Creative Places to Find Clients

There are a lot of places to find clients but the well-known places are competitive. Since I like avoiding hustle whenever possible (unless, you know, I need clients YESTERDAY) I like looking in less-obvious places for freelance work. Part of me wants to keep these creative places a secret so I’ll be the only one who knows about them but a bigger part of me wants to help other freelancers find work so here we go. Maybe there’s a new idea or two in here for you today.

creative places to find clients

Creative places to find clients

Places to find clients idea #1: From your day job

While this is an awesome place to find clients you do need to pay attention to your company’s privacy policy and it’s better if you keep your boss in the loop with any outside-of-work relationships you have with work affiliates. Assuming everything is above board and your freelance work happens outside of your day job, doing some side gig stuff with people you interact with every day makes a lot of sense. On a professional level they know, like, and trust you as you do them. And you already know you can work well together. You just need to keep the boundaries in tact so you don’t overstep in either direction.

Places to find clients idea #2: From your family and friends

I’ve mentioned this before (the best way to let people know you’re available for freelance work is by telling them you’re available for freelance work) but it’s one of those sort of awkward things so I want to mention it again. What you don’t want is to bug your friends and family and have them throw pity work at you. You also don’t want them to assume since they’re your friends and family you’ll work for a massive discount (or for free). So how do you create an environment where your friends and family know you’re available for freelance work and are happy to pay you for it? Now, that is the finesse of it. Everyone will find her own balance so the takeaway here is to put yourself out there and let people know you’re available.

Places to find clients idea #3: From places you’re a client

This is another time where you’ll need to tread with care and be sensitive to appropriate timing but there’s nothing wrong with mentioning you’re a freelancer while engaging in small talk and allowing the conversation to go where it may. I’ve had many experiences where I’m asked to leave my card behind or picked up the odd client from a place where I’m a client. I love it! Of course you’re not becoming a client in order to find clients…that’s not a hustle I’d recommend, but if it happens organically…awesome!

Places to find clients idea #4: From guest blogging

Guest blogging, guest writing (whatever), is an interesting beast. If you look around the Internet for long enough you’ll see a wide variety of opinions and teachings on why you should do guest blogging, why you shouldn’t do guest blogging, why you should never write for free, why you should write for free sometimes, etc. etc. etc. I’m not here to talk about any of that. I think you should figure out what is going to move the needle forward and then do it with abandon. Anyway, got a little off topic there. If you get into guest blogging and are choosing good partners, this could turn into a writer-client relationship. Honest! I’ve seen it happen! So keep building into your relationships!

Places to find clients idea #5: From partnerships

This idea launches from the last one—build relationships with others and form mutually-beneficial relationships. This could be an agency, a freelancer with complimentary skills, or a local business. The big idea is you share clients. No you don’t get 100 per cent of the pay but you also don’t have to do 100 per cent of the work and in some cases this is an awesome arrangement.

Places to find clients idea #6: From local events/workshops

Something I’ve noticed about freelancers is they’re out in the community a lot. Working freelance has them attending events, observing meetings, and talking to a lot of different people. So what about throwing a little extra networking in while you’re already out? Do what you’re there to do but also mention you’re a freelance writer and if it makes sense, mention you’re available for hire or pass out a business card or two.

This last point is extra exciting to me these days because I’m in the midst of building a workshop for freelancers, which developed from a pre-existing relationship, turned into a partnership and is now a collaboration. Wow. When we began building these relationships this workshop was not even a dream. And yet, here we are.

There are a lot of places to find clients but the well-known places are competitive. Since I like avoiding hustle whenever possible (unless, you know, I need clients YESTERDAY) I like looking in less-obvious places for freelance work. Part of me wants to keep these creative places a secret so I'll be the only one who knows about them but a bigger part of me wants to help other freelancers find work so here we go. Maybe there's a new idea or two in here for you today.

I hope I’ve given you a few new ideas to try here. Remember, marketing is a long game and it’s something you sprinkle into every day—while you’re busy doing other things. If you want some more tips and tricks you’ll enjoy my article on learning how to rock your marketing even when you don’t have time for marketing.

Networking Tips for Introverted Writers

Are you an introvert? Are you a writer? Do you know you need social skills in order to grow your business? Me too. Here are some of my favourite networking tips for introverted writers.

networking tips for introverted writers

In November 2017, Jon Acuff stirred the introvert pot when he Tweeted “Is an introvert really an introvert if they won’t stop telling you they’re an introvert?” It was a weird thing to say but I guess he was trying to be funny about it. If you’re an introvert you understand this is a basic misunderstanding of what an introvert is.

Part of the problem is there’s a dictionary definition for introverts saying they’re shy. But it’s not that.

Introverts have these basic tendencies.

  • They enjoy alone time
  • They think best when they’re alone
  • They wait to be asked for their opinion
  • They start shutting down after too much time out
  • They are often called “too intense”
  • They find small talk cumbersome
  • Being in front of a crowd is less daunting than mingling with those people afterwards
  • They feel like phoneys when they network

The last three points are the ones I’m interested in today. How on earth do you network in a way that’s true to you when you hate small talk, making small talk with acquaintances is your worst nightmare, and you feel like a huge fake when you drag yourself out and do networking events?

Here are a few strategies I’ve implemented for not just surviving networking events but coming out of them with new relationships, clients, and boosted business skills.

Networking tips for introverted writers

Set mini goals

Networking events are overwhelming but I’ve learned to manage my stress and anxiety by setting mini goals to help me feel like I had a successful outing. Here are a few I’ve used in the past.

  • Introduce myself to one new person
  • Collect three business cards
  • Explain what I do to one person using my elevator pitch

I love mini goals because the MOMENT I achieve it all the pressure is off and I can go back to being a wallflower. Because I did what I came there to do.

Be a helper

I love learning and I love attending conferences. However, the networking and being around people part is tricky. Here’s how I turn things around: I volunteer. It gives me a purpose. When I have a purpose then speaking to people I don’t know is EASY. In fact, it’s fun.

Prepare ahead of time

Sometimes there are people-intensive things you just have to do. The best way I’ve learned to succeed in these times is to be over prepared. I research my location, the people I’ll be meeting with, the places I can retreat if I need some space. By being prepared I don’t have to worry about what to expect…I already know.

Bring a friend

This sometimes feels like a cop out but if you have an extroverted friend who loves networking events…why not ask him/her to be your plus one? You can’t use this as an excuse to stick to your friend all night but you can allow them to take the lead and help you network at your event. I’ve found this useful, especially when I’m attending media events.

Work out your anecdotes ahead of time

OK, this may feel silly and don’t go so far as writing them out on index cards unless you have to. But what if you prepared in advance for small talk? Think of opening lines, a few projects you’re working on, and some questions you can ask people you meet. When you have it worked out ahead of time you won’t stress when you’re in the moment, panicking because you know you need to say something but you have no idea what would be appropriate.

Plan an exit strategy

This can be a strategy to get out of a conversation or a strategy to get out of the event altogether. Think through what you’ll say or do so you don’t come off as rude or abrupt. “Powdering your nose” is one of those strategies, by the way, although I’ve never been brave enough to use it.

Remember, no one cares about you

Yeah, maybe that’s not very nice but it’s true! Everyone else at your networking event is just as wrapped up in him/herself as you are. Let this truth SET YOU FREE and relax.

Many introverts are drawn to writing as it's (in it's purest form) an isolated career path. Along the path of my freelance writing journey I've learned a few strategies for networking and doing the people stuff even when it's not a natural skill for me. Maybe one of these will work for you.

Many introverts are drawn to writing as it’s—in it’s purest form—an isolated career path. Also introverts find self-expression easier with a pen than their vocal chords.

However, when you’re a freelance writer there’s all this…people stuff. So much people stuff. And it’s important if you want to do anything with your career like grow it. Or get clients. Along the path of my freelance writing journey these are some of the strategies I’ve created for networking and doing the people stuff even when it’s not a natural skill for me. Maybe one of these will work for you.

Do you have any networking tips for introverted writers? I know this can’t be the only ideas out there and I’m always looking for new ways to get better at this skill.

Get More Clients Fast With These 7 Ideas

What do you do when you need clients NOW? How do you get more clients fast? These are the ultimate questions and when you’re in this position, you don’t have time to try things that “might” work. You need it to work. Now. Get more clients fast with these seven ideas. I can’t guarantee they’ll work, but they’ve worked for me so at least it’s a starting point.

get more clients fast

Let’s dive right in: ideas to get more clients fast

  1. Reach out to your long-lost clients
  2. This tip only works if you’ve had clients before, but assuming you have this is an excellent place to start. If you haven’t worked with a client for a couple months you can classify them as “cold” and they qualify for this tactic. Go through your cold clients and send them an email asking how their project/magazine/website/etc. is going and if there’s anything you can help them with.

    If you had positive experiences with clients in the past and they didn’t call you back for more, it may not be because they don’t like you or don’t have work. Sometimes they’re too busy to reach out…sometimes they don’t think of you…sometimes they have a project but haven’t got to letting you know about it yet.

    Do it!!!

  3. Ask for referrals
  4. Do it! Yeah it’s awkward, get over it and ask your current clients if they have any colleagues who could use your services. Tell them you’re looking to add a few more clients to your roster. Either they’ll tell you they don’t know anyone, they’ll give you a couple leads, or they’ll give you more work themselves. THIS WORKS!

  5. Tell your network you’re open for business
  6. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the best way to let people know you’re available is by saying you’re available. Mine your friends and family list for referrals. Remember, you NEED clients NOW. You’re in a spot. Lay it out in an interesting, polite way so it’s easy for them to think of you when they hear about someone looking for a writer.

  7. Run an ad
  8. I have a friend who does this and swears by it. Whenever she’s looking for a couple more clients she runs a Facebook ad for a week or two to a super-duper targeted audience and gets her money back tenfold. You have to know what you’re doing, and target the right audience, but this can and does work.

  9. Apply to job board postings
  10. Yes there are horror stories from job boards. Yes I would say you don’t get the strongest clients from job boards. However, you’re in a situation where you need clients now and job boards are filled with businesses looking for people just like you. You’ll have to look hard and put out a lot of inquiries but you’ll find clients.

    Here are a few suggestions for job boards I’ve found good.

  11. Do a Twitter search
  12. This is going to blow your mind.

    Using a Twitter search you’ll find real-time tweets from businesses looking for writers. Here are a few searches you can try.

    • #writerwanted
    • #ghostwriter
    • #hiring #writer

    I’ve connected with quite a few awesome clients through Twitter so I’m a fan of this one to say the least!

  13. Write guest posts
  14. I should qualify this with write paid guest posts. Writing free ones is a good long-term strategy but doesn’t work when you need clients now. Different goals.

    There are lots of websites and blogs that pay for content although there’s no set rate. But if you need cashflow…this is one way to get ‘er done. You’ll have to do the pitching so get ready to hustle.

So? Did you get some great new ideas to get clients fast?

These are emergency strategies for when you’re in panic mode and need clients quick. Even people with the best referral programs and ongoing marketing strategies run into this from time-to-time (but…not as much).

>What do you do when you need clients NOW? How do you get more clients fast? These are the ultimate questions and when you're in this position, you don't have time to try things that "might" work. You need it to work. Now. Get more clients fast with these seven ideas. I can't guarantee they'll work, but they've worked for me so at least it's a starting point.

While these are all effective I’ll encourage you not to rely on them strategies as your entire freelance approach—you will burn out! Too much hustle is unsustainable. Plus you’ll be hustling so much you may not find time to do the work!


Oh, and here’s something fun I’ve been working on. What kind of blogger are you…the ULTIMATE question! (This is just for fun.)

How to Write an Elevator Pitch

Elevator speech. Elevator statement. Elevator pitch.

Why are we on an elevator all the time? The phrase came from the idea you need to figure out a way to explain what you do, who you serve, and what makes you different in the time it would take to ride an elevator. It’s a short, compelling sales pitch. So, how do you write an elevator pitch?

how to write an elevator pitch

We know how our writing can help others but our potential clients don’t. If they understood the writing craft then they probably wouldn’t need a writer. It’s a classic conundrum. We can get so wrapped up in our writing world we forget that those not in our world don’t understand what we do or why it matters. It’s our job to educate them. This is where the elevator pitch comes in.

I know, how can you explain all the facets of your writing business in a way that both makes sense and persuades someone to hire you? How can you craft a pitch that not only positions you as an expert but convinces the listener you’re the right person to deliver the solution he or she wants? (Yes, this is the hard part.)

Telling people “I’m a writer,” is great but it’s vague. What do you write? How do you make money? Who reads what you write? See what I mean? Think about what you do and then think about explaining it to someone who has no clue about your industry—maybe your grandmother or someone in an unrelated field. How would you describe the service you provide?

Break it down

Before we write the pitch let’s answer these questions:

  • Who do you help (in an ideal world)
  • What problem are you solving
  • What is your solution?

Who do you help?

When I first went through this process I realized I couldn’t be a generalist and “help everyone with their writing stuff.” I needed to zero in on an audience/group. It took some soul searching, but I recognized I had a passion for helping new/emerging writers learn how to make money from their writing and helping established writers market themselves. Yeah, I know. Specific. Scary stuff, right?

Except it’s not scary. It doesn’t mean I can’t help non-writers with writing (I do it all the time), it just means I have an ideal client who I focus on the most.

In the end I found the easiest way to write an elevator pitch was by filling in the blank. Here are two formulas I found helpful.

How to write an elevator pitch example ONE

The biggest problem my audience has is _________________ and I can solve this problem by (showing them, giving them, etc.) ___________________, which will allow them to ________________ and that really speaks to their desire to ________________.

I found this over on Zach Spuckler’s site in a freebie called Your First Course Playbook. I have no idea if it’s still kicking around but I thought it was a good exercise.

How to write an elevator pitch example TWO

I help _________________ (target population) with/gain/develop _________________ (problem) by delivering _________________ (your solution).

This is from a six-week coaching program I did last summer called Simplify Your Social Media and Spark Your Sales. It isn’t being offered anymore but if it ever is again I will let you know. I LOVED every second of it and ran through it a few times after the initial course. I like how simple this sentence is and I found I could narrow my gaze enough to commit to an elevator pitch.

Elevator speech. Elevator statement. Elevator pitch. Why are we on an elevator all the time? The phrase came from the idea you need to figure out a way to explain what you do, who you serve, and what makes you different in the time it would take to ride an elevator. It's a short, compelling sales pitch. So, how do you write an elevator pitch?

OK, so that’s how you write an elevator pitch. Want to take things to the next level? Here are five tips for optimizing your social media profiles. Better yet, you can have it as a free PDF download. Just fill in the form below!

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Rock Your Marketing (Even if You’re too Busy for Marketing)

Freelance writers are business owners, busy business owners. And many of us lack the time to work on our business because we’re always working in it for our clients. Blogs, social media posts, and marketing in general fall by the wayside in favour of the now money. But what about later? Do you go back to hustling when the gigs dry up? Do you stockpile your rainy day fund in case there’s no work for a while? What if you could rock your marketing while you’re busy so you stop having dry spells? (Spoiler: You can, and I’ll tell you how.)

Rock your marketing

But first a story.

I’m part of a bi-monthly marketing challenge in one of my professional networking groups and the most interesting parts of the challenge is how many people “sit this one out” citing they have a full client load so they don’t need marketing.

What? You’re too busy for marketing!?

This is difficult to hear. Because this tells me you’re not thinking about the long game, you’re focusing on the here and now. And you should, don’t get me wrong, but it can’t be all you focus on.

Here’s what no marketing plan gets you

  • Scattered, inconsistent presentation in front of potential clients
  • Random posts and self-promotions on social media
  • Irregular networking (in person, virtual networking groups, bi-monthly marketing challenges…)
  • Unfamiliarity with competitors’ strategies

Oh, and no new clients. Unless you’re so busy month after month that you’re turning away new clients, you need marketing. Even when you’re too busy for marketing.

So, how do I rock my marketing even if I’m too busy for marketing?

I’m glad you asked. Since we’re at the beginning stages of this conversation I’m not going to ask you to do new things…yet. Right now let’s focus on what you’re already doing and sprinkle in some focused marketing. Getting it going is the first step.

Rock your marketing with these three tips

First, think about the content you put out on social media right now

Be honest. When you post something on social media, what is it about? Personal? Photos of your weekend? Political memes? Food? Is anything you post related to your business or how you serve your clients?

If you’re going to rock your marketing, I challenge you to consider your social media platforms places where you can attract new clients and brand yourself rather than something separate. Who is your ideal client? How can you help him/her today? How can what you post be useful in moving him/her ahead? How can you inspire someone? (Need help? Here’s your five-step social media strategy for freelance writers.)

Second, carve out time to connect with your ideal clients or colleagues

And no, this does not mean sending out cold pitches by email. CONNECT!

Remember, I’m not asking you to do anything new…yet. So who are the people you speak to every day? Do you pass them on the street? In a store? In a restaurant? Look them in the eye and make a connection. Start with hi, hello, how are you. One or all of those will do. Next? Have a conversation. It doesn’t need to be deep or time-consuming, but make sure you mention something about how what you’re working on lights you up and you love your job. Make a connection, then continue on with what you were doing.

But what if you don’t go out because you’re chained to your computer desk all day? How about a nice email to a contact? A check in, a hey how’s your business going? Is there anything I can help you with today? Or how about an old client, why not send a nice note and see if there’s a project you can help out with. If not, no biggie. But you tried. You reached out. You connected.

Third, you don’t need to post new content every day

Hear me: you need to post content, but it doesn’t have to be new. Whoa.

This was a huge mental shift for me. When I let go of the idea that every blog post was a slam dunk and lived on in my readers’ minds I was free to re-use them as appropriate. (By the way, I wrote about my favourite tools to re-share content here.) I combed through my archives and pulled the articles I thought my idea clients would enjoy. Then I plugged them into a content library, created a schedule, and let them go. I’m still amazed at the freedom I feel setting up this small automation. Because I can accept that not everyone will see my LIFE-CHANGING articles and freelance writing tips the moment I write them I’m free to keep sharing them on various platforms. All it takes is this careful balance of humility and pride.


See? That wasn’t so bad. Don’t you feel ready to rock your marketing? These three itty bitty marketing tweaks can help you ROCK your marketing! Visualize how stress-free your freelance marketing game could be. Dream big, my friend.

Now, a word of caution. You can go down the marketing rabbit trail and end up overwhelmed and not sure which shiny object to focus on. Because there is always more you can do. All we’re talking about today is not doing nothing. Don’t do nothing. Keep putting yourself out there, even if you’re busy and have a full client roster. Keep networking, keep posting relevant, helpful content on social media, and keep putting your work out there even if you haven’t created anything new in a while. Keep going!

Freelance writers are business owners, busy business owners. And many of us lack the time to work on our business because we're always working in it for our clients. Blogs, social media posts, and marketing in general fall by the wayside in favour of the now money. But what about later? Do you go back to hustling with the gigs dry up? Do you stockpile your rainy day fund in case there's no work for a while? What if you could rock your marketing while you're busy so you stop having dry spells? (Spoiler: You can, and I'll tell you how.)

One more thing. If you’ve got these three daily tasks down you may be interested in my free five-day marketing challenge for freelance writers. It walks you through putting a few simple systems in place to help you with goal setting, reaching out, keeping in touch, and even a bit of branding. Why not check it out? I made it for you!