Intro to Freelance Writing: Getting Clarity on Clients

If you’re going to have a successful freelance writing business, you need to know what you’ll be writing about and who you’ll be writing for. Let’s start by getting some clarity about what you’ll be offering to clients.

Though your blog can be – and usually is – part of your site, I’ve separated it so that we can start by focusing on the pages that’ll promote you to clients. We’ll look at creating blog content separately.

You’ll need a notebook or a digital document open for these activities – and don’t forget, that if you’re stuck, you can always attend one of the drop in sessions to talk things through.

Start by listening to this intro:

The Business of Writing

by Sharon Hurley Hall

Activity 1: Self-Assessment: Your career vision

Let’s start with a self-assessment on the current state of your writing skills/knowledge or your career. We’ll do this by answering three questions:

Q1: Dare to dream: when you envision your career, what does it look like?

 

Activity 2: Self-assessment: topics and knowledge

Q2. What do you want to write about/let people know about?

Q3. What do you know about? (This might be different from what interests you.)

If you are already writing, think about the topics that excite you most, and the areas you’d most like to get into.


Activity 3: Self-assessment: Your niche   

Let’s talk about niches. Some writers love them; others don’t. I’m very much a generalist, myself. But you can decide whether you want to specialize or not. Here are some resources related to niches.

First, read the articles below:

Then, answer the following question:

Q4. If you had to pick one subject to specialize in, what would it be? Why?


Activity 4: Self-assessment: Your  target audience   

By now, you’ve begun to narrow down the topics you want to write about and your overall niche. Now, it’s time to think about your client.

Q5. Who do you want to write for?

Think about who your ideal client would be.

Here are a couple of resources to help you:

Your ideal clients will also include people interested in your services.

Some ways to find them include:

  • If you’re already blogging, checking out sites that offer paid guest posts
  • Googling “guest author” and seeing which sites come up
  • checking out job boards
  • searching social media sites to see what’s available

Note that eventually you will be able to find clients through other marketing, but these provide a decent starting point.

Recap:

By now you should have a good idea of who you want to write for, what, if anything you plan to specialize in.