3 Marketing hacks I used to build a $5K/mo freelance business in 4 months
In April 2015, I got fired from my full-time job.
By August, I had built a freelance writing business that was bringing in $5k+/month.
I didn’t have a degree, a network, or any experience running a business full-time.
But what I did have was an optimistic attitude, a willingness to learn and work hard, and marketing skills that allowed me to grow my income fast.
Ready to learn which marketing strategies I used to build a $5k/month freelance writing business fast?
Let’s talk about my 3 favorites, starting with the one that helped me the most as a newbie.
1. Utilizing cold emailing
[Tweet "You need to cold email at least 20 people per day to build clientele fast. #freelance"]
I’m going to be real with you here – you can’t just send 10 cold emails every week and expect amazing results.
You need to cold email at least 20 people per day if you really want to build a clientele fast.
Now, I know what you might be thinking:
Cold emailing? I could never do that!
It might seem scary and time-consuming to reach out to tons of people you’ve never met before, but you need to do it anyway because it works.
And I’m not just saying that; I know from experience.
I made $800 from cold emailing alone in my first month as a full-time freelance writer.
Here are a few tips about cold emailing to keep in mind:
Use LimeLeads. My secret weapon when it comes to cold emailing is LimeLeads, a huge database of B2B leads. You can use it to search for your clients by industry and gather their contact information.
And just like that – you’ve got tons of email addresses and a solid way to market to your ideal clients!
Customize every email you send. Let’s face it – no one wants to get a copied-and-pasted email that was sent to hundreds of other people.
Talk about the specific results you can drive for each client you email, and mention something you like about their site to let them know you actually took the time to check it out.
Use the recipient’s name in your subject line and email greeting. An Experian study showed that personalized subject lines result in 26% higher open rates.
That simple action could make all the difference in the number of people who hire you to write for them.
Keep in mind that the quality of your emails is important and will determine how many leads you’ll be able to convert to clients.
You’ll get much better results from sending 100 well-thought-out emails to one target audience than you will from sending 200 thrown-together, untargeted emails.
2. Taking advantage of LinkedIn
While cold emailing is the best way to land new clients fast, LinkedIn is one of the best ways to set yourself up for long-term success as a freelance writer.
If you’ve never used LinkedIn before, you’re probably wondering:
How can I get the attention of my target clients on LinkedIn and make them want to work with me?
Here’s the 4-step process I used as a newbie freelance writer:
Step 1: I optimized my profile to sell to one audience. When I started out, I specialized in writing copy for IT service providers, so I put that niche in my headline and summary.
Step 2: I started adding my target clients as connections. My target clients were CEOs and marketing managers at IT companies, so I added them by sending connection requests and personalized messages.
Step 3: I used LinkedIn Publisher to share posts specifically relevant to my target clients. For example, one post I wrote was called “The ABCs of Content Marketing for IT Service Providers.”
Step 4: I started interacting and building relationships. After liking, commenting on, and sharing relevant posts from my target audience, I messaged them to talk about how I could help them with copywriting.
[Tweet "Don't just add your target clients and immediately start spamming them. #freelance"]
Whatever you do, don’t just add your target clients and immediately start spamming them with sales-y InMail messages.
You’ll be much better off if you focus on building relationships and establishing yourself as a niche expert first.
3. Creating a solid freelance writer website
When I first started out, I had a one-page Weebly site that I had thrown together to advertise my services. I didn’t have a custom domain or a strong brand – it was pretty basic.
I quickly realized that I needed a more professional-looking, branded site if I really wanted my freelance writing business to take off.
So, I started building a new site in WordPress right away.
Once I launched my new site, I started getting far more emails asking about my writing services.
Other than making the switch to Wordpress, here are a few changes I made that improved my sales:
Bite-sized, relevant copy. I made sure all my copy was fluff-free and spoke directly to how I could help my target clients reach their business goals with my writing services.
Multiple call-to-actions. My first site only had one form clients could fill out to get in touch with me.
On my new site, I added multiple contact forms and buttons so they had more opportunities to contact me.
Better branding. Instead of simply using my name to market myself, I decided to use the name “Cutthroat Copy” to advertise my freelance writing services.
That name went a long way in helping me build a strong brand that showcased my personality and set me apart from other freelance writers in my niche.
And that’s all there is to it!
Seriously – if you use these 3 marketing tactics and hustle hard, there’s no reason you can’t grow your freelance writing business quickly like I did.