Who Are Your Clients?

We spend a lot of time here at Freelance Writing Jobs talking about “where” to find potential clients. I’ve been giving this some thought and I think the first question we should be asking ourselves is “who” the potential clients are. Here’s my take on it:

Your potential clients are everyone you talk to, e-mail, IM, follow on Twitter, etc. When you pick up a magazine or a newspaper, you can find potential clients. Local businesses can give you work, as well as ones that you find when you are surfing the Internet. Once you get into the mindset the everyone you come into contact is either a potential client or can put you in touch with a potential client, your outlook will start to change. You start to see opportunities everywhere, and you will be more willing to talk to people about the services you offer.

The more you market yourself through various methods, the more your business is going to grow. If you find it hard to talk about yourself, start by doing something simple like putting your job title (“Freelance Writer”, “Professional Writer”, “Wizard of Words”, etc.) in a signature line on all of your e-mails. Include a link to your web site as well.

Go to the places where people who make up your niche market of clients hang out online. Find blogs or sites with discussion forums and join them. Start posting comments that contain helpful information, and be sure to include a link to your web site in your signature. Over time, you will become recognized as someone who is knowledgeable and generous with their knowledge and prospective clients will click on your link to find out more about you. And that is how you start to build a business with a group of loyal, repeat clients.

How would you answer the question, “Who are your clients?”






4 responses
  1. monica Avatar

    This past week I’ve started up a big self-marketing campaign doing a lot of the things you suggest – following Twitter, hanging out in forums, commenting on blogs, etc. The hardest part is being patient. Successful marketing is a slow process, but I do believe that doing it at this grassroots level is the way forward. I think you’re last paragraph nails it – give people something useful, and they will listen!

  2. Lisa Avatar

    I dunno… my clients are not the people I happen to meet, or even the people with whom I happen to interact on the web (like the folks on this site). Rather, they are either word-of-mouth connections from prior clients in publishing or non-profits (museums, universities, etc.) or they’re people I contact specifically in search of work.

    My personal sense is that going to conferences, “networking” on the web, and otherwise socializing is pleasant. But unless you by oddball chance happen to meet someone who happens to be in the market for a writer with YOUR skills RIGHT NOW – it’s not all that helpful.

    The only way to get an actual paying assignment is to be in the right place at the right time with the right skills. For me, that can sometimes means answering an ad. It sometimes means bugging old clients for new leads (know anyone who needs a grantwriter?). Or it can mean being in the same place (that is, keeping in touch) over and over again, every three months, for a year… two years… as long as NINE YEARS!

    Yup, it’s true. I kept in touch with one prospect for NINE YEARS until I finally got an assignment. And guess what? It’s a $30,000+ opportunity.

    Lisa (www.lisarudy.com)

  3. Ragnar Avatar

    Wow. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and these will serve as an inspiration. Also a freelance writer after losing my job and currently working on thesis on online freelance writing.

  4. Nochipra Avatar

    Wow, this is extremely great advice for a beginning blogger. Thanks so much. It is very useful info:)

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