6 Reasons You’re Not Getting Freelance Writing Clients

Apr 12, 2023 · 7 minutes to read

Finding clients is often the most challenging part of being a freelance writer. New freelancers often don’t realize that landing clients is such a big part of the job! But even experienced freelancers sometimes find it tough to keep their schedules full.

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Photo series of Japanese digital artist at his home studio taking a coffee break.

If you’re a new freelance writer, you might be making a few mistakes in your client search. Don’t be too hard on yourself—you’re still learning! With a bit of knowledge and practice, you can grow a writing business full of happy clients.

Here are six reasons why you may not be getting freelance clients. You’ll learn more about how to find clients online, how to advertise your writing services, and how to market a freelance writing business to potential clients.

1. You don’t have a niche.

A “jack of all trades” writer should be swimming in clients, right? This may sound reasonable, but it’s not always true. Clients may doubt that you can really do everything and do it well. But if you market yourself as a specialist, they might be more interested in your services.

Many writers get freelance clients by choosing a niche, such as:

  • A specific topic or industry (i.e., travel writers, finance bloggers)
  • A certain style of writing (i.e., resume writing, copywriting, project proposals)
  • Working with one type of client (i.e., small businesses, job seekers, students)

A niche paints a clearer picture of the services you offer. Potential clients may see you as an expert in your chosen speciality—an authority in writing the type of content they need. This might be more appealing to them than hiring a general freelance writer who may lack the expertise and experience they are looking for.

2. Your marketing materials have typos.

You may be a talented writer, but mistakes undermine your skill. Delivering perfect content to clients is crucial, but it’s just as important that your own content is letter-perfect. You may be missing out on clients if there are typos in your:

  • Website and blog
  • Social media profiles
  • Writing samples and portfolio
  • Emails and other professional correspondence
  • Advertising
  • Project estimates and invoices

Before you hit send or publish, recheck your work. Look for typos, misspellings, and grammatical errors, and check the tone of the document. Your marketing materials can help you make a positive impression on both potential clients and your existing ones!

3. Your professional profiles need work.

Sites like Upwork and Fiverr can be great places to get freelance clients, but they’re also very competitive. You need to stand out from the crowd, and that starts with crafting a professional user profile.

An excellent profile is like an elevator pitch, a first impression for potential clients. When creating yours, think about your:

  • Profile picture – Choose a photo that’s high-quality (no tiny, pixelated images!) and of you alone (no group shots). Consider smiling (you want to seem friendly and approachable) and avoid wearing distracting clothing or accessories.
  • About section – Think about the information you’d want to know if you were hiring a freelance writer. Try to include these details in a creative way on your profile.
  • Writing samples – Your portfolio of work should showcase your talent and niche. Each piece should be typo-free and easy to download or view.
  • Pricing – Are your rates appropriate for the type of jobs you’re looking for? If they’re too high, you may be pricing yourself out of jobs. Too low, and clients may doubt that you have the talent to do the job well.

These tips can also be applied to your LinkedIn account. Potential clients may look you up on the site to learn more about your professional background. If your profile is incomplete or sloppy, it could leave them with a bad impression.

Once your profiles are perfect, growing a writing business online could get a lot easier!

4. You’re spending too much time on social media.

Social media can be a useful tool to market a freelance writing business. But it can also be a time waster. You might find it easier to get freelance clients by limiting your social media time.

Yes, clients have found writers on Facebook, Instagram, and other social media platforms. However, it’s more likely that you’ll be discovered on LinkedIn, through freelance apps, in a Google search, or through networking. Most clients aren’t starting their search for a freelance writer on TikTok, so it’s probably wise to spend less time marketing yourself on social media.

5. You’re not pitching enough.

Sending unsolicited pitch emails is another way to get freelance clients. It may seem like this never works, but you’d be surprised! Cold pitching shows that you have initiative and are willing to work hard for your clients. Many writers have built long-term professional relationships from a cold pitch.

Cold pitching is a numbers game. You’ll get far more rejections than you will clients. Still, pitching to potential clients comes with a great advantage—less competition. A well-written pitch email may score you an early interview before a project is advertised to the public.

6. You don’t touch base with past clients.

If you want to grow a writing business, you need repeat clients. It’s expensive and time-consuming to constantly find new ones. Repeat business is easier and costs less to get. It can be a great way to fill your calendar, especially during the slower parts of the year.

Make a habit of following up with previous clients. You might want to check in once a quarter (or more frequently) to see if they have upcoming content or projects that you can work on. At the very least, old clients may be willing to provide customer testimonials that you can use on your website.

Start getting freelance clients!

Now that you understand six common reasons why writers miss out on clients, you can apply this knowledge to marketing and advertising your writing business. Finding clients may still be an ongoing challenge, but with these tips, it may soon become a minor inconvenience!

How BizInsure helps writers and publishers

As you grow your writing business, you might consider insurance as a way to protect it.

Business insurance for freelancers helps you work with more confidence. The coverage you choose helps shield your bank accounts from the unexpected. Instead of worrying about paying legal costs, compensation claims, and other unplanned bills, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that your policies are there to take care of these and other expenses for you.

And with BizInsure, finding business insurance for your freelance writing business is easy! We make it simple to compare A-rated or higher coverage, including:

  • Professional Liability – Covers allegations of copyright, trademark infringement and advertising injury (i.e., libel, slander, or defamation).
  • General Liability – Covers third-party property damage and injury claims.
  • Business Owner’s Policy – An insurance package that can be customized to cover business interruptions and damage to your laptop or other business equipment.
  • Workers’ Compensation – If you have employees, you are likely required to have this coverage to pay for workplace injuries, illnesses, and death.

In about 10 minutes, you can choose the coverage that fits your needs and buy online—no paperwork, no hassle. You’ll even get your policy documents instantly by email.

Get business insurance for freelancers with BizInsure and start protecting your writing business today!

As with any insurance, coverage will be subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions contained in the policy wording. The information contained on this guide is general only and should not be relied upon as advice.
The number of quotes provided varies between products, occupations and other underwriting factors determined by the insurers.
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