Whether you’re just starting out as a freelance copywriter or looking to grow your business, there comes a time when you’re ready to find more clients. For most of us, regardless of where we are in our journey, keeping the cost down when we’re ready to find more clients is definitely on the to-do list.
Yet, especially when you’re a new freelancer and have zero dollars to invest in growing your business, finding effective and free ways to find more clients is the best! Honestly? I prefer these free, organic ways. Even with paid methods, you get zero guarantees of whether you’ll get qualified clicks, calls, or leads. So, if you have money to invest in paid methods and you understand how they work, that’s great! (And no, this isn’t an “all about organic SEO” article.)
So, let’s get started – but get ready to put in the work to find more clients because no one ever said starting and running your freelance copywriting business would be easy.
5 Ways to Find More Clients As A Freelance Copywriter When You’re Dead Broke
The freelance copywriting industry is a very competitive one. It’s not easy to find clients and make money when you’re just starting out. Then when you’re up and running a time comes when you’re ready to take on more work. Sometimes that can feel like starting all over again. Yet, especially when you’re dead broke and starting out as a copywriter, how do you get a leg up and find more clients to make this work? Here are 5 ways you can work. And I do mean work. These are not “one and done” ideas. These are things you keep doing to build a business if you want to become successful. There are no overnight sensations. We work hard to get where we’re at.
Build Your Portfolio & Blog to Share Your Expertise
Start a portfolio and blog that talks about your expertise. This doesn’t need to be a purchased domain. You can use WordPress, Wix, or Weebly for your portfolio and blog. For samples, you can sign up for Medium. And if the thought of doing this online for the world to see terrifies you, I have terrible news for you about being a copywriter. The world will see what you write.
But my guess is that you know someone who is an expert in what they do and who runs a website. Maybe they’re a professional photographer, salesperson, or yoga instructor. They’re making a killing online right now and might be willing to share their knowledge with you! Or, better yet, you may have your first set of clients right there…and you need to charge them something and get permission to list them as your clients and get feedback from them.
If you’re great at starting and running blogs? You can also gain a lot of credibility by starting a blog to teach others what you know. Also, just teaching people how to set up, run, and manage WordPress in general. WordPress is definitely a skill, and I am not referring to coding.
Find a Freelance Copywriting Mentor
Find a mentor in the industry that you can talk with. If you’re really strapped for cash, reaching out to your favorite industry professionals and asking them to be your mentor can be such a great strategy to learn how to find more clients. Many will freely talk with you about how to find and approach clients. Depending on the relationship you are able to cultivate, you may be able to eventually take on their overflow work.
I am a big proponent of mentorship. However, you and the mentor must be the right fit. This isn’t a typical friendship. This is a professional relationship that both of you must be willing to devote the proper amount of time.
Reach Out to Your Target Audience
Offer low-cost intro services for non-profits or other organizations that need extra help. There are lots of nonprofits and other organizations out there that could really use your help as a copywriter. I am not talking about doing it pro-bono. No one ever said we needed to take a vow of poverty. Even nonprofits need marketing help. You don’t even need to reach out to nonprofits. You could choose whatever your target market is and start reaching out to them in a normal manner. Don’t start screaming HIRE ME!
Intro rates are good because it allows people to try out what you offer before committing. To offer this, you need to make sure you’re offering reasonable rates so that when you offer a lower rate, you’re not getting totally screwed for the work you’re performing. You also need to define what your intro rate period will be. One week? One month? Three months? Think long and hard about this.
Look for an Agency That Needs Help
I know you really want to be your own boss. And you will be. Many agencies still hire freelance copywriters. This can offer you the best of the freelance world with PT hours while you get some steady money. You still get to build your client list. Treat the agency as a client. I have an agency client and I love them. I get to work on interesting projects. I also have lots of other clients. I would never put all my eggs in one basket, but if you’re in a tough spot this can be a real sanity saver while you’re building your business. Just make sure you get paid a fair rate for your work!
Get Involved in Social Media
Use social media and get involved with conversations that you’re prospective clients are involved in. Prospective clients are constantly on social media and actively involved in conversations, so it’s important that you use platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter to help build your business. Oh, and by the way, LinkedIn has tons of freelance copywriter jobs posted for free.
Being up to date on the latest technology trends is important for everyone. If you know what’s going on in their world and what’s bothering them, it’s easier for you to know how to help them. You’re not there to constantly sell. You’re there as an expert. You’re there to talk. Make those connections on LinkedIn and Twitter. Make those conversations work for you. Share your content. PARTICIPATE…I cannot stress that enough. It’s called social media for a reason. This doesn’t mean you have to be involved in it all day. It means you’re active and people get to know you and vice versa.
The Bottom Line in Finding More Clients?
The bottom line in finding more clients is that you must really know the type or types of clients that you’re after as a copywriter, know where you can find them, know what they need from you, and know how to interact with them. It seems like a lot, especially if you feel as if your business is floundering. Stick with it. Go first and find an agency spot to fill some of the gaps while you begin working on the other ideas to network and build relationships with other clients.