If you want to launch your career in freelance writing, getting your first client should be your priority.
Along with the writing skills and the originality of your content, finding and keeping clients is the key to success in this field.
But how in the world do you find freelance writing clients if you’re naturally shy?
I’m here to tell you it’s not an issue at all – if you have the right tools and strategies?
In this article, you’re going to learn the best nitty-gritty tactics for you to find potential clients. (They work even if your cat is your best friend and talking on the phone scares you).
8 Practical Ways to Find Freelance Writing Clients for Shy People
Some freelancers earn thousands of dollars per article, and others only earn a few hundred bucks per month. Besides producing exceptional content, the difference in earnings lies in the client base.
Networking and marketing are probably the most common ways to reach out the clients, but if you are a shy person (like me), you will be reluctant to directly approach people.
So here are the step-by-step tactics that will help you find potential clients. They come in sequence to be followed from beginner to expert.
1. Search for New Clients on Google Using Specific Phrases
The easiest way to find clients is to search ‘writers wanted’ ‘write for us’ ‘submit your work’ or ‘submission guidelines’ on Google.
You can combine these searches with a specific brand (for example: vouge.com “write for us” or with other keywords such as “remote writers Minnesota”).
You will probably get your first client via this method because the competition for jobs is quite lower compared to other methods.
Most of the new freelance writers get their first job via search, so try it! Contact 100 people using this method, and you will get a gig – no actual talking required!
Just make sure you have your portfolio handy.
In a direct-approach situation, you’re not bidding against too many applicants, which is good. Sometimes you must specify your per word rates, or the price of the gig will be visible in the announcement.
You do not need to communicate face-to-face or and an actual video interview is a rarity. Few samples of related work would be enough to prove your credibility.
Here are a few best job boards to get started:
- Blogging pro
- All Freelance Writing Job Board
You can also check 50 great job boards here. You’re welcome!
Friendly Tip: Start with the free job boards. Enable Google Alerts for ‘Writers wanted’ and related keywords.
2. Find Writing Gigs on Social Media Platforms (Facebook/Twitter/LinkedIn)
Social media can be a hub spot for freelance writing clients. Many small businesses, entrepreneurs, and writing agencies post their writing jobs on specific social media platforms.
Many Facebook users share writing assignments and people contact them directly to get hired. Similarly, you will frequently see tweets asking for writing services. LinkedIn is another great platform where you can easily connect with potential clients.
Social media is a great, quick, and easy way to find freelance writing clients and to develop direct relationships with them.
Social media is a boon for shy freelance writers, as you will not be contacting people face to face and most of the comms will never escalate to a phone call.
Many freelance writers begin their careers by contacting clients on social media.
Here are a few Facebook groups and Twitter accounts to investigate for potential clients:
- Freelance Writers
- The Smart Passive Income Community
- Writers Needed
- Content Writers
- Female Digital Nomads
- Content Writer Job
- Content Marketing
- Remote Jobs, Work Anywhere – Inventive Hub
Friendly Tip: Carefully read the instructions on each board. Do not respond hastily by writing “I can do it” or “Interested” in comments.
First, read the entire post and apply as directed. If they ask to email, then email. If they ask for a DM, then DM and answer all the questions specified in the job post.
3. Join Freelance Writing Bidding Sites
Most of the advanced freelance writers recommend starting working on legit bidding sites like Upwork, Guru, and others.
These websites showcase your profile and connect you with hundreds of writing clients from around the globe.
The best thing about these sites is that they find clients for you. You just have to write a cover letter to bid for those posted jobs. No meeting, no personal contact.
Many freelance writers find long-term, well-paying clients on such sites.
Here are the best bidding sites to work with:
- Solid Gigs
Friendly Tip: Strength lies in your cover letter. Write precise, direct, and short cover letters. Focus on what they need rather than who you are. (Tips to write the best cover letter).
4. Use Cold Pitching and Build a Contact List in Google Sheets or Excel
Cold pitching is an outstanding tool to land high-paying writing gigs.
It means contacting startups, businesses, bloggers, and editors and telling them how your writing services can benefit their business.
Instead of randomly applying on different sites, search for a potential client to work for on a long-term basis and then drop a pitch to get hired.
You may find them either on social media or via direct contact with people. Once searched, draft and email and send it off to them.
Don’t hesitate, it’s just an ordinary email and may end up in one or two online or in-person meetings.
This method requires little effort, but it will be a game-changer for your writing career if succeeded.
Friendly Tip: Put all your cold pitching contacts in Google Sheets or Excel and create a mini-CRM (customer relationship management) system for yourself. It will remind you when to follow up with clients.
5. Low-key Networking
Networking with friends, families, colleagues, other writers, and writing communities may result in landing an exceptional gig for you.
It may also help you in getting the first client because someone in your close-loop may want your writing services.
Join writer’s communities, go to shared workplaces, and local business events and let people know about your services.
Visit local printing, press, publishing, web designing businesses to offer your services. These people have a list of permanent clients, and you may get a huge gig on a long-term basis.
If you are too shy to talk to people about yourself, prepare a business card and mention details about your writing services in it, along with your contact details and a link to your portfolio.
Friendly Tip: Brainstorm and make a list of people and events where you see potential writing opportunities. Make your business card simple and appealing and avoid exaggerating your skills.
6. Get Clients’ Referrals
Referrals and recommendations from clients you have already worked with are great ways to earn the trust of new clients.
This method requires you to have at least one client whom you have worked for.
Send emails to your previous clients. Ask them to share their feedback either on your website, profile, LinkedIn, or another platform.
Request them to recommend you to other people who may need your writing services.
Friendly Tip: This method of client acquisition is more effective than others, as people will trust you more on a recommendation.
7. Build Your Portfolio
Having a professional and complete website, blog, or portfolio showcasing your work and encapsulating details about your credibility is a great way to attract freelance writing clients.
Whether you are a newbie or an experienced freelance writer, an online presence is an important ingredient for your writing career.
Would you order a custom dress from a designer without seeing their samples, work history, or reviews from a previous client?
The same goes for freelance writing. People would want to see your work before hiring you.
A professionally looking writer’s portfolio with a few samples, reviews of previous clients, history of businesses you have worked for would leave a good impression on people with whom you are connecting.
Whether you are cold pitching, collaborating online, or networking offline, adding a link to your portfolio will authenticate your credibility as a writer.
A professional portfolio will also resolve communication barriers for you as a shy person.
Here is a complete guide for how and where to build your portfolio.
Friendly Tip: Optimize your portfolio or website for search engines to attract organic traffic. This will take time, but ultimately, clients will start knocking at your door (it’s a reserved writer’s dream!)
8. Do Your Homework First
You cannot earn without a client but polishing your writing skills and gaining credibility is also the key to success.
What speaks for you is your quality work, not a high-paying client. What if you find a great gig but cannot meet the requirements?
Do your homework first. Spend time sharpening your skills. Research and read blogs, B2B articles, trends in writing, and such other factors in detail.
Friendly Tip:Write as much as you can and get your samples checked by experienced freelancers or professionals. Search for the clients only if you have enough credibility to produce outstanding work.
Finding a freelance client is a difficult step in the carrier of every freelance writer, and it becomes even harder for introverted people.
It requires a lot of research and effort to get a high-paying gig. I’ve summarized practical approaches for finding freelance writing clients without too much hassle.
Starting from Google searches, moving on through bidding sites and job boards, and then gradually turning to social media, direct contacts, and in-person networking. All of this will get you high-paying, long-term potential clients. Good luck!