How to Land Your 1st (2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th) Freelance Writing Gig

Are you excited to be a freelancer? You should be! As I’ve talked about before, I think it’s a wonderful life for many people. Hopefully, by this point, you’re already prepared. You’ve figured out what kind of freelance writing you want to do, looked into platforms, and maybe even started on your very own website. Or maybe you’ve already been a freelance writer for years but can’t find jobs/can’t seem to keep clients.

So how do you land a gig, and even more importantly, maintain the relationship with your client so they hire you again? As a freelancer of three years with many 5-star reviews, I just sort of stumbled into the magic formula that not only gets clients, but keeps them, too. And, surprisingly, it isn’t that difficult. Here are the steps I’ve found to be most important:

1. Finding the Right Job

I’ll be writing a future post that goes into this in more detail (so make sure to stay tuned for future Freelance Fridays!), but I’ll briefly touch on it now. Remember that even if you’re desperate, you don’t want to take any and every job. Take a look at all the details of a project and make sure it’s something reasonable for your time and abilities.

Also, beware of scams! Unfortunately, there are lots out there.

2. Nail Your Cover Letter

If you haven’t read the post already, go give it a glance! It tells you everything you need to have in your cover letter. Make sure it’s short, sweet, and professional yet friendly.

3. Communication

This is the most important part, so I’ve divided it into three categories.

A. Timeliness

Turn on notifications or check frequently to see if your prospective client has replied to your cover letter/proposal. Try to message back within an hour if at all possible; timeliness goes a really long way in making you stand out from others!

B. Personality

You don’t have to be a perfect, professional robot when communicating with a prospective client. I’ve found that 99% of people actually appreciate friendliness and personality! In fact, it’s one of the most common things that clients praise in my reviews. I haven’t done anything special – I’ve always just been myself, and clients appreciate the transparency!

So don’t be afraid to be cheery and kind. Most people are drawn to it and it will make you stand out!

C. Clarity

Try to be as direct, clear, and honest as possible when speaking with a prospective client. Again, they’ll appreciate it and likely do the same back!

Communication is the most important aspect when bidding for a job and keeping a client, so don’t skimp on it! Hone your communication skills and watch amazing things happen.

4. Negotiation

Don’t be afraid to negotiate when it comes to pricing and deliverables, but don’t be afraid to compromise, either. I have a set rate for my services, but I get such varying projects that I’m not afraid to raise or lower that rate depending on what’s required of me.

Be firm, but not nasty. If the client can’t pay for quality, that’s not your fault. Thank them and move on.

5. Look Over Contract Details

Always, always, always make a contract before starting a project! If the client doesn’t provide one, it’s up to you to do it, and there are plenty of great templates you can pull from online. Not agreeing on the exact terms of the project sets it all up for disaster.

Once you’ve got a contract drawn up, be sure to thoroughly discuss and look over the contract details (even if you’re the one who wrote it!).

6. Maintain the Relationship

Once you get the job, it’s not over! Make sure to keep your client updated on your progress and continue communicating well. All relationships take effort, including those with your client! And if you do put the time into maintaining that relationship, your client will likely want to hire you again and again.

What have you found gives you success with your clients? Let me know in the comments! And if you have any more questions about freelancing, be sure to check out all of my Freelance Friday posts or contact me!

Happy writing!

If you enjoyed this post, I hope you’ll consider donating to the blog, reading my stories on Vocal, and/or taking a look at my RedBubble shop so I can continue to produce free content!

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Photo by Christina @ on Unsplash

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When you write as much as I do, you have to take frequent breaks from sitting. A standing desk (not a whole desk, but a mini desk that will sit on top of my current desk with my laptop, keyboard, and mouse and extend upward) will allow me to continue working while maintaining that good blood flow to my brain. Thank you so much for your support that allows me to keep producing free content. God bless you! ♥️ E.J.


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