was easy or available. In fact, the work of a freelance copywriter is full of stressful challenges.
Whether you’re writing full time or part time, you have serious competition so you need to find ways of standing out among the crowd. How can clients find you and while would they choose you above the countless other writers out there?
I’ve been in the game long enough to pick up some tricks, so try these tips for standing out.
Choose Your Specialties
Most clients don’t just want any writer, they want writers who are familiar with their industry enough to write knowledgeably about the subject. That’s why writing niches are so helpful.
Think back on your past career path and consider the topics or industries you know about – marketing, technology, construction, healthcare, beauty, whatever it may be. It’s helpful to have multiple niches, perhaps three or four, to widen your market. Most writers specialize in specific types of writing too, like blog posts, social media copy, web copy, or others.
Ultimately, choose your specialties based on both where you’ve been and where you want to go. Even better, specialize in topics and content you enjoy most.
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Develop a Personal Brand
A brand sets any business apart from its competitors, and that’s true for freelance writers too. Define your brand based on how you want clients to perceive you as well as the set of skills you bring to the table. Make sure that brand fits your personality so it’s natural and authentic. Be the corporate copywriter, the fun and energetic copywriter, the Zen copywriter, whatever suits you best.
Next, build brand awareness by incorporating that brand into your website. Post on social media pages with a consistent brand voice as well, and even choose a business name that aligns with this brand. It doesn’t have to take a long time to develop a brand but it doesn’t happen overnight either, so be persistent yet patient.
Show Your Work
A spectacular portfolio is any copywriter’s best tool for growing their business. After all, who wants to hire a writer without being sure that they can write? Build a portfolio that showcases the best work you have permission to include. Make sure it shows all your writing skills but focuses on your top specialties and the type of work you want.
Whenever possible, add details about the piece’s results too, like the traffic and conversion rate data. This shows that you’re not just a great copywriter but you know how to produce effective copywriting that brings clients real financial gain too.
Publish Guest Blogs
You probably do loads of content marketing for clients, so why not do some for yourself too? Guest blogs are a spectacular way to do this.
These blogs build brand awareness (when they’re written with your brand voice, of course) by spreading your name to wider audiences. They also position you as an expert who’s reliable enough for these other sites to publish your content.
As an added bonus, when guest post publishers include a link to your site, that new backlink is a great boost for your search engine optimization.
Make the First Move
Who said copywriters had to put out our vibes to the universe and wait for clients to call us? No more waiting around; get out there and reach out to potential clients.
When you contact clients first, you can demonstrate the value of your services and if the business is on board, the chances are that they’ll hire you instead of going out and looking at other options. That’s far better than waiting on clients to decide for themselves that they need a writer and then hoping they find your information.
Plus, this lets you hand-pick new clients, whether you prefer small businesses, agencies, corporations, or whatever your flavor might be. That’s every freelancer’s dream.
Foster Existing Clients
The best way to stand out is for a client to already have an established relationship with you. That’s why it’s best to foster long term relationships with repeat clients rather than having a revolving door of one-time clients.
Not only does this offer more stable income from those ongoing clients, but these clients are more likely to refer other businesses to you too. That’s what I call a maintenance-free cash highway.
Making a Name for Your Copywriting Business
Being a successful writer requires more than the ability to pump out one excellent article after another. It takes some business sense too, and finding ways to stand out from the crowd as a true writing pro. While every writer needs to do this in their own way, the tips above can put you on the fast track.