Expand your writing business' digital reach

Dec 10, 2020

Being a freelance writer is a great way to make a living or a side income. When you have consistent clients, you can write and earn money on your own time, as your own boss. What’s not to love about that?

However, getting clients isn’t always easy. If you want to get discovered, you need a strong digital presence, much like any other small business. If potential clients can’t find you, you won’t have any work and your dream will evaporate.

Don’t let that happen to you. Use these strategies to improve your digital footprint as a freelance writer!

Build Your Professional Network

“It’s not what you know; it’s who you know.” That’s never been more true. With writers advertising services everywhere, knowing the right people can help you land the high-quality jobs over your competitors.

Networking doesn’t have to mean going to cocktail parties and hoping to make a good impression. Today, digital networking is the name of the game. You’ll still want to make a strong impression, but you’ll do so with your social media profiles.

It’s important to be selective. Having a consistent presence on a few networks is more effective than occasionally visiting a lot of your favorite social media sites. Focus on professional outlets like LinkedIn, but don’t overlook opportunities on networks like Instagram.

Finally, be friendly and focus on service. What can you offer to others, for free, to build your relationship with them? Share helpful articles, comment on their posts, and generally be present. Follow through with what you promise to do, and give sincere thanks when others do you a favor.

Having a strong professional network online can help you find out about work, connect with new clients, and receive referrals from other professionals.

Build Your Freelance Skills

Creating engaging text is a great start, but what can you do to improve your value as a freelancer? When you have additional skills, you’ll be able to do more for your clients and earn more income as a result.

When you take Photoshop and other Adobe classes, for example, you can add design and images to your writing services. InDesign allows you to format your writing into attractive print and digital publications so that readers engage more deeply with the material. This is a big plus for your clients!

You’ll also want to work on your project management and organization skills. Keep track of your notes and papers using Evernote or Dropbox or in a physical filing cabinet. The key is to be able to find what you need quickly and easily.

Having excellent communication is essential for success as well. Think about how to organize your email, projects, and client communications so that you stay on track, and no details are missed. To keep your financials in order, set up invoicing that makes it easy for clients to pay while you accurately track income and expenses.

Create a Marketing Plan

You might be used to thinking about your clients’ marketing plans, but the truth is you need one too. Start with a reliable internet connection so that you can update your social media and answer client inquiries quickly every day.

Next, think about who your ideal clients are and how you can regularly put yourself in front of them. Do you prefer to work with marketing firms or individual clients? Are you interested in pitching publications or getting regular work from blogging?

Once you’ve set your goals, create a plan that allows you to connect with ideal clients regularly. This might mean messaging companies on LinkedIn, connecting with marketing managers, or building relationships with editors.

Work your plan consistently day after day. Many writers make the mistake that once they have a lot of work coming in, they stop reaching out. This leads to a drought in work once the current assignments are complete. Don’t live in a feast-or-famine cycle — keep your marketing consistent!

Marketing yourself consistently is the No. 1 thing you can do to increase your digital footprint as a freelance writer.

Set Yourself Up for Freelance Writing Success

If you want to build your income and portfolio as a freelance writer, you can’t afford to be haphazard in building your brand. Just like your clients need consistent content to engage their audience, you need consistent marketing to stay visible to your ideal clients.

Start with building your professional network online. There are so many platforms to choose from, but don’t overwhelm yourself. Instead, select the ones that make the most sense based on where your clients spend time. Next, make sure you’re continually improving your skills. There will always be new competitors, and you want to stand out from the crowd!

Finally, you’ll need a marketing plan that you implement consistently. Keep yourself on the radar by continuing your outreach, even when your calendar is full. There’s no reason to stop marketing and run out of work.

Being a successful freelance writer isn’t easy, but today’s digital landscape makes it more accessible than it’s ever been. Get started building your online presence today!

This is a post from a member of the Freelancers Union community. If you’re interested in sharing your expertise, your story, or some advice you think will help a fellow freelancer out, feel free to send us your blog post.

Noah Rue

Noah Rue is a journalist and a digital nomad fascinated with the intersection between global health and modern technology.