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You want to grow your writing business, and the best way is via private clients. How do you find private clients online?
Finding private clients is one of the best ways to grow your business. While I stepped away from them for a while (I have a few long-term ones but I’m not actively seeking new ones right now), I do still highly recommend it as a way to make money writing. Right now, the revenue share model is working perfectly for me while I transition my career.
It took me some time to figure out how to find private clients to grow my business. It took even longer to find private clients who paid well. Here are the steps I took, and the steps I’ll take again if and when I choose to transition back to clients.
Use job boards
Google really is your friend.
Site owners and magazine publishers often share vacancies on job boards. You can find many of them with quick Google searches.
Some will be poor options—as many have taken to advertising with low rates or pay-per-view sites in mind—but there are also some hidden gems in there. I’ve found many of my private clients through these job boards, as well as writing sites.
I’m also connected to email alerts to various job boards, so I’ll get the announcements to me rather than going in search for them. As a freelance journalist, I’m signed up to the Gorkana alerts. As a freelance writer, I’m signed up to the FreelanceWriting.com.
Pro Blogger has a job board that has some good options. If you sign up to the Freelance Writer’s Den, you’ll also find a job board there that is well vetted to make sure the clients pay well.
Get in touch with other writers
Find out who other writers write for. This can be harder since they won’t want to give up their private clients, but it is an option.
You see, some writers will want to drop a client. It could be that they want to move on to better-paying work, but don’t want to leave a great client with nobody to write for them. So, they will look for other writers who will be interested in the work. Others just know that they’re not the right fit for their clients.
I’ve also had other writers who’ve heard of jobs and thought I’d be the perfect match. Or writers who have past clients getting in touch but they can’t take work on.
I’ve had clients ask me if I know of other writers. I’ve then got in touch with people who I think will be great matches for the sites to help them make a bit of extra money.
Networking is a powerful tool as a freelance writer. It’s one that you really need to do because you never know the opportunities it will bring.
Try out freelancing boards and sites
There are a few selling and bidding sites for freelancers. I don’t recommend these as much, but I have used them in the past. In fact, I started out on one bidding site and still have past clients who get back in touch now and then.
I’ve even built up friendships with some clients as I’ve gotten to know them. When one passed away, I was able to get in touch with his family to pass on my condolences and took some pressure off them to close down a site account we had together for work needs.
One of the freelancing sites I still sell on. It only takes up an hour of my day every day, so isn’t a big part of my freelancing life. It’s there just in case and has led to higher-paying clients who have decided to find me off the sites.
The problem with these sites is the race to the bottom in many cases. Too many writers are undercutting each other just to get work. I don’t write for peanuts!
I want to touch quickly on Fiverr. This is a site that is often recommended, but it’s also a site that clients recommend to each other to pay as little as possible for work. These clients want the world and refuse to pay for that, and then get angry when you charge your worth. I have ended up stepping completely away even though it once made me enough money to live on.
Pitch to clients yourself
This is my favorite way to find private clients. It opens you up to great paying clients but is also a trickier option.
You need to build social proof to show that you’re a great writer. It’s important to find the clients to pitch in your niche; those who will be able to afford your rates. You’ll need to set writing rates, rather than go off what the job board listings state.
I think all those downsides are worth it for the better-paying clients. In fact, I advocate this method so much.
That doesn’t mean the others are bad and you shouldn’t follow them. They have their place. I even think content mills have their place. But this is so much better if you want to make a living writing.
These are my four tips for writers to find private clients. You will be able to get work and you can grow your business.
Whare are you struggling with as a freelance writer? How do you find private clients to grow your business? Share i the comments below.