I have been working as a full-time freelance writer out of my home office in Delaware since 1996 and, like everyone else in this business, I learned a long time ago that “marketing yourself is the key to your success!” So far, I have written and sold 34 books to a number of traditional publishers, including a variety of health, education, business and children’s titles.
Years ago, I was active on LinkedIn but, after awhile, I stopped using what I realize now is a valuable marketing tool for freelance writers. It was launched in 2002 and it took a few years before it finally took off. It has been going strong ever since. In 2016, LinkedIn was acquired by Microsoft for approximately $26 billion. The following year, it reported they had more than 500 million members in about 200 countries.
Last year, I decided it was time to jump back into the LinkedIn pool and I am so glad that I did! I don’t pay for the premium account but I can still do what I need to market myself to my connections. I have written over 2,000 articles over my career as a freelance writer and, until recently, most of those articles were for magazines, newspapers, newsletters, and online publications. And, while it is great to be able to write articles for those types of outlets, there is another category all freelancers should pursue: Private Clients
Now, don’t get me wrong. You can just join LinkedIn, create your profile, and start connecting to everyone on the planet. However, a smarter way is to establish a relationship with a connection first…and then see if they need help with any writing projects. And, that’s very easy to do on LinkedIn!
Here are just some of the benefits from writing for private clients:
- The number one benefit I receive by writing for those connections is “higher pay…and faster payments.” We all know how slow a publication can be when it comes time to pay freelance writers.
- The second benefit I receive by writing for connections on LinkedIn is a constant flow of referrals and recommendations. One hundred percent of the people I write for that I have met on LinkedIn don’t hesitate to sing my praises in their news feed. And, they recommend my services as a writer, which has driven more private clients my way.
- The third benefit is the feeling I get when I know I am helping someone. For example, I write a lot of mental health articles for therapists and counselors and they are always telling me how helpful those articles have been in steering clients to them.
When you “connect” with them on LinkedIn, look at their profile page, and learn as much as you can about them. Most of the time, their website info. will be there. Visit their site, and look around. As a writer, what do you see? Are there any current articles? Are there mistakes in grammar, etc.? Do they have a place for press releases? Next, send them a brief message saying how glad you are to be connected. Then, mention that you visited their site, and congratulate them on their accomplishments.
Close by saying that if they ever need help with a writing project to just reach out to you and give them a link to your own website and resume. No matter how you are marketing yourself as a freelance writer, you should give LinkedIn a try.
John Riddle is a freelance writer, author, and ghostwriter from Bear, Delaware. His byline has appeared in major newspapers, magazines, websites and trade journals all across the country. He is the author of 34 books, including a few health and medical titles, and has worked as a ghostwriter on numerous projects. John is also the Founder of I Love To Write Day, a grassroots campaign he launched in 2002 to have people of all ages practice writing every November 15. Last year over 25,000 schools all across the United States held special I Love To Write Day events and activities. He is a frequent speaker at both Christian and secular writing conferences, and recently appeared at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.
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