Content Writer, Spiel Thyself
Professional content writers take pride in providing the best possible copy for their clients. But what about their own promotional materials? If you’re serious about promoting yourself as a freelance writer for hire, it’s high time you took a look at your own marketing strategy to make sure you’re applying your well-earned skill set to your most important client: yourself.
Website? What Website?
Maybe you’re up to your ears in work without a website, but chances are, like most freelancers, you’re always on the prowl for new clients. A clean, well-organized website is a great place to catch the attention of potential clients and display your online portfolio. Stick to a simple interface and be sure to include a professional headshot, comprehensive, well-written biography, and links to your strongest clips. Depending on your budget, you may decide it’s worth it to hire a professional website designer, but there are plenty of great DIY examples to look at for inspiration if you’ve got the time and patience to use one of the many free online templates.
Creating a logo gives your website, invoices, and business cards a truly professional look. There are an abundance of logo creators available online, though be sure to read the fine print carefully; many of these sites are free to create the logo, but charge fees for downloading or printing. As you think about what sort of design you’d like to have, consider that there are probably 5,000 other freelance writers out there with a pencil or typewriter in their logo. Thing critically about what makes you stand out, or, when in doubt, create a simple, clean design based simply on the letters of your name.
Just Work, and the “Network” Will Follow
Getting to know other writers and potential clients is a key part of growing your own freelance writing business. Instead of thinking of networking as a separate task, however, realize that it will happen organically if you’re pursuing your writing business with passion and intent. By sending pitches to editors, participating in online writing forums, and reading quality writing in print and on the web, you’ll naturally begin building relationships with peers and potential clients—and it sure beats obsessing over your LinkedIn profile all day.
Curate Your Clips
Always save any bylined work for your portfolio, and keep copies of ghostwritten content as well if you have permission to show samples to future clients. These clips should make up the bulk of your website, and you may consider putting together a 1-2 page document with selections from your strongest clips to send out to editors and potential leads. If you write for several different industries, be sure to organize your clips accordingly so that you present yourself as not just diverse, but also well-organized, professional, and incredibly easy to work with.
Self-promotion may not always come easy, but devoting time to your own “spiel” can certainly pay off.
Caitlin C is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.