They think we’re all the same. Our clients, I mean. Many of them think that freelance writers are interchangeable.
That’s the real reason why so many clients and would-be clients haggle with us on prices and treat us badly.
They believe one freelance writer is pretty much the same as another.
Of course, they’re wrong. But it’s up to us to prove that.
To overcome the challenges freelance writers face, you must show your clients how you’re different from the rest. In this post, I give you four ways to stand out.
How to Stand Out
How are you different from other freelance writers?
Many freelance writers can’t answer that question. If you’re one of them, you probably struggle with clients who treat you badly.
Marketing specialists urge businesses to develop a unique selling proposition (USP)–a reason why their business is different (and better) than similar businesses. As a freelance writer, you need to do the same thing.
Review your background carefully to see what makes you unique.
Here are four ways to stand out as a freelance writer:
- Showcase your expertise. Building a freelance writing profile for yourself isn’t enough. You’re a writer, so use your writing to highlight your skills and knowledge. I happen to think a blog is one of the best ways to do this, but there are other ways as well. Give presentations. Share high quality curated content. Submit well-written articles to thought leaders for syndication. Host webinars. Provide coaching.
- Highlight your experience. Your experience counts. No one else has the exact same background that you do. Even jobs or classes that have nothing to do with writing may make you attractive to some clients. I know writers who used their experience working in health care or in engineering to develop a successful freelance writing niche. You can do the same thing with your experience.
- Get strong client testimonials. Quick. When you’re considering a purchase, do you check the reviews? If you’re like most of us these days, you do. Tell me, what do you think of a product that has few or no reviews? You hesitate to buy that product, don’t you? Your clients do the same thing. They look for testimonials and recommendations for freelance writers before they hire them. Ask every satisfied client to write one for you.
- Build relationships. Many writers mistakenly think that building a relationship with clients always means growing a friendship. While it’s great when that happens, that’s not what business relationships are all about. Instead, a strong business relationship means you have an understanding of the client and their business that others lack. The client’s comfortable with you and trusts you to do what they need.
So, now you know how you’re different. But wait. You’re not done yet.
I’m Different. So What?
It’s not enough to simply know how you’re different from other writers.
Now that you’ve identified your differences, it’s time to turn them into selling points.
Think of how your uniqueness benefits your clients. Ask yourself:
- Am I knowledgeable about terms or processes the average person knows nothing about?
- Can I explain those terms or processes in everyday language?
- Do I understand the client’s business better than most?
- Does my experience help me to write more quickly or more thoroughly?
- How will the client’s project be better for my participation in it?
Once you’ve fleshed out your unique selling proposition, update your marketing materials.
- Work your USP into your About page.
- Update your LinkedIn profile.
- Write a blog post specifically based on your USP.
How do you stand out in the crowded freelance writing market? Share your tips in the comments.