I was right.
no-one else will. That’s one of the big lessons I’ve learned in 10 years of
freelancing and nearly 30 years of writing. One thing many writers struggle
with is getting clients to see the value they bring. Here are some tips on how
to do that.
1. Show Them the Science
professionals to create content pays dividends for business. Content is key not
just for sales, but for engaging and retaining customers and producing engaging
content remains a top challenge for marketers and the businesses they serve.
them near the end of my services page) and you can start to make the
case for the value of good writing. A good starting point for stats you can use
is the Content Marketing Institute, especially their latest B2B marketing and B2C marketing reports.
2. Highlight the Benefits
that I also include some of the overall benefits to customers of using
professional writers. Everyone wants to look good to their customers. If you
can help them to do that, you’re a valuable resource and worth the rates you
charge. Whether you’re helping your clients create trusted information or
improve their site’s search ranking, that has a value to them in terms of
authority and sales.
3. Be Visible Online (and Offline)
your own online space where you can showcase your work. But that’s not all you
need. You need to be wherever clients are searching for you. Depending on the
client, they could find you on social media, via a Google search or via a
content distribution site.
sure you share anything you are particularly proud of in multiple places. If
you find out that a particular piece of writing has performed well, share the
stats and the writing again. And keep an eye on social proof – search for your
authored content on Buzzsumo
to see what’s got the most attention, then take a screenshot and
Sharing all authored content on social media as a
matter of course.
Sharing selected pieces of content on LinkedIn, both to
your profile and within relevant groups.
Creating a Pinterest portfolio board (here’s one of mine).
Adding content to a portfolio site like Contently,
PressFolios, Clippings.me or another similar site. Laura Spencer shares some of
the options in an article on her Writing
Getting and displaying testimonials, recommendations –
even positive tweets (use this guide to embed them on your
testimonials page). This is more social proof that highlights your value.
Sharing your best work on your own website. I do a
regular-ish roundup post which gives me one place to send
potential clients to see my work.
for a spread which gives clients a snapshot of the type and quality of writing
you can do.
clients from the local community, attend events where you can give out
information about your services. I’ve found it useful to create a one-page
sheet which briefly describes my background, key clients, key metrics and
writing services. It’s a conversation-opener which has brought me a few clients
in the past.
4. Set Limits and Expectations
little bit of scarcity. In other words, don’t be available all the time. This
might seem like a scary concept when you start out in freelancing and want
every job, but if you are always available, clients will run rings round you,
plus it’s a one-way ticket to burnout.
have other things to do with our time, so we have to make time for those
things. Here’s how I did it:
I started out by no longer being available on weekends.
Then I began limiting my working hours to school hours.
I also gave myself at least a week’s lead time for each
Then I blocked out time each week to work on my writing
Then I started putting external events that were
important to me in the calendar FIRST, and building writing time around that.
“no” or “not right now” to clients, but I’ve found that
most of them are willing to wait for quality, even if the wait stretches to a
offered to triple my usual rate if he could jump ahead of the line. I had to
explain that it wouldn’t be good business to treat my existing clients that
way. After all, he wouldn’t like it if I did that to him as soon as someone
threw more money at me.
5. Create a Pricing Baseline
ballpark figure to work with. I do this by putting guide prices on my site.
(The word “guide” is important, as it gives me leeway to adjust my
estimates for different types of writing jobs.) I know not everyone does this,
but for me, it’s got rid of the time wasters. By the time clients approach me
via my website, I know they have seen the prices, and that starts the
conversation at a different baseline.
seeing you as a hack for hire to a valued partner. What would being valued by
clients look like for you?
freelance writer and blogger. Her career has spanned more than 25 years,
including stints as a journalist, university lecturer and ghost writer. To work with Sharon, visit her website or connect with her on Twitter @SHurleyHall.