If you organize your freelance writing job search you’ll know what sort of followup, if any, you need to do.
The first step in organizing your freelance writing job search is knowing what kind of gigs you’re looking for. It’s simply not enough to say you’re looking for any sort of writing job – you need to be specific so you don’t just flail around as you look for writing work.
You could think of this definition as your writing niche. It helps to know when you’re looking if you like blogging or writing white papers or stories about child rearing or your favorite pets. Probably you’ll want at least a couple of subjects as well as a couple areas you like to write in – articles, posts, first person essays, interviews, etc.
You do this so you can target your search efficiently. It’s a way to help maximize both your time and your income.
Once you know what sort of freelance writing jobs you’re looking for, you can begin to organize your search.
How often should you look for freelance writing jobs?
Searching for freelance writing jobs is actually part of your marketing. How frequently you should look depends on many things, including your area of expertise and the type of writing you’re doing.
It certainly won’t hurt to look daily or two or three times a week provided you’ve got it down to a system that doesn’t take a ton of time. I have four or five sites bookmarked. I took them n from my freelance writing job list and I run through them at least a couple of times a week. I’ve also set up a couple of notifications via LinkedIN that send me info on possible gigs.
My goal is to find the gems that fit me perfectly and to avoid the problems associated with having only one or two clients. It takes me 10-20 minutes or so to run through the lists and if there’s something I’m interested in, maybe another 15 minutes to craft and email a response. I get hired often enough using this approach to keep working at it.
I make absolutely no effort to keep track of the ads I respond to until and unless I get a response indicating interest. When I respond to that interest, I keep a copy of the email I sent and note on my calendar when to followup. I’ll send maybe two followup emails before I drop them as a potential client even if they responded.
If they call me and I don’t remember which ad I responded to I just ask them to refresh me on what they need.
Working with agencies
Yes, there are times when you may find yourself working with an agency of one sort or another. For example, there are companies out there that put book ghostwriters together with people who want to have books written. There are agencies for other kinds of writing too.
Be sure you understand all the terms the agency uses before you agree to write for them. Then it’s mostly a waiting game. Out of the blue you may get a call that will end up in a paid writing job for you. It helps to keep agencies updated every year, give or take. And, of course, you need to return their phone calls. If you get hired and they like your work you may very well get more offers from them.
Cold calling/cold email
Using cold calling and/or cold emailing for your freelance writing job search is a way many successful writers find clients. Creating a data base of potential clients, tracking the calls you make and the followup necessary can be done on 3 x 5 cards. Dividers with the day or date can help you use them as a tickler file.
A content management system on computer will make your life a whole lot easier. There are many that offer a free trial and at least two that are free to use up to several thousand customers. I particularly liked the look of insightly and ZOHO.
You need to be able to enter potential customers info, and track your leads in a way that keeps them from falling through the cracks. A good cms or crm system will let you do that.
When it comes to networking, keep track of the contacts you made and making sure you followup is the key. If you come home from a networking evening, make sure you capture the information on the business cards you collected plus any information that you remember or that got scribbled on the back. You then need a plan to followup. It could be phone calls, emails or even postcards or snail-mailed notes. And you’ll need to followup again and again. Another reason an cms or crm system can be such a help.
Referrals can be like finding gold. When a satisfied customer tells someone else about you and that person calls or emails you, you’ve got a great chance at landing a new customer. Often they will want to hire you right away, but sometimes they plan on using you in weeks or months. Make sure you’ve got their contact info, including when they first contacted you and how they found you. Then followup as needed.
Don’t forget to contact the person who referred them and give them a big thank you.
How do you track your freelance writing job search?
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Write well and often,