You’ve got work out there, from articles you’ve written to finished brochures. Your blog and any other resources you’ve created for your niche also count. Promoting that work markets your skills along with it. As more people see your name attached to great writing projects, more people will have a chance to hire you. Even taking the time to do something as simple as mention a new article you have out on Twitter can generate some interest.
Using Your Social Media Skills
Posting links to the social networking sites you belong to gives you an opportunity to promote your work, as well as interesting links from other writers you network with. It’s especially worthwhile, in my opinion, to promote your own blog posts and projects on such sites (particularly if you want to build up those projects into a source of income — but that’s a whole separate series of posts!).
- Facebook lets you import blog posts, through RSS automatically. So does LinkedIn.
- You can post links to your Twitter stream — you’ll probably have to shorten them, especially if you add a description of where the link goes. I recommend bit.ly as a link shortener.
- Social bookmarking sites like Digg or StumbleUpon can help you promote your articles and posts.
- Use the same skills you’ve been relying on to promote yourself through social media to promote your work.
Don’t limit yourself to promoting work written for publications. Copy writers, technical writers and other freelancers can give their projects a few mentions — even if it’s a matter of posting to Twitter about the great experience you’ve had working for a particular client. You can also create something of a shortcut by writing a post for your blog about that brochure or grant you’ve recently completed and then promote that particular blog post.
Share Some of Your Work
Got a particularly good resource or event you want to promote? Giving away a little bit of free work can make a major difference in your reach. Write a short guest post or two for the blogs in your niche. It’s the same idea behind giving away an ebook to get some attention for your services — although writing a free ebook to promote your free ebook doesn’t make sense. Putting together a short report to create interest in an event can make sense though — even if you’re simply using reprints of articles you’ve already written.
There are also many sites that offer you the opportunity to syndicate your blog, trading free content for access to a wider readership. That sort of situation can be beneficial, but it’s not the best option for all writers. Look closely at your options before deciding one way or another.
Taking Advantage of the Attention
The more attention received by your projects (both for yourself and for your clients), the more attention your writing receives. Taking advantage of that attention, in order to land clients, can be a little harder. It requires a willingness to put yourself out there, mention that you’re accepting new clients and generally turn a vaguely interested reader into a very interested client.
The most crucial step to converting those readers into clients is to make sure they know that you’re ready to take on work. If they found you through a blog post, do you have a link or an ad on your blog that lets them know that you’re available. Many blogs seem to just offer up free content, expecting nothing in return. But, as freelance writers, we expect our readers to at least have some interest in hiring us. We have to make them aware of that option, no matter how they find us.
Do you promote the work you do for your clients? How?