No Experience Freelance Writing? Here's 5 Ways To Market Yourself
This post was updated in November 2017
Struggling to get yourself out there as a freelance writer because you think you have "no experience"? Well, actually, you DO!
Everyone has some experience, in something, it’s just a matter of how you market yourself.
Here’s my cheat list of 5 easy ways to market the experience you thought you didn’t have.
1. Use your current skills and experience
What is your profession? What is your expertise? Do you have writing skills in reports, project management, newsletters etc? Can you post any of those examples to your website?
For example, did you used to write the company newsletter? Did you write grant proposals, or proof read reports, or draft real estate copy in your summer holidays? Sure, you may be aiming for a completely different niche now but you can still use these examples as proof of your writing, editing, or proofreading skills.
No idea what to write in client emails? No worries! Just copy and paste one of mine below.
Download me! Email scripts for corporate writers.
Blogs are a great way of demonstrating published work, building trust, displaying expertise and marketing yourself.
If you're not already doing so, focus your blog on your niche and only post on that. For example, my posts on this blog focus on my freelance articles, Squarespace web design, and small business strategy and marketing.
RELATED POST: Why Every Business Needs A Blog
3. Bundle your skills
Consider side fields within your niche. So, you want to be a freelance writer? That’s great but the more services you can offer clients, the more they are likely to use you.
For example, maybe your skills and passion lends itself towards graphic design, photography, copywriting, web design, email marketing, podcasting, or social media. These are all essentials for any freelance business and the more competent you are at packaging your skills, the more employable you become.
An editor, for example, may be more inclined to hire the writer that can also deliver great photos. Or a copywriter who also knows her way across the backend of a web platform or understands SEO is in a much stronger position than one who can’t.
But don’t pick them all! Choose one or two side fields that you’re passionate about.
4. Develop your online presence
Freelance online businesses need an online presence, there’s no doubt about it. And companies want to "know" who they are working with.
So, getting onto and being active with social media is essential. Spend a few weeks building your brand, attracting and engaging with followers, and writing out complete social media profiles. Yes, it’s a lot of initial work but it all goes towards building trust and confidence.
RELATED POST: Successful Small Business Marketing In 5 Easy Steps
5. Take what you need
This is the only time I’d advocate working for free - when you’re starting out and need a few runs on the board. There are a million websites that are happy to exchange your hard work for “exposure”.
Focus on what you get out of it - a few publication names to boost your portfolio. Write 1-2 articles for each and then stop. You’ve got what you need!
As well, or if you don’t like the idea of selling your soul, there’s heaps of other ways to get writing experience. For example, write an article or two for your kids’ school newsletter; volunteer at an NGO and write their media releases, grant applications and marketing materials; edit friends’ CVs, proof read and edit your cousin's website, and so on.
Put it all down on your portfolio as legitimate work. Now, you're on your way!
Help a sister out - How did you get started in your freelance writing career?
About the author: Lilani Goonesena is an Australian freelance writer, Squarespace web designer and blogger currently based in Vientiane, Laos. She loves helping freelancers and small businesses get online with web design and content, blogging and her awesome weekly newsletter on digital marketing, social media, content, SEO, web design and "all that online stuff". She also writes food and travel articles for businesses and magazines, and blogs at the delectable Eat Drink Laos, just for fun.