As a freelance writer, you're probably looking for easy methods to land more jobs and to increase your client list. But you're thinking, "I don't have the best pitching skills" or "I don't have hours of extra time on my hands".
Would you like a simple, 5 step process for finding and landing a project all with less than an hour's work a day?
Organizing for Efficiency
A clear mind, fresh start, and efficient work ethic can all be achieved through one thing: organization.
Email. Imagine logging into your email account at the beginning of the day to find 100 new messages, most of them being spam. If your inbox isn't systematized, it is hard to differentiate between which emails require immediate attention, which can be opened later, and which belong in the trash.
I recommend Gmail for your freelancing email client because it has a variety of apps such as Boomerang and Streak that can streamline the process to land gigs faster and track insight.
Your Workspace. Some people's minds work better with a clean, minimal workspace while others need creativity and a lot of gadgets thrown into their desk. So, look at your workspace right now. Is it distracting? Is it providing you with the peace you need to do your best work?
If you're feeling a little swamped, try placing a weekly to do list right above your computer. If you're feeling uncomfortable sitting in your chair all day, splurge on a new one - the comfort really helps to keep you motivated!
Perfecting Your Pitch
You could spend hours crafting cold emails, calling local businesses, and following up with your leads; and still not land a single project. Have a set plan in place for you to pitch your services and close the deal, all within a minimal amount of time.
One of the best ways to connect with businesses you're interested in working with is by sending a quick, personalized email letting them know who you are and what you do.
- Set a goal. For example, you may want to email 15 new businesses every week.
- Set a time. Take into consideration the best time the businesses you contact would accept your email with a smile. Setting aside a time everyday will also ensure you're focused and can provide your best attitude.
- Pick out the businesses. There's a number of ways to find businesses and publishers that would love to accept your work. If you take the time to get your name out there and truly connect with them, you're more likely to land the gig.
- Create a template. Creating a simple template and customizing it each email can save hours of unnecessary work.
- Track your insights. Using the Google apps mentioned earlier, you can easily track what kind of businesses are opening and responding to your emails. Focus more on that niche when looking for more leads.
Setting Your Deadlines
The first thing to remember is to be confident in your turnaround times. If you know it will take you longer than the deadline to complete the assignment, never keep this information to yourself.
You'll also need an easily accessible calendar of events. If you're already using Gmail, Google Calendar can work within your email to schedule deadlines, meetings, and even emails to be sent. There are also other apps like Toggl and Wunderlist that allow you to create online calendars and to-do lists. On your calendar you'll need:
Pitches - What days and times have you set aside to contact businesses?
Deadlines - You forgot that article was due yesterday! Avoid this mistake by including all your deadlines, big and small in your calendar.
Payments & Invoicing - This will help you get paid faster and never forget to invoice a client. You'll also keep track of any pending transactions that still need to be paid.
Establish a Connection
A business will always feel more contented to work with a freelancer they feel more connected to. Once you find a few publishers you want to write for, start reading and becoming active on their blogs by subscribing and commenting.
When you decide to cold email, they'll already know you as a loyal reader, building their trust in you from the start. Even if they don't respond how you'd like when you reach out, accept their feedback and use their knowledge to get helpful advice you can utilize with another publisher. They may even have networks with other blogs and publishers that could use your services.
Are you going to switch-up your work methods and have you landed more jobs by doing any of these steps? Let me know in the comments and share this article with your fans.
About the Author:
Rachel Ferris is a full-time, professional freelance writer based in Maryland. She specializes in engaging digital content that provides start-ups and small businesses with the tools they need to build their online presence. You can find more about her services at: http://bluprintbrands.com