To have continued success as a freelance writer, you don’t just need to learn how to write well; you need to learn how to market yourself. The way you come across in pitches, in messages to clients, and in your online writer profiles can make the difference between you being hired or rejected.
In this post, we’ll look at how you can use more effective language to sell yourself as a writer and improve your chances of landing more writing jobs. So let’s jump right in.
Whenever you’re talking about yourself, it’s important to be true to who you are. People are instinctively good at detecting dishonesty, not just in person, but also in writing. If you try to be someone that you’re not, you will be caught out at some point down the line.
Whether it’s in your communications with clients or in your writer profile, be honest. Your writing will sound more natural and prospective clients will also get an idea about your writing style.
“Mirror” Client Language
This is particularly appropriate when applying for a writing job. The words you use in a job pitch (such as a public writing request on Constant Content) say a lot about how you have understood the client brief.
Make a note of the most prominent words or phrases within a brief, and then use some of these within your reply. At the very least, it shows that you’ve understood what is important to the client regarding the job.
Focus on Your Achievements
When you’re selling yourself as a writer, it’s crucial to highlight your most relevant achievements. For example, if you’re a writer that specializes in nutrition, early on in your pitch or in your writer profile make sure you mention your bachelor’s degree in nutrition! If you don’t have any formal qualifications, you could mention courses you’ve attended, or any experience within the industry.
Use More Exciting Language
Whether you’re writing a resume, a client pitch, or your author profile, it’s easy to fall into the trap of using the same phrases as other writers. You may be “flexible,” “hard-working,” and “detail-oriented,” but if every other writer is saying the same thing, you’re unlikely to stand out to clients looking to buy content. Words and phrases like this are CV clichés. To give yourself a better chance of being noticed, be original in your use of words and phrases. If you have to use a cliché, explain how it applies to you by giving real-world examples.
Remember: We’re All Human
If you’re messaging a client, remember that there’s another human being at the other end, so if you know their first or last name, use it. Before, during, and after a job, be polite and respectful. You’re more likely to be remembered in the future when the client needs more work. Simply saying “thank you,” “good morning,” or “have a great weekend” can go a long way.
Being polite is one thing, but don’t overstep the mark by being too casual or friendly. Keep it professional at all times.
Don’t Be Over-Confident
Similarly, there’s a fine line between being confident in your abilities and overselling yourself. If you come across as too confident, it can be seen as arrogance, which is a big turn off. You have to earn respect, and you can do that by consistently creating quality content for clients. Don’t assume you have all the answers; remember that the client probably has more experience in their specific industry, so try to show some humility.
Also, avoid using big words in your messages to clients or in your writer profile just to sound clever. It can sound pretentious or smug. Keep it simple by using plain language; most clients will appreciate it.
Keep It Positive
If you have any personal problems or you’re feeling stressed out, try not to let it enter into your communications with clients. Stay positive and professional. Yes, sometimes a client will appreciate honesty – if you’re struggling with a project for example – but try not to make this a regular thing.
As a freelance writer, your choice of language is key to selling yourself effectively and presenting yourself in the best possible light. Using the right words and tone of voice will improve your author profile, give your job pitches the edge, and strengthen your working relationships with clients.
For more help with selling yourself as a writer, read our post: How to Create an Impeccable Writer Profile