4 Ways to Get Offline Freelance Writing Jobs

 

Copyright Beth Morrow  
- All Rights Reserved

 

 

One of the biggest challenges to becoming a successful freelance author isn’t completing your articles and copywriting projects by deadline but learning to balance actual writing time versus time spent searching for new gigs. Get caught up in searching for jobs and you might find days or weeks have passed since you’ve written. Concentrate too much on the writing and you’ll soon find your work-in-progress finished and few future prospects.

There must be a happy medium somewhere…

Knowing where to look for freelance jobs is half the battle of being a productive writer. In last month’s article, I shared how to find jobs online using a variety of internet resources. This month, we’re going to be looking for freelance jobs in four old-fashioned ways: real life.

 

  1. Community Connections 

 

Finding freelance jobs in your community is a terrific way to not only add work to your calendar, it’s a simple, inexpensive and free way to get your name circulating in public arenas. Once you label yourself as a writer, many people will begin to look at you through a different lens, especially other business owners.

One of the best ways to do this is to get to know your local chamber of commerce. Comprised of business owners from all types of venues, chambers of commerce address economic, civic, social and community issues, but the major focus of these collaborative groups is business in general, small business in particular. Most business owners prefer to work on growing their business, not writing press releases, direct mail campaigns, even employee memos and newsletters. Look up your local chamber of commerce information in the phone book and inquire about their next meeting. Take plenty of business cards and observe their protocol for networking with members. Introduce yourself as a writer and let members know you’re seeking new clients. Even if they do all their writing in-house, encourage them to keep your contact information should they need something on short notice or out of the area of expertise of their current staff.

A second idea is contacting local businesses with whom you already have an established relationship as a customer or client. Last month, I took my dog for her annual check-up and noticed how much new material and information had been added to the bulletin board since my last visit. Lost pet microchips, warnings for foods and plants that harm pets, the importance of doggie dentistry…you get the idea. My immediate thought was that this office needed to send out a newsletter to pet owners to keep them abreast of all these important changes. The same thing happened when I visited my dentist and found all kinds of new treatments and services that had become available since my last appointment. Not only might these smaller businesses be looking for a way to keep in touch with customers, they might also need ideas for improving employee communication. Newsletters, advertisements, website copywriting are some avenues you can use to approach these markets.

Finally, use your writing talent and expertise to teach a class. Many colleges, universities, suburbs, towns and cities offer ongoing classes through art communities, recreation and adult/continuing education programs. If you enjoy working with kids, you can propose a course for helping children write stories. For adults, think about combining one of your own personal interests with the topic of writing in some way: food writing, editorial and column writing, even writing and publishing family and genealogical research. If you’re not comfortable teaching writing skills, how about a course on developing creativity, journaling or even photo journalism?

 

  1. Client Referrals 

 

One of the most common goals of writers is to establish relationships with clients that lead to repeat jobs. Even when working with multiple clients, however, there are times when your schedule can handle more jobs. Also, as you become more proficient and efficient with your tasks, time will be on your side.

If you’ve found your writing niche and passion, why not expand your client base by prompting your current clients to refer your services to other businesses with whom they interact? As I mentioned above, many business owners would prefer to spend their time looking for new ways to engage customers, not write. Just like other businesses, you can offer a finder’s fee to your current client or perhaps give them incentive by compensating them with reduced or even waived fees. Remember, your time is money, and you don’t want to undervalue your services, but offering a little something to current clients who help spread your name and sing your praises will go a long way in getting them to think long and hard about how they can help you.

 

  1. Collaborate and Network 

 

In the same vein of increasing your employment opportunities through current relationships, consider collaborating and networking with other creative minds and talents to help boost your job prospects.

You may work with or potentially be offered a job by a client who wants more than you can deliver, or would like additional work done that you’re unfamiliar with. For these instances, having a reliable, knowledgeable colleague to call when you need help can be invaluable. Creative entrepreneurs of all types can group together for the purpose of pooling their services to each other. Consider putting advertisements on bulletin boards, in creative venues, visiting open mic nights, checking out local universities’ English and writing departments and adult/community education programs for other potential creative minds—freelance writers, editors, photographers, web designers, copywriters, marketing specialists, artists and musicians—to collaborate with.

 

  1. Volunteer  

 

Before you scoff at the idea of donating your precious, limited time in the pursuit of earning writing assignments, hear me out. I’m not talking about doing free work, and I’m not suggesting you take low-or-no paying jobs just for the sake of writing. Instead, volunteer your talents for an organization, group, charity or business you value and support. If you can look past the lack of a paycheck for your work, volunteering offers a wide range of benefits for your freelance career. You can:

·          Use volunteer assignments (brochures, feature articles for trade and consumer publications, direct marketing work, radio scripts, training manuals, copy editing, newsletter article layout, etc.) to round out your freelance portfolio

·          Offer help on a project requiring skills you’d like to improve upon or learn in greater depth

·          Get to know the executive directors, directors and other staff members to enhance your name recognition as a freelancer within the organization and with the general public who deals with the group. You never know what outside businesses and interests staff and clients may have and how they might see your writing services as a part of that

·          Take on a variety of tasks to avoid being labeled as ‘the sales letter writer’ or ‘the brochure editor’ (unless you like that!)

·          Interact and engage yourself with the group in fundraising and community events. I voluntarily sat in on a committee meeting for a group I’ve been volunteering with for years, introduced myself as a writer, and had two members approach me to discuss possible projects for their outside business following the meeting

 

Finding freelance jobs to keep your business going—and growing—is just as important as devoting your time to getting those projects finished and back into the hands of those who hire you. With a little time and thought, you’ll no doubt discover plenty of places where your freelance skills and talents will flourish. Keep an eye out for new business opportunities in your daily life—you never know where you might find your next assignment.

 

About the author: Beth Morrow is a freelance author and editor who has met several new clients through her volunteer jobs. Currently researching an article on romance sub-genres, she regularly posts her thoughts on the writing life at her blog at: www.writer-in-progress.blogspot.com

 

 

The Wealthy Writer by Nick Daws and Ruth Barrington

 Make Money from Home as a Freelance Writer


 

 

Writing for Profit: Break into Magazine - by Cheryl Wright

 

 

The Writer's Guide to Time Management