Nobody can say with any surety when a particular prospect or client will come your way. To that end, every piece of content that you publish can be the beginning of a sales cycle. At times, many prospects just save or bookmark your content and come back to it much later, when they have need of your services.
Freelance writing can’t be pushed, your content will have to generate a pull.
How does a freelance writer generate pull for their content?
1. Run a blog- religiously.
Now see there really is no other word for it. Decide a theme for your blog and publish on it regularly. Aim to publish 4-5 days a week. In the first 2 months, you will have enough data to figure out when your posts do well. Try to publish during that time.
Your content is of course of paramount importance, but it doesn’t hurt to be smart about what time to publish and on which days.
I run https://drywaters.blog/ and the theme for the blog is learning to write and entrepreneurship. Of the almost 150 blogs on that site, most posts will adhere to the theme. When prospects ask for samples of my work, that is what I share- the link to my blog. It saves the trouble of searching for past written/ published works as samples.
2. Use instagram to showcase a different aspect of your writing.
Your instagram profile should link back to your blog page or your website. Use Insta to showcase your love of quotes, poems, limericks, designs and short stories. My insta page @nettledwines https://www.instagram.com/nettledwines/ showcases bits of my life, poems, short stories. The insta stories section I use to share things that have made a mark on me. The point is to feature your versatility with different types of content.
3. Keep your profile handy.
Every prospect wants your CV or your profile. Keep both ready. Share as per the requirement. The profile can also feature in your commercials. I am going to assume that you know what can be put out on a CV. Here is a snapshot of mine. I have left out some of the more personal details. I am sure it can be better; my CV is a work in progress. I prefer sharing my portfolio and have put in quite a lot of love in making it.
The portfolio or profile should cover:
a. About Me
b. Current Projects
c. Writing prowess (what all you can write)
d. Samples/ images of published works
e. Links to published content
g. Contact information
I am sharing a sample of my About Me and Writing prowess page.
4. Use your LinkedIn profile.
It helps to build digital credibility. You are now available on a blog, on instagram and have your own portfolio. It adds further to your profile if you are easily searchable on a professional social networking site. Just having a profile there doesn’t do much for you though. You have to be engaged on it too. Here’s what works and also optimises your effort-
a. Publish 3 posts a week.
b. Engage with valuable comments on other’s content. Try to keep that too to 3 times a week at least.
c. When you send out connection requests, add a note. LinkedIn gives that option even without the premium membership.
Write something small and nice, “Hi Anuradha! I am a content writer too. I loved your article on 5 must haves for great content! Would love to be connected. – <Your Name>”
It’s simple. It has a personal touch. It tells the person that you took the effort of going through their profile. Keep it short and simple.
Even if you send a connection request without a note, it will most likely be accepted. But it does nothing for your brand recall. And for God’s sake, please don’t write things like “I will be honoured if you connect with me” or “it is a privilege to know you”, unless of course it truly is. Saying it again- keep it simple and short.
Write it how you would say it.
There’s a lot that can be done on LinkedIn for your business. That’s a topic for another time though.
5. Read 2 books a month. At least.
This point needs no more clarification. If you want to keep churning out superlative content, you have to keep reading as much as you can. New thoughts flow in, new ideas come out. As simple as that.
These 5 hacks will start getting you noticed eventually. None of it is magic. It is a lot of effort.
The quality of your content will improve over time. The more your write, the faster you will improve. I also suggest that you pick up Stephen King’s On Writing and keep it handy on your desk.
Flip through it when the world looks like a bleak place. You will learn quite a bit about writing, life and bouncing back and keeping faith.
Isn’t that what freelance writing life is all about?