Why do some freelancer writers have more clients than they can handle, and others struggle?
Here’s my theory: the strugglers have never learned to become proactive. They blame anything and everything (“the economy’s bad”/ “I’m shy”/ “I’m not sure I have enough talent to write”) rather than the simple fact that they’re not doing anything to bring in business.
In short, they lack a system for getting clients.
These days, with content marketing being the holy grail for millions of businesses, you have to figure that these writers are deliberately avoiding getting hired.
Here’s a secret: busy freelancers have a system for getting business, and keeping clients.
I love the system Amber Leigh Turner shares in this article, How to Create a Rating System for Freelance Prospecting:
“The reason for narrowing down your prospecting in this way is so that it does not overwhelm you and you end up doing what is called the ‘shotgun’ approach, targeting anyone and everyone just because they exist. The more you narrow down now, the better your outcome will be later.”
I admire Amber, because she’s young, and she’s already figured out how you become a successful freelancer: you go out and get business.
Literally anyone can get hired to write these days. Businesses are desperate for communicators. They’re pushing their overworked staff to write, because they need content on their websites. They need email marketing messages. They need reports, white papers and training manuals.
Last week I was at a business lunch, when a former client walked in. We chatted briefly. He’d just hired his third freelance writer in six months. I felt bad for him, because not only is he a genuinely kind person, I know he pays well, and he’s a joy to work with.
That’s the thing about freelance writers. Many are flakes. They’re unreliable. This means that if you have a work ethic, and care about your clients, you can keep them for years. They’re happy to give you whatever you want, because they need you.
You need a system to get freelance writing clients
Amber’s got a system. You can create your own. Your system can be as simple as you please, or as complex as you can make it.
One writer I know does something every day. She sends out five tweets, or she writes a guest blogging article. Or she calls five contacts she’s made at local businesses. That’s her system — do SOMETHING to get business every day. Her system is simple.
Another writer friend has a system that’s so complex I got a headache listening to him. He’s got an affiliate system for his writing business. He pays his affiliates 25% of what he makes on a project, and has eight writers working for him.
Simple or complex, your choice.
All that counts is that you have a system for bringing in freelance writing clients.
Here’s what your system does for you: it allows you to relax. You don’t have to think about where your next gig’s coming from: it’s coming from your system.
These days, even if you’re a beginning writer, you can make more money writing than you can at most day jobs. You just need a system. Become proactive.
The Web’s the best thing that ever happened to writers. Never in the history of the world has it been possible for so many people to make money spinning words. Anyone can write these days. Yes, even you. 🙂
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