One of the most challenging and difficult parts of freelance writing is learning how to attract customers to your work, bid for jobs and build a working relationship with them. In many ways, it is similar to a romantic relationship, because you have to get the client’s attention, then build a level of trust and show them your commitment to their company. In essence, you need to woo the client.
Getting the Client’s Attention
Bringing a box of candy or a bouquet of roses to a new client is not going to get their attention. What a client is interested in is your expertise and experience in their industry, and what you bring to the table in terms of work ethic, commitment and willingness to do what it takes to meet their needs. Clients are busy people with many distractions keeping them from giving a writer more than a few minutes at a time.
The reason they are outsourcing their content writing is because they themselves do not have the skills or time to do it. When bidding for a job, it is important to understand the type of writing they require, and whether it is a good fit for you. You can certainly stretch your abilities by learning as you go. However, if the job is outside of your experience, it is better to let them know upfront.
Bidding for the Job
If a client puts out a call to bid for a job, they are interviewing several candidates. Many of those candidates will be qualified for the work, therefore there is no shame to bid for a job and not get it. However, you can still use the bidding process as a way to bring your own work to the attention of the client for the possibility of future work. Therefore, it is a good idea to put your best resume forward when bidding. This bid may be your only opportunity to get in front of this particular client for several months.
Get Your Writing Samples in Order
If you are bidding for a job writing marketing emails, send the client samples of emails. If you are bidding for a job writing a press release, give them a sample of a press release. Show the client that you know how to write the type of content that you are bidding on.
Writing samples are the proof that you have the ability to write in context, in a tone and voice that is needed for the job. You can build up skills in areas that you want to improve, but you may never be able to write comedy or satire. It is okay to specialize in topic, style and voice niches, but having depth in those areas will get you more jobs.
Building the Relationship
It is no secret that working for clients that you like is a lot more enjoyable. A good relationship makes the work more fun, and it becomes easier to communicate back and forth to complete assignments per the client’s specifications. With a good relationship, you get to know the client’s requirements well which makes serving their needs easier as time goes on.
Paula A spends her days writing about sales and marketing, but in her off-time, she devotes her culinary skills to creating biscotti recipes just for fun.