In this writing Wednesday episode, I go over four simple steps so you can make more money writing so you can land your dream clients and you can build that momentum to not only get started but scaled your freelance writing into a growing business.
Before we can talk about the actionable steps, it is worth mentioning that as humans when we are faced with big goals, such as stating that you are starting a freelance writing business, our brain goes into survival mode. It wants to protect you from anything that could go wrong during a new adventure and it will work hard to keep you safe. This will often lead you to procrastinate starting said business!
So the first step in becoming a successful freelance writer and landing a client, is to get over this mental hurdle. You must push through these emotions and focus on the goal you want to reach to find success as a freelance writer!
Actionable Steps to Land Your First Client
- Prepare Your Mindset
The first thing you need to do is get your mind on board! Everything starts from the inside out.
- Identify Your Writing Niche
There are two options when it comes to writing – you can be a generalist or specialist. Specializing in a niche can lead to higher income due to be the expert voice in that area.
- Ideal Client Mapping
Imagine what your ideal client looks like. Do they have a blog or online magazine? How often do they publish? If you were to write content for them, what topics would you write about?
- Create Specific Samples for Your Ideal Client
Act like you already write for that client and create samples specific to send them. Make it simple for them to say yes! This will help with your pitch, it will feel personalized (because it is) and then you can also publish these samples on your website.
Are You Ready to Start Your Freelance Writing Career?
If you are ready to take the next step and launch your freelance writing career, I would love to help you build momentum!
I still have a few spots left in my coaching program, schedule your free discovery call today!
Speaker 1: 00:04 You are listening to episode number 54 of inspire your success podcast. On today’s writing Wednesday edition, I’m going to talk about the absolute first thing you should do to start your freelance writing career so you can make it simple. Take action and start getting clients coming up.
Speaker 1: 00:25 All right. Welcome back to inspire your success. Again, this is your host, Michael Leonard and as always, appreciate you being here with me today and listening or watching on YouTube. So thank you again for the support. As I mentioned last week, we’re already over 50 episodes, so super grateful for everybody out there. And today I really wanted to keep it simple and give you some tangible action steps because the biggest thing that I’ve encountered with people that have went through my online courses and done the coaching and, and even people that I’ve just kind of consulted with in my mastermind that really want to just try, Hey, you don’t want to try this freelance writing thing out. And it dawned on me when I was having this call, uh, with a friend of mine, and it really just made me want to create this episode because there’s so many things that you can start with.
Speaker 1: 01:12 And, and I think that a lot of times people overcomplicate the process of where do I really start freelance writing? And so this is where I want to help you. I want to keep it very simple so that way you can make money writing, you can land clients and you can build that momentum. So to me, the first thing is, again, is, is the hardest thing for so many people. It’s actually picking like, well, do I create a website first? Do I go on Upwork first? Do I pick a niche? Do I pitch my network? Like people really don’t know where to start. And that’s totally understandable. So that’s why I want to talk about this because I think it’s very, very important because one thing that I’ve learned is anytime you are setting big goals, for example, starting a brand new business as a freelance writer, that can be a little bit scary for your brain because again, remember your brain is always trying to keep you safe.
Speaker 1: 02:04 If, if one thing you can always remember from the show is, I’m always going to talk about my personal development background because it’s so important because if your mind isn’t on board, you are not going to make the kind of money you can and have the success that you want in life. So the first thing is you have to understand how the brain works. So when it sees a big goal, like okay, start a freelance writing business. Not only is it, you know, seem like out of reach or you’ve never done it before, but your brain is actually thinking, Whoa, no way this is, this is going to be hard. He or she might fail. It could be embarrassing. We don’t want that. We’re going to try and keep you safe. So we’ll overwhelm you and make it feel impossible to succeed and all these things.
Speaker 1: 02:41 So it is going to try and sabotage you in the beginning. And that’s any big goal. Anytime you set big goals, that’s why your brain instantly wants to shut down is because it’s trying to keep you safe. Uh, like Tony Robbins always says, you know, the brain is made to surVive and it’s not made for you to thrive. That’s, that’s something you have to do. So first of all, understand that it’s going to be a little bit heavy sometimes and your brain’s going to want to say, Hey, you know, just do it tomorrow. I, you know, we don’t have to do this. Right? It’s always trying to keep you safe. So first off, understand that. So starting a big, big project like freelance writing will usually create those emotions for most people. From there though, it’s really all about like, okay, I’m onboard. I’m ready to do this.
Speaker 1: 03:25 Like I told myself, I’m ready to go. I’m actually taking action. And the first thing that I always recommend to my students and anyone that I consult with is to start by identifying what you want to write about, what you’re knowledgeable about and what people will pay you to write about. So figuring out your niche is very, very important. And I’ll probably have a whole nother episode on this, but if you’re unfamiliar, basically you have two options when it comes to writing. You can either do generalist writing where you just kind of write about anything and you go on job boards and listings and decided to just get started. Or you can actually have a specific niche. And that’s really how you can make a lot more money. And that’s when I saw my income really skyrocket as I became more niched down. But just to give you some ideas, like there’s so many niches out there that you never probably would think about.
Speaker 1: 04:17 Like again, I’ve gotten paid to write about personal finance money, retirement, uh, golf, digital marketing, personal development, motivation, entrepreneurship, uh, just like all kinds of stuff. But really my niche now is basically digital marketing and a lot of golf writing. And, and again, I never thought I’d get paid to write about golf. In fact, I was doing my stats for the last few years and I got paid over 40 grand the last two years to write about golf. And that’s only from a handful of clients. So just remember that you can get paid to write about all kinds of things. But again, the main thing you want to do is figure out that. So you want to spend some time really getting quiet and maybe writing in a journal or even just sitting there and talking to yourself out loud, having a conversation. Like, what could I get paid to write about?
Speaker 1: 05:07 What do I really like? What am I passionate about? What are my past jobs, past careers, what do people tell me I’m really good at Lee? Start thinking about that. That is the first thing that you should do because once you really get clear and you have some direction, it makes it a lot easier to move forward. So between getting your mind on board and then knowing what you want to write about is a great starting point. And then from there like step two of that is to really, really get specific. And what I want you to do then is imagine what your ideal client would look like. Like what kind of website or blog or online magazine do they have and start to detail that out. So once you have your niche, like let’s say for example, you know in mine it was golf so it was like, you know what, I’m really good at golf.
Speaker 1: 05:54 I played for 20 plus years. Obviously I love and love talking about it like that could work. What I always recommend to all my students and people that are just starting out is to just figure out that first client like that ideal like, man, if I got paid to write about this, like this wouldn’t even feel like work. And I think this is really, really powerful. I feel like you get a lot of good vibes, whatever you believe in out there into the universe by attracting that, by actually writing down like you know, I’m writing for X, Y, Z website. They they have this many blogs or they publish this much content each week and here’s the topics I would write about, here’s how much I would get paid. Here’s the conversations I get to have with the people over there, the editors, the CEO, whoever you’re working with, like really get down to it.
Speaker 1: 06:41 So that will help. Then step three and step three which we’re going to have a whole nother episode about and I have a few YouTube videos as well about this, which I’ll link to in the show notes, which is all about creating samples for that ideal audience. So again, I know I’m moving fast, I get excited about this stuff, but here’s again just the recap of like that three step process of first of all, identify what genre, what niche you want to start with. And again, don’t feel like this is the rest of your life and you can’t ever change. Like, that’s not the case, but we have to start somewhere, right? So step one is getting that. Step two is identifying what that client would feel like and how it would feel to work with them and what it would be like to actually write the kind of content.
Speaker 1: 07:24 Is it emails, is a blog post, is it a newsletters? Like just think about that, really get specific. And then three is to do some research and find this company or find the like-minded companies or ones that you could see yourself being a contributor, being a freelance writer for. And that leads to the final step of creating your ideal samples for those clients. Because the last thing you want to do is send a generic sample to a website that you really want to write for. So just to give you like an example, going back to when I started back in like January or February of 2018 like when I was really building my client base is I would create individual samples as if I was already a writer. So I kind of was like acting as if and if you ever heard of that as a very powerful technique to where you’re already acting like you have it, like you have the million dollars, you have the writing gig, you have the perfect health by acting as if and you’re basically getting your mind on board like which we talked about at the beginning.
Speaker 1: 08:24 So you want to create samples so that way when you send them to clients they can tell that one, you obviously understand the direction of their website or their content and two that you went above and beyond and you can just send them some random copy and paste template that you send a 10 other clients and this isn’t something that that feels like, you know a lot of people are probably going to skip it or like, Oh well I’ll just send, you know, this thing’s good enough. If you really want to stand out and you’re kind of struggling on getting that first client, this is exactly what I would do. Create custom samples for these people. Again, you can send them directly to them, then you can post them on your website. You have so many ways to repurpose them, but it’s very, very important to make sure that you are getting the best first impression with that potential client.
Speaker 1: 09:10 Because again, you only get one first impression. And if you go out there and you just send a copy and paste template doesn’t show you put any, uh, real, uh, exercise or a real, um, activity into it, it’s going to be hard for them to want to hire you. So again, I always say it almost didn’t keep it simple, make it easy for them to say yes. So hopefully that gives you a little bit more clarity on where to start, what to do. Because again, there’s a lot more that we’ll cover and there’s a whole nother piece that I’ll talk about of how to actually make quality samples and building your portfolio and stuff. But that’s the first thing that I want to talk about is again, just to do a recap, is we want to keep it simple. We want to break it down and understand your brain will try and fight you a little bit.
Speaker 1: 09:52 So start there, understand if you’re feeling some overwhelming anxiety, whatever you feel, just understand that that’s part of the process. It’s like you’re going through a little bit of turbulence, right? You just have to keep going. The next thing is is to identify your niche, figure out what you want to get paid to write about. The third thing from there is to then figure out who that ideal client is. Figure out what kind of content it would be, where it would be featured, things like that. Really write this down in a journal, talk about it into a voice note on your phone, you know, talk to your friends or family, anybody that’ll listen, like start to voice what you’re looking for into the universe. And then that final thing is to create custom samples for your ideal clients, for your ideal audience so that way you can then pitch them and find these clients and actually send them pieces that would look great already as is on their website.
Speaker 1: 10:41 So again, hopefully that makes a lot of sense. I want to give you very simple actionable steps. I don’t want this to be some, you know, 45 minute episode where you end up more confused than not. So hopefully that makes sense. Again, uh, you know, writing Wednesdays is all about freelance writing and how to start and scale your online writing business. So if you have any ideas for future episodes or things you’re really struggling with, please always email [email protected] and I might actually address your question on a future episode. So please send that your um, my way if you have any questions. And again, if anyone else that you’re looking in your network is thinking, Hey, I’d love to make money writing or I don’t know where to start or just want some more motivation, feel free to share this episode or any of them on the show with them so that way they can learn from it as well.
Speaker 1: 11:28 And finally, if you could, I would really, really appreciate it if you enjoyed this episode. Enjoy joy the show to leave a positive review on iTunes. So that way more people can find out about it because iTunes and Apple really leave a lot of impact on the number of reviews and getting that in front of more eyes and ears. So again, I really just want to impact more in 2020 and get my message out there so you and so many more people can make money online. If you have any questions, again, always let me know. And thanks again for being here. As always, I hope you have an Epic day.
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