Have you ever come across a location-specific freelance writing gig that sounded perfect, but you didn’t live anywhere near the requested area? That’s not necessarily a reason to skip the gig. Some clients are more than open to the idea of hiring freelancers outside the area, they just don’t know it yet.
Here are some tips for applying to freelance writing gigs outside of your area:
- Read the entire ad: If the client specifically requests area-specific freelance writers and mentions this in the ad, don’t apply. Should the opportunity arise later to hire freelancers outside of the area, he may remember you as someone who didn’t follow directions. There are reasons a client wants a freelancer close by, usually to attend meetings or to come into the area to give periodic progress reports. If they insist on hiring someone local, move on to the next gig.
- Be honest: Let the potential client know where you live right off the bat. For example, you can say in your cover letter, “I’m a freelance writer residing in Baltimore, Maryland…” Your client might become frustrated if he finds you to be a terrific candidate yet calls and finds out you can’t come in for an interview. Once he reads about your location he can then decide on whether or not to read further. Mention it without making it a part of your pitch. You don’t have to discuss why he should hire someone outside the area, let your pitch decide for him.
- Be convincing: Give a good pitch. Let this potential client know what you can do for him and his business. Show him how you’re perfect for the job. Make the location seem like an insignificant part of the job. Don’t bring up working at home or kids or personal stuff. Talk about why you’re the best person for the job, and you may just have a shot.
Do you ever apply for location-specific gigs outside your area? If so, how did that work for you? Share your experiences and tips with us in the comments!
First published in November 2009; updated September 2021