@@Some of my highest paying clients have come through LinkedIn.@@ A couple of times I’ve spotted these opportunities while ‘passively’ scrolling, but I’ve also had great success in reaching out directly to people who commission freelance writers. In this post I share how I landed one gig that paid $2/word.
If you’re keen to find high-paying clients on LinkedIn here is a resource I’ve created for freelance writers, content writers and copywriters. This resource has the EXACT scripts of what I said to land lucrative gigs.
How I got a $2/word writing job on LinkedIn
I’ve spent most of my freelance career writing for magazines and newspapers, but since going full time at the beginning of 2017, I’ve wanted to expand my repertoire into writing content for companies, businesses and organisations. I do think it’s possible to earn a living as a freelance feature writer, but this year I’m supporting my family of four and I really wanted some stability or predictability to my income, so I looked to get into content writing.
I have to say I had no idea how to go about getting into it. Jennifer Gregory has enormous success as a content marketing writer, but despite reading copious blog posts and listening to podcasts, I couldn’t see a clear way through. So I developed my own way.
Using LinkedIn to find writing clients
I think writers can underestimate LinkedIn and prefer Twitter or Facebook, but they are missing a great opportunity. Yes, you do have to be prepared to play the long game with LinkedIn. Sometimes connections and conversations can pay off quickly, but really it’s about developing a relationship and trust, and that takes time.
1. Google organisations in your niche
There’s a lot of talk in freelance circles about having a specific niche, but it’s something I’ve always struggled with. I can see the benefit in saying that I’m a healthcare technology writer or a food systems writer, but the truth is I’m not ready to niche-down just yet.
If you don’t have a niche, don’t panic. Pick something that you like writing about or that you have experience in, and Google that.
Initially, I drew on my background as a social worker and looked to find corporate clients in the health field.
I searched on the Internet for Australian health organisations that produced blogs or fact sheets. After about 15 minutes, I had a list of 20 organisations that produced regular content in the form of newsletters, fact sheets or blogs.
2. Go to LinkedIn armed with a list of organisations and job titles
I focused on one organisation at a time – in this case, a professional health body. I did a quick search on LinkedIn for “Organisation + Content Marketing Manager” and a name popped up.
I looked at her profile and noticed she had previously worked with friend (let’s call her Chloe Smith) who works out of the co-working space I belong to so I decided to send her an invitation to connect.
TIP: Search for people who have the ability to commission content (e.g. content managers, heads of communications, brand managers etc) via LinkedIn.
3. Send them an invitation to connect with a brief message
This is the message I sent the content marketing manager:
Hi Adele (not her real name),
My name is Lindy Alexander and I am a freelance health writer and social researcher.
I live in X (and work out of the same co-working space as Chloe Smith).
I’m just writing to see if you’d like to connect here on LinkedIn?
She accepted my invitation to connect the next day and replied with a brief:
Hi Lindy, nice to “meet” you!
4. Once they accept your invitation ask whether the organisation uses freelance writers
I wrote back and queried whether the health organisation ever used freelance writers to create any of their web content.
She responded saying they didn’t, but she’d get in touch if anything came up. She also asked for samples of my work, which I sent her. Of course, I appreciated her reply but knew that this was not an immediate opportunity for work.
TIP: Send an invitation to connect and query whether they use freelance writers and demonstrate that you know the kind of content they produce or may be looking for.
5. Repeat the process – multiple times
I kept reaching out to people who have the ability to commission content (e.g. content managers, heads of communications, brand managers etc) via LinkedIn and sent them a message much like the one I sent Adele. I think I’ve sent out about 50 messages like this one.
6. Don’t be disheartened – this takes time
I didn’t hear from Adele for five months, until I got a message from her asking if I would be available to write a 1000 word fact sheet. The rate was over $2000.
That’s a word rate of more than $2/word.
Writing is a numbers game. @@Don’t just send out one invitation to someone on LinkedIn and expect to get a job from it@@ – you have to integrate this as part of your daily, weekly or monthly marketing efforts.
7. Once you’ve found the right people via LinkedIn, there are tools you can use to email them directly
While I use LinkedIn to find the right people to contact for corporate and content writing opportunities, I have actually started reaching out to them via their email. If we are already connected I download their email address and if we are not, I use a Hunter extension to source their email address.
Do you use LinkedIn to find clients? What strategies do you use?