Worried about getting freelance writing projects?
Sent half a dozen emails to get hired as a freelance writer?
Messaged multiple brands on Facebook?
So, are you interested in knowing how to get freelance clients?
First of all, don’t be ashamed of your rejections.
We all get rejected.
If your freelance writing pitch emails and messages aren’t getting any response, meaning, you’re being rejected, you need to do what I did while I was starting out as a freelance writer.
Let me remind you that it took me three years to get consistent freelance writing clients. Before that, I was working on and off.
From 2012 to 2014, I remember working on just four projects in three years. It was a dry spell.
But it’s all worth it.
I’ll share a handful of reasons to explain why your freelance writing pitch got rejected so that you could work on them and make the most of your opportunities.
1. You aren’t honing your writing skills
One of the fundamental reasons why your freelance writing pitches got rejected in the past is perhaps because you aren’t paying much attention to improving your writing skills.
The whole idea of discussing this topic came up when I ignored a freelance writing pitch myself. Some random freelance writer approached me and pitched her service.
There were more than one reasons to ignore that pitch. Firstly, the pitch was written unprofessionally. Secondly, the sentence was written inappropriately; a punctuation mark was missing after the word “hey,” then, the letter “u” was written instead of the word “you.” I could ignore the unnecessary spacing between the two words, but it didn’t seem like it was written by a professional content writer.
The benefit of honing your skill is that it starts to reflect in your communication. So don’t underestimate the power of improving your skills in freelance writing. I’m not against pitching your freelance writing service; I’m more focused on getting better at what you do.
2. You seem desperate to get a client
One of the reasons I got some of my regular clients is because I never sound desperate to get clients. Instead, I never offered my writing service to any current clients. I learned during the 2012-14 phase that if you ask for a project, you lose leverage and start to appear desperate for it. I did send lots of freelance writing pitches during that 3-year period, but later on, I stopped doing it.
What I did was that I kept on building relationships instead. I built connections with bloggers, digital marketers, and small businesses. Those relationships led me to guest posting opportunities, which put me on the pedestal. Plus, I kept on publishing content on this very blog, which played a huge role in getting clients. So a combination of putting out content through blogging and guest posting paved the way for getting regular clients.
Read Gary Vaynerchuk’s book called Jab Jab Jab, Right Hook. The idea of that book is to give, give, give, and then ask. The truth is that I started to give a little, and things started to happen without even asking. What I did was quite simple; I started being helpful to people on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. I started helping others through comments, messages, and emails. It didn’t seem like a game changer at first, but it pretty much worked like a snowball effect.
3. You aren’t hustling enough
Don’t get me wrong on this one. Instead, go and create your own definition of hustling. When I say “hustle,” I don’t necessarily mean work for 19 hours a day. Rather, I mean to say that don’t give up after 5 rejections. Maybe, the 6th attempt would take you to an incredible opportunity.
I can’t stress enough on that kind of hustling and working hard. Don’t expect amazing results without putting in the work. When you want to get into the shape, you consistently hit the gym for a year or two — you never start looking in the mirror after a week. The same goes for hard work and hustle.
Maybe, you stopped sending your freelance writing proposals because you sent to 8 blogs and you didn’t get the work. I’m not a big fan of cold emailing. Instead, I’d rather build a connection and work for free to solidify the relationship. This means I’d be willing to give my time, energy, and work to someone who respects my work and struggle. I so much believe in long-term opportunities. If your pitches are being rejected, maybe ask yourself: are you hustling enough?
Even though, my schedule is tight, meaning, I don’t have much time to take new clients, but I still try to through small jabs; I talk to others on Twitter, leave comments, and share their content.
Don’t let a few rejections demolish your journey.
4. You aren’t investing in yourself
One of the key things to succeed in blogging or freelancing is to invest in yourself. I have been investing in myself for a long time. For instance, I buy books, softwares, and subscriptions that help me learn and do my job better. In 2017, I bought the Grammarly tool, which is a grammar checking tool. This year, I bought the WPS Office, which is an alternative to MS Office softwares. I also bought Filmora‘s lifetime subscription to edit my vlogs and videos. From time to time, I spend some money on the essentials that help me improve my work.
You don’t necessarily need to buy these subscriptions and softwares, but instead, you should invest a little money on the things that would improve your craft. Maybe a course from SkillShare or a better web hosting account or some books that interest you.
This step may not seem directly related to succeeding with your freelance writing pitching, but in the grand scheme of things, these things do matter in shaping your overall posture.
5. You aren’t good at branding
A lot of freelancers who use social media to get clients are making this mistake. They use social media but they aren’t presenting themselves very well. I’ve discussed these things in my $1 eBook called How to Start Freelancing When You Have Zero Experience as well.
Don’t confuse branding with complex ideas and Facebook ads. By branding, I mean a display picture, a well-designed cover image, and your bio on social media profiles.
One of the reasons why your freelancing writing pitch has not been taken seriously is perhaps they checked your Facebook profile — your picture was missing and the cover was uncanny.
Once you start to pay attention to these small details, you’d notice its impact on the prospects’ engagement.
These were my ideas on how to stop being rejected as a freelancer. I’m sure that this blog post would make a difference in your freelancing career.
I have been doing freelance writing for the past seven years, and I can tell you from my experience that you learn something new at every stage of your career. These tips would essentially land you freelancing clients if you’re willing to work for it because I’ve seen it.
And, if I can do, anybody can do.
Do you have any suggestions for freelance writers who are just starting out and being rejected?