My secret for landing more freelance writing gigs

Alexis hoped that watching her phone would make it ring.

Alexis hoped that watching her phone would make it ring.

 

A few people have emailed me in recent weeks, asking how to land  more copywriting clients. So I thought I’d share my secret.

You have to guess, though…

It’s warm.

It smells good.

It can get you all jittery.

You can have it in many different ways.

Have you guessed yet?

It’s…

A cup of coffee!

 

Why coffee?

Being a writer, I’m not especially extroverted and so I’m not a fan of picking up the phone. My phone conversations never seem entirely genuine and I find I build better rapport in person (or via email) than over the phone.

When I wanted to break into full-time freelancing, I realised I’d have to be proactive. Out of respect to my then-employer, I didn’t want to set up a website and market my services while I was still writing and editing for them.

So I scoured the net and found three dynamic business owners whose work I loved. I sent them each a quick email of introduction and offered to buy them a coffee. That was it. There was no commitment on either side to work together. All they had to do was show up, and all I had to do was fork out a few bucks for a brew.

Over coffee, the conversation flowed, I showed samples of my work and we walked away with an agreement to do business. Of course, I went to the meeting armed with an understanding of their business and content needs (garnered from a quick look at their website). But I could have done the same pitch over the phone and probably wouldn’t have achieved such a great result.

I still write for those clients and have scored multiple jobs (and referrals) from all of them. Simply by buying one – well, three – cappuccinos.

 

Put it into practice

Here’s your homework: get online and find a few businesses in your niche that resonate with you. Send them an email introducing yourself, mention that you would like to help them improve their content/copy and ask to buy them a coffee.

It might not become your secret for landing more freelance writing gigs, but it’s worth a shot. Who knows, it might just be the best thing  you did to kick-start your writing business.

 

What’s your secret for getting more work? We won’t tell anyone…promise!

Kat Tate Kat Tate (22 Posts)

Kat is the founder of Sheelance.com and chief word nerd at Kat Tate Copywriting. She is happiest when crafting clear, compelling content for business websites, or writing about health and travel for magazines. Before jumping into freelancing full-time, Kat enjoyed a colourful career as a journalist, PR consultant, online editor and professional organiser.


Kat Tate

Kat Tate

Kat is the founder of Sheelance.com and chief word nerd at Kat Tate Copywriting. She is happiest when crafting clear, compelling content for business websites, or writing about health and travel for magazines. Before jumping into freelancing full-time, Kat enjoyed a colourful career as a journalist, PR consultant, online editor and professional organiser.

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  • http://twitter.com/TashWord Tash Hughes

    Like you, Kat, I’m not at my best over the phone either, but I haven’t tried your technique. I like the idea of it though – and even if it doesn’t result in work straight away, I think it could be of benefit.

    • sheelance

      Give it a go, Tash. I’d be keen to hear if it works for you! I’ve formed some great new networks out of it. – Kat