Want to get writing jobs? Of course you do. However, you also want to get the right jobs — the jobs from clients who respect your skills, and pay you well — and on time.
Several times each week, writers contact me complaining about the jobs they’re getting, or not getting.
There’s currently a HUGE demand for writers. Businesses have discovered the benefits of the Web. Just a few years years ago, you had to educate your clients on the benefits of a Web presence. Nowadays, they know why they need Web content, no education necessary. Many businesses want content. They need it, and they’re hiring writers to produce it.
Since there are so many hungry buyers for their services, selling their skills should be a no-brainer for writers. I had to laugh the other day. Julia said: “It’s 100 monkeys time!”
She was referring to the Infinite monkey theorem , but in a sense she’s right. Buyers of writing services these days aren’t fussy. They don’t want great Web content, they just want content.
Since there are so many clients, why aren’t you getting the writing jobs you want?
There are three primary reasons.
1. You’re not marketing: no one knows you exist.
If you’re a freelance writer who’s making a reasonable income, it’s because you’re marketing yourself. If you want to increase your income: increase your marketing.
Yes, it’s really as simple as that.
When I talk to writers who aren’t getting the jobs they want, I ask them about their marketing — what they’re doing, and when. Invariably, these writers have landed some on-going gigs, which meant that they slacked off on marketing.
You shouldn’t do that. No matter how many gigs you have — even if you have a waiting list of clients, you must keep marketing. Consider huge companies like Pizza Hut, Apple, and Microsoft. Do they ever stop marketing?
Please don’t grumble that that’s all very well for giant corporations, but you’re just a single writer who’s tapping away at his keyboard in obscurity. No matter how busy you are, you can spend ten minutes a day on marketing. You just need to be consistent.
“Marketing” can be as simple as sending a short email message to someone who hired you a year ago, or adding a short post to your blog.
2. You’re not positioning yourself to get the jobs you want.
Once you’re getting writing jobs, they may not be the jobs you want. You may have collected a bunch of clients who expect you to write for peanuts. (We seem to be developing a monkey theme here… :-))
If you’re attracting those kinds of clients; there’s always a reason — that reason is your positioning. You’re promoting yourself in ways which attract those clients.
There’s only one way to get better clients, and that’s to promote yourself to the clients you want.
Many writers have never thought about which type of client they want to attract. Start thinking about that now. Then think about how you might market yourself to the clients you really want.
Don’t know what I’m talking about? Get coaching.
3. You’re not planning.
You need a cunning plan.
Since I can’t resist it, and to lighten things up, here’s Baldrick’s cunning plan…
BlackAdder is the funniest TV show ever, but I digress. You need a plan to get writing jobs.
Big tip: any plan is better than none. Spend five minutes thinking about what you want — the kinds of writing jobs you want.
Spend another five minutes roughing out a plan on an index card. You’re using an index card so that you can carry your cunning plan around with you.
It doesn’t matter what your plan is. As Helmuth von Moltke the Elder said: “no plan survives contact with the enemy.”
So sketch out a plan. Then work your plan. Revise your plan constantly. The only reason you have a plan is to keep moving. Once you’re moving, you’ll get feedback.
Once you have feedback, before you know it, not only will you be attracting the clients you want, those clients will be thrilled to hire you.
There are more great writing jobs out there than are ever advertised. Go and get them.
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