How I get clients...
Updated: Nov 8, 2021
For many people, the hardest part of running a business is getting others to believe in your product and part with their money. As a freelance writer, this is something I have to do literally all the time. To quote Rick Ross, everyday I'm hustlin'.
Here are my eight best methods for attracting new clients:
1. Draw people in with blogs ✍
I would be a HUGE hypocrite if I didn't use blogs in my own marketing strategy. I believe, with all my heart, that producing relevant and interesting content is the best way to attract clients.
And it's not just me who finds this to be the most effective strategy. Research shows that on average blogging brings in three times more leads than traditional marketing ... while costing 62% less. BAM!
If I'm in a tight spot... I up my blog game. Massively.
I think carefully about who my target clients are, and then I create blogs which are tailor-made for their eyes, to draw them into my website. I never make a sales pitch in a blog. Normally, after a little time, they will contact me. Which is so much classier, right?
2. Google Ads 🤳
When I'm really, really feeling the pinch, I invest around £300 in Google Ads for my business if I can afford it. It takes a while to find the right words, but when you get it right, it pays for itself. Usually after a few weeks, I switch it off because I have too much work.
In the short-term, it brings in clients - I actually got one of my biggest commissions, (biggest for me means £5,000+ worth of work) - via Google Ads.
But in the long-term, the area where Google Ads really shines is in the SEO value. It does wonders for your rankings.
3. LinkedIn 🔗
I need to be where my clients are, so that they can find me. For my customers - fintechs, scale-ups, banks, investment houses, family offices etc... LinkedIn is that place. It's like Piccadilly Circus for financial services. And I need to be there with an "open for business" sign. By being available and easy to contact on LinkedIn, it opens the door to so many opportunities.
When I first started out, the majority of people came to my site via LinkedIn. And still today, it's where most of my clients come from. Often they've been sort of low-key considering me for a few weeks. Then they see me post something relevant, and that's kind of the trigger they needed to reach out.
The blend of posting blogs and articles on LinkedIn has proved to be really successful for me. It's kind of my magic formula for getting clients.
4. Work for less / free to build exposure🌻
As a content writer, people can really sample my work. I'm not like a chocolatier or perfumery who needs to be present and in the room with you. You can fully sample my work online, wherever you are and at any time of day or night. So when I'm up against it, I give out as many "free samples" to the widest audience possible. Or in other words, I just make sure my articles are getting out there. Somehow. That my content, with my name on it, is reaching new networks and staying front of mind for existing clients.
For me, this normally means pitching to editors and publications. Even if I have to work for free, it's better than not working and will probably lead to some new clients.
5. SEO 🔝
This goes hand-in-hand with blogs. Well, to be honest, all of these tips complement each other. Getting your SEO right is so important.
6. Networking 👭
Networking is a BRILLIANT way to attract new clients. Normally I go on my own, with a little bundle of business cards. Sometimes I get them custom-made for the event.
By the time I leave, I usually have one or two people promising to call me for work. (If they actually do is a whole other thing!!)
Some people find walking into a room on your own daunting. But, you just have to get over it, and start talking to someone. Normally these things come with wine, so that helps!
I always aim for events where my dream clients will be. Sometimes I even research where they are speaking, like an actual stalker, and sign up for those talks. I'm normally the only freelance copywriter in the room, which is excellent for maximising my pool of potential clients.
7. Interview the people who you want to be your client 🎤
I kind of discovered this by accident, when I used to work on a retainer for Fintech Finance (who are some of the best people in the entire world).
Often the fintech founders I interviewed came back to me for advice on marketing or to see if I could help with blogs. And OF COURSE I COULD! 🤑
8. Ask 🙏
This is kind of a last resort for me. But sometimes you just have to ask. It's either that, or you'll go out of business.
If you already have an established network, you could ask around in general. I find it's really helpful if you have a good working relationship with well-connected people. And of course, having a really strong portfolio of five star reviews on Google My Business and LinkedIn.
...Or if you're new, you could "cold email" someone. This has a much lower success rate. But if you send a super personalised email expressing how exactly you can help the business it can work. I once got a commission for 40 articles from a wealth manager this way! (Which basically kept me financially afloat for half a year). If you're going to "cold email", a content agency is usually more receptive.
Winter is coming ...
It's a tough old world out there are the moment. To quote Eddard Stark, winter is coming. And to quote my gran, so you'd better bring a coat!
But there are opportunities too. As post-COVID companies emerge and scale-up, they need content, but they don't have in-house teams yet. As freelancers, we can be that bridge. We're in a unique position to help newbies grow with exceptional content, and be part of something great. We just need to find the clients.
I hope these strategies prove useful to someone. By sharing our knowledge, fingers crossed, we can all make it beyond Christmas in one piece! 😅🙏
Best of luck! 🤞🍀 ... And please share your own tips for attracting new clients in the comments!