Do you have a marketing plan in place? Do you know what a marketing plan is? Have you even thought about creating a marketing plan? Let’s face it, people are not going to come to you if they don’t know you exist. How do they know that you are a freelance writer unless you let people know, you are a freelance writer. This is what a marketing plan is all about, getting known.
Depending on your financial position, marketing means wearing out some old-fashioned shoe leather, you should be passing out business cards every chance you get. In addition, you should be sending post cards, sending in press releases to the local paper, visiting businesses. Do this to let them know that you are available to write their copy, set up a blog for them, add blog content or web site content for them, write brochures, pamphlets, and anything else that would help them in their business.
Read their copy and see if you can improve it. Make something up, approach the business, and show them what you can do. You may not get an assignment, but leave your business card, you never know; they might just call you later. Visit your local Chamber of Commerce, your church, and groups or organizations you belong to. See if you can write something for them, and be sure to ask if you can put your name and may something about your business. If all they will publish is your name, do it. People will see it.
Get a second phone line with voice mail. Promptly return all calls. The same goes for e-mails. Don’t use a personal account. Create a separate account for your business. Consider getting a line for a FAX and purchase a FAX machine for your business. Even as a Solo- preneur, you’re still a business in every sense of the word. Act like it.
In the beginning, you should be spending more time promoting your business than you actually writer per day. You’re probably going to ask, what about a small town. The only difference between a small town, and a large metropolitan area is, in a small town, you have to work harder to market your services.
Many of your writing jobs that can be completed via telecommuting, this will help to some degree. Much of your work can be completed at home. That doesn’t mean you never visit a business owner face-to-face whenever possible. People like to work with someone they know, not some faceless person on the phone.
This is what marketing is all about, getting your name and face out to businesses. If you don’t have a marketing plan in place, start preparing one before you even think about your first assignment. Freelance writers need to build credibility, the only way to do that, is by letting people know you are a real person and that you are willing to work for them.
You might also consider offering to work for free, or discounted on an assignment, if they will pass your name around to other business owners. With all of the ways that things are advertised, word of mouth is still the best. Another part of a marketing plan is to know your rates.
If you live in a small town in Montana, you can’t charge a client what you might be able to get away with in Los Angeles, CA. Figure out your rate per hour, and per project.