Ditch the Freelance Struggle

Freelancing doesn’t have to to be a constant pursuit of new clients. If you’re tired of the ups and downs of freelancing, consider a different strategy.  

Photo by Pixabay

Photo by Pixabay

When I first started freelancing, I was terrified of marketing my services to new clients. And, like many new freelancers, I was skeptical that I could even get enough steady work to make a decent living. The whole idea of having to constantly market to companies that had never heard of me just seemed so uncomfortable and intimidating.

I had sooo many questions when it came to marketing. Which companies were the best to target? What should my emails say? What if my samples aren't good enough? How do I write about topics that I know nothing about?

But after my first few months in business, I started getting some traction. First, I got one steady client, and then two, and then three. And within about 6 months, I had as much work as I could handle.

Marketing soon took a back seat to actually getting the client work done and meeting deadlines. Because I was saying yes to nearly every project that came along (also a rookie mistake!), I had no time to even think about marketing. Pretty soon, I decided not to bother with any formal marketing at all. Instead, I focused all of my energy on the writing itself and producing really great deliverables...and the clients loved it.

Even from beyond the computer screen, I can hear your objections now. You’re probably reciting all of the scary mantras that we've heard from the long-time freelancers around the web.

The #1 rule of being a freelancer is to always market, market, market!

You're supposed to spend 50% of your time marketing!

When you're not constantly marketing, you're putting your future financial stability at risk!

If you don't market now, you'll pay for it later!

There are always ebbs and flows with freelancing!

I get it. Freelancing can be a rollercoaster. Clients do come and go. The projects come and go. But if you’re really good and you consistently write strong content, your clients will stick to you like glue. They will almost inevitably start coming back to you for new projects, and the weight of that uncomfortable marketing is lifted.

Truthfully, I've had the same clients since I started freelancing more than 3 years ago, and I never spend any time marketing for new clients. My current clients keep me busy, and it’s pretty awesome to have new projects popping up in my inbox instead of chasing after new ones all of the time.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying this was an easy process. But in my experience, working my tail off and concentrating my efforts on getting the work done right, instead of chasing new leads, was the right strategy because the clients were happy. And they came back to me for more projects - over and over and over again.

Now, I’m not sure why in the freelance space there is so much of a push on marketing and so little advice on how to actually produce good writing that satisfies clients. When you write with flow and clarity, you eliminate the need to constantly market your services to cold leads and new clients.

That’s the secret sauce.

Clear writing (especially in science and medical writing) will make you stand out from the competition. It’s the key to making this whole freelance thing turn into a profitable business. It’s what allows freelancers to pull in $100k a year and enjoy the perks of working from home.

So here’s the big takeaway: Freelancing does not have to equate to constant struggle.

When you create “sticky” clients who know, like, and trust your work, that pesky task of marketing all but disappears.

If you struggle with getting clients or keeping clients, stay tuned next week for the second installment of this series. I’ll share specific tips for fostering this sticky client relationship and why it’s as important to the client as it is to you.

In the meantime, be sure to grab your copy of the free guide, 5 Simple Writing Tweaks to Create Sticky Clients. Your clients will love you for it :)

Jennifer Gregg