I’ve spent all afternoon on your site! Great content.
I’ve done a bit of B2C copywriting, mostly related to the food industry, to be exact. I’m looking to dive into the B2B world but feel a little intimidated on where to start and how to scout and reach out to potential clients.
I like food-based products so I’m fine staying in that lane. I am comfortable translating technical topics to easy to understand language so no hesitation there. It’s more of a ‘Where do I start?’ feeling.
Can you give me guidance on how to find clients? My past client was across the country in California – I actually prefer remote! They kind of landed in my lap though.
Any advice is much appreciated! And again, great work! Thank you so much!
It’s nice to meet you. Thank you for the kind words about my website. I’m glad you found my information helpful.
Finding clients is definitely the hardest part of operating a successful freelance copywriting business. The second hardest part is figuring out how to price your services. But that’s a subject for another day.
Getting clients when you’re starting out is a challenge. If you’re like most copywriters, you would rather write than sell. Unfortunately, there’s no easy, cut-and-dry solution and guarantees that anything you try will work.
Ask any established copywriter how they got their freelance business rolling and you’ll likely get a bunch of different stories. No two paths are the same. You’ll need to forge your own, but here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Food-related Prospects — Locate some good B2B prospects online or attend some food-related trade shows. In your case, some good prospects might be nutritionists, restaurants, dietitians — food-related businesses since you have relevant samples you can share — and offer your writing services.
- Ad Agencies and Digital Marketing Firms — Find some local ad agencies and digital marketing firms and introduce yourself. Tell them your capabilities and ask that they keep you in mind for future work. You might even offer to come in and meet with them in person, which can help establish the relationship.
- Networking — Begin networking in your local area. For me, joining the local Chamber of Commerce and then some women-in-business groups was effective. I got to know the members by attending meetings and even becoming editor of the women group’s monthly newsletter. Eventually, some of them had work for me or referred friends. Services organizations like Rotary Club can also be effective. Sometimes too you can find networking groups where people meet weekly to exchange leads and ideas. They usually charge a membership fee to cover the expenses of the meeting space but you can make it back if you’re able to generate a few sales.
- Personal Contacts — Seek out friends, neighbors and family and offer to do their work cheap or free to be able to gain samples for your portfolio, references and experience.
- Your Copywriting Website — If you don’t have a website, build one. If you do have a site, continue adding content to grow your online footprint and enhance your credibility. It should have some examples of your work, any client testimonials and your photo too; people like to see who they’re working with.
- Social Media — Join some online freelance copywriter groups on LinkedIn and Facebook. You can learn a lot from other writers and have a sounding board for your ideas. I’ve also used groups on those sites to meet and hire other freelance copywriters for specific projects so there is the possibility you’ll land some gigs through them.
- Blogs — Find some food-related blogs and offer to write guest posts. Again, you’ll be gaining experience and work samples. Perhaps too, you may be able to find some blogs willing to pay you.
- Repeat Business — Go back to your California client and see if they have more work for you or can refer you to some of their contacts. And find another client in the same industry and leverage your prior experience to offer writing services to them. Also, go back to other prior employers and let them know you’re now a freelance copywriter and see if they might have a need for your services in this new capacity.
- Poorly Written Websites — Search online for websites in your niche industry. Find some that are poorly written or lacking in content. Write the businesses behind them an email tactfully offering a few recommendations for improvement and provide your pricing to execute those ideas. I recently used this technique myself with a client in the energy industry. I had just completed a job for another energy client and thought it’d be a worthwhile niche to pursue further. I found a website for a sizable company that had only a few sentences of copy on each of its pages. I made suggestions for adding information to their existing pages as well as recommended they add About Us and FAQ pages. They replied immediately and are considering my proposal.
- SEO companies — Write them an email introducing yourself. They are often in need of copywriters to produce content for their SEO clients. The pay is typically low but you can quickly build your portfolio and potentially begin raising your rates once the company becomes familiar with the quality of your work.
Those are just a few ideas to get the ball rolling on your freelance copywriting business. Don’t feel you have to do them all. Pick one or two to get started and build from there.
Remember, the people who succeed are those who don’t quit. They put in the work to see results and make incremental gains, no matter how small.
Just look for every opportunity to write, even if it’s not lucrative at first. Don’t be picky. With each job you’ll gain experience and confidence. I wish you the best of luck in your endeavors.
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