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Why You’re Struggling To Find Freelance Clients

5 reasons why you're struggling to find freelance clients

Freelance writing can be a tough gig. Heck, any freelance business has its ups and downs.

When I started out writing, I was so happy to get my first couple of clients, I didn’t care that I was only being paid $10 to write 500 words. Ouch! Not a highlight in my freelance career.

When you’re starting out or going through a quiet period in your business, it’s tempting to take on any work you can get. But, you should not be charging peanuts for your work – you’re worth way more than that!

There may be a few reasons why you’re struggling to find clients. You might be familiar with a few of these scenarios – don’t worry, there a few easy ways to fix them!

The Problem: You’re not pitching enough to freelance clients

Pitching is the process that’s going to guarantee you freelance work. Ideally, you should be sending at least 10 pitches per day. Yeah! that may seem like a lot, but considering you may only hear back from a handful of clients you pitch to, you need to become a one man pitching machine!

As a full time freelancer, regular pitching ensures I have a steady stream of work lined up.

You may get lucky and have the opportunity to take on more work than you can handle – don’t be afraid to turn down jobs if you’re busy. A stressed out freelancer isn’t the best recipe for producing quality work or meeting deadlines.

If you’re wondering where you can find jobs to apply for check out 15 places to find your first freelance client.

The Problem: Your pitches aren’t very good

If you’re not landing jobs, you may have a pitch problem. Most of us have sent at least one crap pitch in our time – Let’s face it! When you’re starting out, you don’t have a clue about these things!

If you’re pitching to freelance jobs sites, check out my free email course below for tips on how to pitch!

What makes the difference between a good and bad pitch?

A good pitch should be;

  • Concise and straight to the point. You don’t need to send a long pitch to a client.
  • Related to the job post – you can use a pitch template but direct it to the genre of work you’re applying for.
  • Send writing samples related to the job. For instance, if you’re applying for a job writing automotive blog posts, don’t send samples of nutrition content.
  • Say how your work is going to benefit the client.
  • Be polite and friendly.

Don’t;

  • Act desperate – never a good look.
  • Use long chunks of text.
  • Use one sentence pitches.
  • Use bad grammar or make spelling mistakes.

Problem: You’re not applying for the right type of jobs

Applying for jobs can be tricky when you have limited experience. But, when you’re starting out it helps to have a specific niche or range of genres you can write for.

Thousands of applicants are potentially applying for the same job, so you need to ensure you stand out.

#Scenario: You’re applying for copywriting gigs, such as writing product descriptions and web copy, but you only have experience in writing articles.

When I started freelancing, I only had experience creating articles and blog posts. I landed my first web copywriting gig (rewriting product descriptions) because I had experience in the same niche (beauty) and I could demonstrate my passion for the genre (via my personal blog). If you’re in the same situation, apply for jobs in the sectors where you have the most experience.

It’s tempting to want to apply for every job going, but your time will be better spent crafting quality pitches for jobs where you have experience.

The Problem: You’re overpricing your services

I’m not saying you should be charging $1/£1 per 100 words. Fuck no. But, overcharging for your services can result in a lack of work coming your way.

I recently did some hiring and you’d be surprised at the range of proposed fees that came my way. I had figures suggested from £7 to £300, and interestingly, the candidate requesting the largest amount had a weak proposal and no specific experience relating to what I required.

You’re potentially applying for jobs with thousands of other candidates, so as well as creating a kick-ass pitch, you need to consider your pricing.

Pricing your services;

  • Consider your service range.
  • Are you going to charge hourly or per project; for instance, if it takes you an hour to write an article of 500 words, you could base an hourly rate on 500 words of content.
  • What do you intend to earn per year (this will also help you to set an hourly rate)?
  • How much experience do you have in your genre?
  • What are your overheads?

Some clients will try to knock your fee down, but stick to your guns. Once you’ve set your fee, try to stick to it. You don’t want to undersell yourself either, so make sure you’re charging what your worth!

The Problem: You’re not promoting yourself!

Promote the shit out of yourself! That’s one piece of advice I’d give to budding freelance writers.

Get on social media and Linked In and start bigging yourself up!

Promote content you’ve written, your services, ask around for freelance work etc.

Having a website also helps – if you want to start a blog, check out my post here.

You don’t need a fancy website, but aim for a cleanish design and, of course, excellent copy and content that will really show off your skills. Potential clients may be checking out your work so link your services and portfolio too – you can find out how to write a services page for your website here. 

 

Finding Your First Freelance Client: 15 Places To Look

15 places to find your first freelance client

Finding your first freelance client can be a tough gig, especially if you have no idea where to look. When I first started out, I knew of two freelancing sites. Luckily, I managed to find my first client in that way. But, I want you to know that you have plenty of options when it comes to finding decent paying writing gigs. Some of my favourite sites are listed below. Here, you’ll find a range of paying gigs, as well as a bonus download of sites that pay for guest posts!

People Per Hour

One of my favourite sites for finding work, People Per Hour is a freelance site where you’ll find jobs for writing, editing, proofreading, social media and design. As well as being able to pitch for jobs, you can create an ‘hourlie’ to sell a service, such as writing an article or proofreading an essay. Clients can then buy your service directly, without you having to pitch.

Tip: competition can be fierce, so regularly search for jobs (changing the order of jobs to show the newest first is ideal) and apply as soon as possible as jobs can be filled quickly. My free e-course here gives some tips on how to apply for jobs on freelance sites.

Upwork

Upwork is similar to People Per Hour, except you’ll find a lot more jobs listed. Most of these jobs are very low paying, but there are some gems to be found. Again, you should regularly search the job listings and apply asap. The site can sometimes be glitchy, however, it’s a site I’d recommend to try if you’re first starting out.

Indeed

Indeed is a site that brings together job vacancies from many other job sites. There aren’t many freelance jobs listed, but its still a site thats worth checking out.

Tip: Use keywords in the search bar to bring up specific results for job vacancies. Try using ‘blogger’ ‘writer’ and copywriter’ in your searches.

Linked In

If you’re planning on becoming a freelancer, get a Linked In profile. As well as finding job listings on the site, you’ll be able to connect with small businesses and potential clients. Make sure you fill out your Linked In profile as fully as possible, including experience and skills.

Pro Blogger Jobs

You’ll find several writing jobs listed on the Pro Blogger website. Not all of them are well paid, and some only pay on how many views your article receives, so make sure you read the listing carefully before you submit a pitch.

Write Jobs

Write Jobs has a mixture of jobs, originally posted from Craigslist, alongside other sites. You’ll also find writing competitions listed too.

Freelance Writing Jobs

This site has just been taken over so expect it to be regularly updated soon. Sign up to The Morning Coffee newsletter and you’ll receive jobs straight to your inbox.

Absolute Write

You’ll find a few jobs listed on the Absolute Write forums. This is a great job board for those who write fiction, in particular, short stories.

Reddit

Yes!Reddit is an underrated site for job opportunities, but they’re definitely on there. Check out the for hire page and hire a writer.

Bloggerjobs.biz Board

There are a few remote positions on this site, as well as those based in a specific region.

Twitter

Jobs are posted on Twitter all the time – finding them is a real problem though! I generally use the #freelancejobs hashtag and #writingjobs

All Indie Writers

There are a range of low paying to high paying jobs on All Indie Writers. Remember to check this site as often as you can and apply fast to land the job you want!

Ed2010

Most of these jobs are full time, based in New York or LA, however, you’ll find a few freelance, remote jobs.

Freelance Writing Gigs

One of my favourite sites, you’ll find writing jobs, proofreading, editing, journalism, blogging jobs, as well as internships.

The Write Life

There’s a lot of jobs listed here via Simply Hired. Worth checking if you’re based in the US.

Now get the FREE download. This is a list of 47 sites that pay you to write a guest post or article. Get the list now!

How To Create A Services Page For Your Blog

How to create a services page for your blog

If you’re considering branching out into freelance work, then adding a services page to your blog is the perfect way to let clients know that you’re available for projects. As I mention in my free e-course, From Blogger to Freelancer, a services page is a great method of self-promotion, and its also one of the most underrated pages on a blog.

A services page can be added to your blog as a separate page, and its best to link this in your navigation so visitors to your site can easily see it.

Do I really need a services page?

If you want to attract clients and show you’re available for work, a services page on your blog is the cheapest form of advertising your business.

Your page can also help you to attract your ideal clients and ensure you stay booked!

It all starts with your copy!

Writing effective copy is what is going to make the difference between a successful services page and one that will be overlooked by potential clients.

You need to include relevant information to sell your business packages and demonstrate what you can offer your dream clients.

What to include on your page:

A short paragraph on each of your services. What exactly do you offer? Remember, new visitors to your page may know nothing about you or your work, so you really need to explain in a clear and concise way. If you offer writing services, specifically state what type of writing you can provide. For example, articles, blogs, web pages, ad copy.

Who is your ideal client? Stating who you want to work with will help you to attract your ideal client. You may have experience in a specific area, which will benefit a certain type of business or individual. Your expertise may be suitable for small fashion brands, tech businesses, amazon stores, ebay shops, etc.

Why should a client hire you? What can you bring to the table? What makes your skills better than other freelancers? Maybe you have vast experience, offer a unique client experience or you can provide a fast turnaround.

Show examples of your work. If you have a dedicated portfolio then link to it here, however, if not, showcase two to three pieces of your best work – ensure your examples are relevant to your ideal client. For instance, don’t link to an article on gardening if your ideal client is a beauty brand. You might also want to add testimonials from previous clients – demonstrating that others have recommended your services will encourage potential clients to book you.

How much do you charge? Whether you should add a price list to your website is a topic of great debate, however, providing a pricing guide can help to attract clients that have the budget to hire you. It also shows that there is no room for negotiation when it comes to your fees.

Show your process and timeline – What is your turnaround time for work completion? Are you accepting clients for a specific time frame?

Add a simple call to action. So, your website visitor has read your page and is ready to take the next step to hire your services. Adding a direct way to contact you provides a quick and easy way for the client to make a booking.

Service page example

To make it easier for you, here is a simple yet effective example of a service page.

Do you need to shake up your brand?

As an experienced content writer, let me take care of your copy! I can provide;

*Articles – well-researched content with one high-resolution image and a clear call to action.

*Web Copy – web pages exclusively tailored for your brand, including SEO.

*Email campaigns – creating email newsletters, campaigns and strategic marketing copy for sales conversion.

My services are designed for contemporary fashion brands and magazines. I have sevens years of experience in content marketing and my previous clients include some of the UK’s most successful high street fashion brands.

For examples of my previous works, please find my portfolio here _______

Price list:

Web copy packages from £300

Email campaigns from £50

Articles from £40

Currently booking for Summer 2016.

Want to take your business to the next level? Contact me now! [insert contact form]

You can also find me hanging out on social media here [insert social links]

Remember, your services page should be clear and concise, but don’t be afraid to showcase your skills – its your opportunity to sell yourself!