New to Freelance Writing? 5 Ways To Market Yourself With “No Experience”
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 7 easy ways to market the experience you thought you didn’t have.
1. Sell 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?
Did you work on particular projects that you can link to? Virtually all government, organisations and businesses will have some information somewhere that you can refer to.
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.
Even if the majority of your work experience was internal documents, you can still flesh out your role in them. And add a testimonial (see below).
2. Create a Website
This is a big one and really important. You must have a website! Just about every potential client will Google you before hiring you. That’s just a fact.
So, create a website - and if doesn’t have to be fancy - that clearly states:
What you do
Who you’ve worked with/examples of projects
How to contact you
You can see my homepage below. It’s not perfect but I’ve tried to keep it very clean, minimal and direct.
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.
That way, I demonstrate my skills in these areas rather than just talking about them.
RELATED POST: Why Every Business Needs A Blog
4. Get those testimonials
Testimonials are so, so important these days. People love a personal review or recommendation.
Get in touch with all your past employers, managers, the school principal from when you wrote their newsletter, Aunty Sue’s cousin and whoever else you may have done some work for. And get them to write you glowing, detailed testimonials that clearly state:
Their name, title and organisation
The job they hired you to do
The services you provided
Why you were awesome
Why they’d hire/recommend you
Add a Testimonial page to your website and pop them all in there, with links to their business website too. May as well share a bit of SEO juice back to their sites.
Then, get them to take it one step further and repost their review on your Google My Business page (see below), your Facebook business page, your LinkedIn profile, and any directory listing you have. Note, some directory listings allow you to repost a client’s review, as long as you have their permission.
5 star reviews go a long, long way to establishing your credibility, professionalism, capability and desirability. So, gather them up and share them far and wide!
5. Set up a Google My Business listing
Google My Business (GMB), if you haven’t heard of it, it’s a completely free Google listing. Being a Google product, it’s also often one of the first results that pops up in a search.
See below for an (incognito) search on “canberra copywriter” - 3 businesses (including mine!) with GMB listings are posted before the usual search results.
It’s easy to set up a GMB listing. Follow Google’s GMB directions and be sure to fill out your whole profile, including a professional profile picture. You’ll need a Google account or you can sign up for one.
Once set up, keep your listing up to date with regular blog posts or news updates and those 5 star testimonials.
Now is the time to jump aboard the GMB wagon, before everyone gets wise to it!
6. Get social
Being active on social media is a no brainer these days. Spend a few weeks building your brand, attracting and engaging with followers and writing out complete social media profiles.
Each of the big platforms have their own specialties, depending on the type of clients you’re targeting. LinkedIn is the professionals’ platform with all manner of businesses, government, agencies and other freelancers.
Instagram is for anyone creative and visual, as well as lots of agencies. Facebook is for personal networks and loads of great networking and business groups. Twitter is for the media outlets and lots of big organisations and digital marketing gurus.
Pick one or two to get started - I suggest LinkedIn and Facebook or Instagram. It depends where your target client base hang out. Complete your profiles fully. Yes, it’s a lot of work. But it’s necessary and will pay off in spades.
What do you struggle with when marketing your business?
About the author: Lilani Goonesena is a freelance SEO copywriter and web designer for businesses and organisations. Based in Canberra, she delivers smart, savvy SEO copywriting and professional Squarespace web design. She also writes an awesome newsletter on small business marketing, social media, blogging, web design and "all that online stuff".