Want to make more money as a freelance writer? It’s simple: target those companies which can afford you. Too many writers target tiny businesses, or businesses which have no clue about the value of what you do. Yes, some of these businesses will “hire” you, but they can’t afford writing services. So you’ll end up writing articles for $5 or $7. This isn’t a writing career.
The following excerpt is from Freelance Writing Pro Secret: How to Get More and Better Clients Today; this program is one of our current Vanishing Guides. (It vanishes on December 3.)
Let’s think about who you want as clients. Writers often tell me that their target market (that is, the people they want to be hired by), is everyone..
This is never true.
The more clearly you can describe the businesses with which you want to work, the easier it is to get hired.
Companies are more comfortable working with writers who know their business, and the industry. This is because when someone hires you, their biggest issue is one of trust. They don’t know you. Can they trust you? Will you run off with their secrets and sell them to a competitor? The more you know about a specific industry, the more comfortable clients will be in hiring you.
Choose large companies
The biggest error I see freelance writers make, is that they target the wrong companies. They choose hairdressers and other small businesses with just a few employees. This rarely works. These small businesses don’t have the money to hire you. Moreover, they don’t really need you. A hairdresser is better off placing a classified ad in the local paper than hiring you.
On the other hand, a larger company, that is a company with more than ten employees, which has a specific need, may well be happy to hire you. (I say “ten employees” but this may not be accurate. Companies with just two partners will hire you, as long as they’re making a lot of money and can afford a professional writer.)
The bottom line is always the client’s budget. Does the client have the need for a writer, and can he afford to pay a writer well?
Which industries should you target?
As a rule of thumb, target those businesses which are spending money.
Also, choose areas in which you have some experience. It’s easier to write if you have experience in an area. For example, let’s say that your day job you work in a bank. It will be reasonably simple for you to get writing work from companies in the financial area. It would be much less easy for you to start writing for companies in health services.
On the other hand, sometimes you want to work with a company and you have no experience in their area at all. I started working with heavy equipment companies by accident — I had no experience with heavy equipment. I was writing for a real estate developer, and he gave my name to his friend who’s the CEO of a heavy equipment company. This company needed marketing collateral, and someone to write a monthly newsletter; the job just fell into my lap.
I knew nothing at all about heavy equipment, but the payment offered was great, so I made it my business to learn everything I could.
Once you get clients in an area, you’ll learn about other areas too. This happened to me. By the time I’d worked with the heavy equipment company for six months, I was happy taking on clients in local government. Between the real estate developer and the heavy equipment manufacturer, I ended up writing about local government a lot, and made contacts, so it made sense to accept clients in that area too.
The bottom line is, you need to choose a target market with which you feel comfortable working. If you have no particular experience in an area, you can set out to get experience in that particular area if you think that it will be profitable for you.
Never be shy of approaching companies, even if you have zero experience in an area. The worst that can happen is that they will say “no”, or completely ignore you.
One of your biggest assets as a writer is your curiosity, and your willingness to ask questions. If you want to work with a particular market, go for it. Research, and ask questions, and you can work with any clients with whom you choose to work.
Check out Freelance Writing Pro Secret: How to Get More and Better Clients Today, for more information on targeting, and strategy to get hired. (It vanishes on December 3.)
Join Angela on Google+, and on Twitter: @angee
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