Monday, August 31, 2009

How to Get Private Clients, Part 1

Lately I’ve been receiving emails from new freelancers wondering about how to go about getting private clients. I’ve also noticed that the same question being kicked around on a couple of writers forums.

Working directly with private clients rather than a middle man means more income for you. Effective marketing involves a strategic approach. The obvious answer is to just start cold calling/emailing people; however, there are a few important things you’ll need to figure out before taking that step.

Know your goal

If your goal is to sell your freelancing services to a certain number of clients, make sure you’re completely clear about the services you’re trying to sell. Believe in what you do, and stand by your ability to deliver high quality writing to your clients. This can be hard in the beginning when your confidence may be wavering. As the old saying goes, “fake it till you make it.”

Know your client

You’ll need to know exactly who your ideal client is. It makes it much easier to convince them that they need your services. Try to get inside your target market’s head. Think about the demographic you’re going after; really narrow in on the details to make a powerful impact.

Know all about the freelance writing services you’ll offer

Make sure you know all there is to know about the type of freelance writing you’ll be providing. This is much easier if you have a specialty. For instance, a medical writer would need to be familiar with medical terms others may not know. A financial writer, legal blogger, or academic writer could focus on learning as much information within their specific niche as possible.

Once you have clear direction in these three areas, you can move on to contacting prospective clients. Marketing without direction can be a big waste of time.

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