You have a website; you are regularly publishing to your blog. You are networking on the regular and are active in Facebook groups and social media, but for some reason, your business isn’t growing.
You are barely scraping by but feel like you are always working, so why isn’t anything happening?
While it is great to blog regularly and be active in network groups and on social media, they aren’t going to provide the biggest bang for your buck when it comes to growing your service based business.
Those actions help to demonstrate your knowledge and capability, but they don’t explicitly say, hire me! That stuff may not even be seen by someone looking to hire for your services.
You have to pitch your services, like say, pitch writing jobs, directly. A note at the end of a blog post pointing people to your services page may draw a few clients out, but it isn’t going to cut it.
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I’m going to bring up possibly the two most dreaded words in the freelance industry, and then I’m going to go over the fact that they aren’t your only option. The two words: job board. Ugh, I know.
However, companies posting on job boards are actively looking to hire someone. This means your (customized and well thought out) pitch is welcome.
Unfortunately, it also means that there are lots of other people pitching the same jobs. This may seem like a losing fight, but it’s not, because most people are lazy. They send out a generic bull shit pitch. This not only means that not everyone that pitches is real competition, but it also makes your excellent pitch stand out more.
After taking Gina Horkey’s 30 Days or Less to Freelance Writing Success Course, I signed up for Contena a monster job board. Contenta pulls together all the jobs from all the other job boards out there and puts them in one place and adds in the likely pay range and an easy way to pitch. Contena is not cheap, but it is a huge time saver. Which in that first year when I was still working a 9-5 allowed me to spend more time pitching and writing rather than tracking down jobs to pitch.
Job boards aren’t the only place to go looking for jobs to pitch, another less obvious place: Social Media
I’ve found many a writing job through active Facebook group communities, primarily FinCon. But Twitter and Instagram are also ripe for the freelance picking, #hiring will show tons of different jobs available. You can also follow accounts that are dedicated to sharing freelance writing jobs.
Alternatively, you could use social media to start interacting with someone you’d like to eventually write for and have it lead up to a warm pitch.
Pitch jobs that are in your niche and that you would actually want to get hired. Don’t bother with work you will end up dreading. Try to do a little research on the company or person you are pitching and only pitch if you think you would be a good fit for them. Don’t create more work for yourself chasing after leads that are not well suited for you.
No matter how you are finding jobs to pitch, just make sure you are actually pitching writing jobs or whatever job you want. If you find yourself surprised by how little work you have, check to see how many pitches you’ve sent out recently. Then make sure you’ve actually followed up on those pitches.
Creating a web site and working your social media but not pitching is kind of like an athlete working out, eating right, and practicing their skills and then deciding not to play in the game. Don’t take yourself out of the game. Make sure you are pitching on the regular. Yes, this means pitching even when you do have plenty of work, pitching regularly ensures that you are working regularly and steering clear of that feast or famine cycle.
Freelance Writing Tools & Resources I Recommend
I use Grammarly as a second pair of eyes to help me clean up and proofread my writing/typing. The best part is that it is free to use. You can install an extension on your web browser and it will check any writing you do online. While there is a paid premium version, you can get by with the free version for a long time. I only recently upgraded. If you want to know more about Grammarly, you can read my review.
Personally, I found the course, 30 Days or Less to Freelance Writing Success extremely helpful to get me started. It breaks everything you need to do, step by step so that by the time you get to pitching for jobs you are prepared and successful. For me, the course paid for itself when I got my first freelance writing job. I now earn between $2,000-$4,000 per month (check out my income reports) with freelance writing.
I used Contena when I was working my 9-5 and getting started freelance writing. It made it easy to find freelance writing jobs to pitch. While it's not a cheap Contena it is definitely worth it if you don't have a ton of time to spend looking for freelance writing jobs to pitch.
Contena pulls together pretty much all of the available freelance writing jobs out there into one place and will even notify you via email of ones in your niche. They also provide an estimate of how much you will make with each job.
Elizabeth Stapleton is the founder and voice behind Less Debt More Wine and ElizabethStapleton.com. She is a Pinterest marketer, online entrepreneur, and recovering attorney whose writing has been featured on Entrepreneur.com, The Huffington Post, The Penny Hoarder, Budgets Are Sexy, Credit Sesame, and Magnify Money. Additionally, she has been quoted in articles on Business Insider, Student Loan Hero, and Nerd Wallet.