Don’t know how to get clients?
Getting clients is hands down one of the hardest parts of being a freelancer. It can often feel like the world is against you and you’re never going to find someone who’s willing to take a chance on you.
Trust me, we’ve all been there.
We send out hundreds of emails a day offering up our services, we spend hours scouring job sites and researching brands we’d like to work with.
But there’s one simple method that so many freelancers overlook, and that’s the simple, simple, simple act of blogging.
Blogging opens your virtual doors for potential clients to walk in and browse your goods. You’re basically saying, “hey you! This is what I have to offer. Come stay a while and see if anything tickles your fancy.”
So many people are so focused on how to get clients by sending out pitch after pitch and firing off proposal after proposal that they completely forget about the badass power of blogging.
In fact, blogging is one of the quickest ways I’ve built my business over the past 15 months. Through this blog I’ve garnered a community, people to vouch for me, and a way to show that I’m an expert in my field (not to mention I now have hundreds of sample pieces to show potential clients).
Are you one of those people who doesn’t blog? Maybe you think it takes up too much time? Maybe you’re befuddled by the technical side of it all? Or maybe you just have no idea where to start?
Either way, I’m here today to show you the serious power that blogging has when it comes to landing freelance clients.
Seriously, you’re gonna wanna get in on this.
How to Get Clients by Blogging
Blogging… Boosts Your SEO Rankings
SEO. Bleurgh. Such a boring, mind-boggling piece of jargon, right? Right. Except it’s also pretty handy when you want to learn how to get clients through Google.
What is SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation, and it’s the system that Google puts in place to measure how useful an article will be when someone searches for a specific term.
Isn’t it amazing that when I type “cat cupcake recipes” into Google, I get millions of results that are tailored to my search?
This is exactly what SEO determines, and you can use blogging to get it to work in your favour.
Okay, er, I’m lost, I hear you say. And you’re absolutely right to be confused. So many marketers make SEO sound like this elusive magical unicorn that takes years of experience to harness.
This isn’t true. In fact, ANYONE can practice simple SEO and see huge results.
For example, when I first started this blog, I didn’t know much about SEO at all, but I still managed to get several articles ranking on the first page of Google for highly competitive search terms. How? Read on!
How can you “SEO” your posts? Simple: Write about what people search for.
Google has changed its algorithm umpteen times over the years, and it’s recently moved towards a system that values in-depth content on topics that people actually search for.
Writing about what your ideal client wants to read is the first step in getting your goods high on Google, but it also means you’ll attract the RIGHT kind of people who are actually interested in what you have to say and the services you have on offer (two birds, one stone an’ all).
When you’ve chosen a keyword (or phrase) that matches the awesome content you want to write for your audience, you want to include it in your post a few times (though don’t stuff it down your reader’s throat – readability over search-ability any day), in your blog post title, the URL, and a subheading within the piece (exactly like I’ve done in this post).
Whoa there. This post is in very real danger of turning into an SEO tutorial, so I encourage you to read this post if you want to get a grasp on the basics.
Blogging… Helps You Make Valuable Connections
Since I started blogging almost 4 years ago, I’ve met hundreds of awesome people from all over the world.
I’ve found online friends with similar interests, and I’ve found communities that have opened their arms to me and welcomed me with a virtual glass of champers.
Facebook groups are perfect for making connections with other bloggers in your niche, but for the most part you’ll need a blog, a) to showcase your services without being all sale-sy, and b) because, well, turning up to a blogging community without having a blog is like turning up to a puppy party without a dog.
But why do I need connections?
Having connections in your niche is the BEST way to get client referrals (which, did I mention, make up about 60% of my workload?!).
You know, people talk, and if you’re a part of that discussion you’re going to be remembered, especially if you come across as relatable, knowledgeable, and great to work with (which, of course, you are, right?!).
Basically, you want to be on people’s minds when they’re looking to hire a freelancer.
The best way to do that? Make sure you’re present in the places where they’re hanging out, asking questions, and generally networking.
Blogging… Boosts Your Standing as an Expert
If you want to know how to get clients that pay well and treat you right, you’re going to need to be an expert in something. Whether it’s travel, wellness, parenting, cupcake making, dog sitting – whatever – you need to show that you’re the go-to person for that topic.
That the client NEEDS to hire you because, well, you’re a fountain of knowledge when it comes to that topic.
You want to show them that you KNOW what you’re talking about. That you have experience in the field, and that you can do the work they’re looking for.
How do you show all of this (and more)?
Blogging helps solidify your standing as an expert in a field. For example, when I first started freelance writing, I had hundreds of articles about travel under my belt (on my blog) which I could quickly show them.
These articles proved that I was serious about travel, that I knew what I was talking about, and that I knew exactly what travel-lovers wanted to read.
Let’s take a look at some examples of other bloggers and business owners who are killing it by creating posts that cement them as experts in their field.
The Alisha Nicole offers one-on-one coaching sessions for creative business owners. But how do people know she’s going to be good? Because her blog content is awesome!
It acts as a kind of preview of the work she’ll offer, and reassures potential clients that she knows what she’s talking about and can follow through with her promises.
Kaitlyn of The Crown Fox is another great example of someone who’s creating awesome content that boosts her position as an expert in her field.
Kaitlyn does branding and web design, and her blog is an extension of this. Each post offers an in-depth look at a specific part of branding or design. Firstly, this shows potential clients that she knows what she’s doing (a.k.a. is an expert in her field), and, secondly, draws in potential clients that might be interested in her services.
A great way to maximise on brilliant content like this is to offer a call to action at the end of each post.
After you’ve laser-focused your content to attract the RIGHT kind of client (by providing them with exactly what they’re looking for), you want to subtly guide them towards your services, in an “oh look, I can help you!” kinda way.
Blogging… Gives You a Portfolio
I know a lot of you readers aren’t freelancers just yet and want to know how to get clients when you have no experience.
Blogging is PERFECT for this. Even if you haven’t worked with any clients, you can use snippets from your blog to show your writing style, or showcase how you’ve grown the social media accounts for your blog if you want to get into social media marketing – the possibilities are endless.
When I first started out, I was regularly using posts from my blog as portfolio pieces, and clients absolutely loved it. It didn’t matter that I hadn’t written to a brief, because it showed that I knew what content my readers wanted and how to present it to them.
If you plan on using your blog as a portfolio, remember to make each piece absolutely exceptional.
Make it great in every way you can, proofread it, and ask yourself whether you’ve successfully managed to get your point across in a way that’s easy to understand and relatable for your target client.
Blogging… Helps You Build a List
You’ve probably heard a LOT of talk about list building recently. It’s the new “big thing” that everyone should be doing.
For a long time, I resisted the movement, but I can now see the unrivalled value of having an awesome mailing list full of potential clients and readers who love your content.
Starting a list is simple with platforms like Mailchimp and Aweber, and you can quickly insert a form onto your blog that encourages readers to sign up and hear more from you.
What’s the point of having a list?
You might think that having a following on Twitter is simply enough, or your Facebook community is second to none. But think about it: those platforms are owned by someone else.
One day, Facebook might just decide to shut down, or Twitter’s algorithm might change. You’re at the whim of these huge corporations, and so are the connections you’ve made via them.
Having a list, on the other hand, means you have private access to your subscribers’ inboxes (a huge honour), that will never change. It’s not at the mercy of someone else.
This means you can send them even more great content that solidifies yourself as an expert, offer discounts to encourage them to come on-board with you, and build a list of people who are genuinely interested in your services (seriously valuable when things are slim pickings in your business).
Hopefully this has shown you how important having a blog is if you plan on freelancing and how to get clients with it, but it’s completely up to you what you do with your blog and how you do it.
Spend some time researching blogs in your niche that work well, and figure out what it is that makes them sing.
Once you’ve got over the fear of broadcasting yourself online, and got your head around the tricky technical side of blogging, it’s seriously one of the best ways you can reach potential clients and get them to invest in you.
How do you use your blog to direct traffic to your services? Do you have a plan for how to get clients through your blog? Share in the comments below!
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