How to Find Clients

On May 10, 2011, in Freelance Writing, by lesley

A long time ago I was a member of a networking group called BNI, Business Networks International. If you’ve never heard of BNI let me tell you it’s an interesting organisation and well worth checking out. The reason I mention it is because of the BNI’s motto: Givers Gain. I wasn’t thinking about that when I started on my writing career, but it has certainly turned out to be true.

So you’ve decided you want to be a writer, there’s only one problem. You don’t know how to find clients.

It should be a question of building a site, brining in traffic ,building a list, sending out a newsletter and advertising your services, but to be honest, I found  it a lot easier than that.  I got my start by offering unpaid help to someone I met on a forum.  I  noticed they were writing good information they had problems with spelling and grammar, so I asked if they’d like some help to sort it out. My help was appreciated and I went from sorting out a couple of paragraphs to sorting out a couple of chapters. My ‘client’ and I were both members of the same online forum so he posted how helpful I’d been and suggested that I set up a website as he  wanted to write me a testimonial.

There and then I set up my first WordPress blog. I set up a page advertising my services, and another one labeled testimonials and the next thing I knew I was getting private messages on the forum. It seemed everyone was hungry for help with their writing.  Then one Sunday afternoon I got a call from our resident SEO expert. He was working on a Web store which sold scrapbooking supplies, and he needed someone to write articles for an article marketing campaign. Did I know anyone who new anything about scrapbooking?

Little did he know that amongst the many brown boxes that had followed me across the Atlantic there was a heap of scrapbook albums, papers and other paraphernalia. I love scrapbooking, and so does my Mom. I was hired on the spot to write 10 articles. The fee wasn’t high, but the understanding was that in addition to payment, I would get a testimonial I could publish on my website, and so it went on. One job led to another to my surprise the clients themselves suggested increasing the amount they paid when they saw that the quality of the articles.

Once I’d built a small income, I spent some money on a course, with Erik Stafford where I learned about Twitter and began to tweet my blog posts and articles to the wider world.  Since then, the clients have mostly found me.

One of the major advantages of Twitter as a marketing tool is that you don’t have to worry about the great God Google. There’s no concern over page rank, keywords, indexing, sandboxes or even duplicate content.  (Just as well given how badly my wordpress site was set up) Twitter can bring in visitors straight away, from day one. Just a year after I started I was holding  regular webinars to help people create and reuse their own content.

So where did this current website come from? Although my original website is still running and attracting visitors I was very aware that it had been set up in a haphazard fashion. I wanted to know how it should be done so I joined Brian Johnson’s 300 Internet marketers to learn how to create an authority site, the result is what you see now.

Where will it lead? I’ve no idea, but onward and upward is my guess. I’m really enjoying the 300 course, though the work is pretty intensive, and it’s great to be able to start again, create new content and share what I’ve learned while  becoming a writer online.

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