Until recently, the holidays were a dreadful time for me as a freelancer writer. It seemed like all the freelance writing jobs would disappear around this time of year. Leaving me broke, and having to come up with creative ideas for Christmas presents. Like this one:
Don’t do this. Trust me, there’s a better way.
The truth is, in most cases, there is more work for freelancers during the holidays.
You just have to know where to look.
First (and most overlooked)
To this day it still amazes me how many freelancers fail to follow up with previous clients.
The people you’ve worked with in the past are the ones who are the most likely to hire you again.
Big companies know this fact, but freelancers seem to ignore it.
Most companies will spend more money and effort trying to attract attention from those who have already bought something from them.
It’s just easier.
Your previous clients already know like and trust you.
That know-like-and-trust factor is a big deal. If you’ve already jumped that hurdle with a few clients you shouldn’t ignore it.
I think most freelance writers assume that their past clients will reach out to them when they need something, but that’s not true.
Like you, your clients are busy. They are trying to do other things — and around the holidays their to-do list is out of control.
They don’t have time to dig through old emails, phone calls or contacts just to find your number again.
This is simple. All you really need to do is send them a quick message. The point of this is not to try and land more work right away, but to let them know you are thinking of them.
You can call, email, text — whatever you think is best. You know your clients better than me.
I like to send a humorous email. In the email I include a funny picture that I find on Google — something relevant to the season — and a very brief message. Usually no more than one or two lines.
This is a very quick and easy way to remind old clients that you are still around.
I do this every year for Thanksgiving, New Years (and sometimes Christmas depending on how badly I need the work) and I always land at least one extra gig.
Not bad for a few minutes work.
The variety and power of Twitter still amazes me. It’s really a great platform for a lot of things. For our purposes though, we are going to be using the search feature.
You could probably do this with other social media platforms, but I find Twitter’s search to be one of the best.
Why do I like Twitter for landing new clients? Because it works.
I just landed a new client yesterday using Twitter’s search.
First, go to Twitter and login. You will see the search bar at the top. Start by typing in something like, “writer needed”.
This is kind of a broad search, so you will probably only see tweets from job boards or freelancing sites like UpWork, or Freelance.com.
These aren’t the kind of tweets you are looking for, so if that’s all you see, try another, more defined search.
You can modify your search with the topics you like to write about. For example, if you like to write about cross fit, you would try a search for something like, “Cross fit writer”.
You can also incorporate any hashtags that might be popular in the niche you want to write for.
TweetDeck is awesome for monitoring your Twitter account. I know a lot of people like Hootsuite, but it lacks some important functions I like to have, like adding people to lists.
If you don’t have TweetDeck you can signup right here. It’s totally free.
Once you are all setup with your new account, you need to create a stream.
I like have streams for all sorts of things: mentions, notifications, lists, etc. But I also like to have a stream open for any searches I’m performing. Sometimes I use this stream to help with research for my writing. Other times, I use it to watch unfolding news if there’s a major event going down.
For now, I’m going to show you how I use it to land writing gigs.
First, click on the “+” to add a new search column. Once you’ve done that, type in the terms you want TweetDeck to search for.
In the image below, I used “need blogger”. You can type in whatever you want. Just make sure that you are refining your searches well.
If you aren’t finding the kind of gigs you are looking for, try a new search with different words. For example, you might try “Need health writer”, or some variation of that.
You don’t have to use the quotes in your searches, but when you do TweetDeck pulls in tweets that fit your search exactly.
There’s also a notifications feature in TweetDeck, which is one of the main advantages to using it over Twitter.
You can set the notifications to “sound”, or “popup”. Doing this means you can work on other things while searching for new clients at the same time.
Anytime there’s a new tweet that matches your search, TweetDeck will let you know.
Land High Paying Freelance Writing Jobs
What you just read is a few of the ways I go about looking for new clients. But when I’m in a bind and need cash fast, I have an entirely different method.
If you want to learn about that method, sign up here and download my free guide.