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When you feel like nothing is going right with your freelance writing business

Why am I not getting clients?

Don’t my prospects understand what I can do?

Don’t people want to read my blog posts? I work so hard on them!

Why aren’t people following me? My content is so good!

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If you’re having similar thoughts, you’re not alone. There are many challenges that come with being a freelance writer and building an online presence to find the success you’re aiming for. It’s not easy, but there is at least one major thing you can do in order to overcome these challenges:

Look within.

It’s easy to place the blame on your audience, prospects, or any outside factor. But as soon as you keep yourself accountable with whatever is going wrong with your business (because it IS a business!), things are likely to turn around.

The battle for an offer

My twenties were largely spent on figuring out where my career was headed, as many people may relate. I graduated college, worked for a year, went to grad school, and worked multiple jobs as I grew as a writer and discovered where my skills and interests could take me.

There were several periods of hard core job searching, frantically looking for my new opportunity so I could escape my present situation. And one job search period in particular taught me a valuable lesson: I had to keep myself accountable for my failures and rejections—no more blame the hiring managers for not seeing my worth.

I knew I had what it took, yet all I received were rejections.

Why couldn’t they see I had the right qualifications?

Why was I continually I needed more experience?

I was constantly looking at them. Blaming them for not understanding what I had to offer. For not clearly seeing why I was the best choice for the job.

I hit a breaking point that truly forced me to really look within and I held myself the most accountable ever. Suddenly, I knew I had to do more. This was all on ME.

By tweaking only a couple ways I interviewed and presented my experience, I finally got a job offer. If I hadn’t taken the blame for my failures, I know I wouldn’t have achieved the job offer. It was all about how I better presented my qualifications and took control of the interview and that’s when everything turned around. I no longer just relied on my resume to do the talking for me. Instead, I went on the offense. This is how I did it.

How you present your expertise

It’s kind of like when you’re offering your services as a freelancer. If you’re not getting new clients, it’s not the clients’ fault for not noticing you or wanting to hire you. It has to come back to YOU. 

This is tough, but once you remain accountable, your whole view shifts. 

Do you know you have something great to offer? If yes, you’ve got something to fight for. 

Think about how you present yourself as a freelancer. Do you just let your profile sit on a freelance website waiting for prospects to find you? Do you copy and paste the same proposal or pitch to every client? Do you pump out social media content every day wondering why nobody is responding to it?

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Don’t feel bad if you can relate. Instead, go on the offense! If you are on UpWork or Fiverr or a similar freelance site, be more proactive and strategic about how you present yourself. For UpWork, you may want to create a tailored and personalized proposal for each job so that your prospect knows it was specifically written for them. Personalization can truly make a difference. You’ll also want to make sure you have a strong portfolio within your profile. 

For Fiverr, make sure your gigs are presented in a way that nobody else could do it—differentiate yourself through your gig title, package description, and gig description. Even the gig image could help you here! Each component of setting up your gig is an opportunity to catch the eye of prospects. 

Think outside the box when it comes to cold pitching. Before emailing a cold pitch to a client, visit their website and social media sites to discover exactly how you could be of service to them. If they don’t publish blog posts regularly, if they don’t have strong social media posts, if they could use a boost to their web content…whatever you find that you feel you could improve upon, let them know. They will appreciate that you took the time to personalize your message.

Think about your online presence. Are you taking advantage of using social media enough for your prospects to know you? Are you publishing valuable content that your audience will want to engage with? This can be a tricky part of running your own business, but having a strong online presence can really take you far. You want to develop your brand enough so that when someone finds themselves in need of your services, YOU are top of mind 😉

And last but not least, make sure you have a strong portfolio—particularly an online portfolio so it is easily accessible for anyone. It’s one thing to talk about what you can do on social media or email a prospect about how you can write the best blog posts or web content, but it’s another thing to really show that expertise. And that can all be accomplished by creating an online portfolio, even if you’ve never created a website before. Learn how to make a simple online portfolio here.

Not sure what to include in your portfolio? I’ve got you covered. Check out my free guide to build or boost your portfolio and feel proud of your work:

Look within

The main point here is to take a deep look into how you’re conducting yourself and strategizing to gain more clients and build your business. Freelancers don’t always have it easy—this isn’t for the faint of heart for sure. But believe in yourself, remain accountable, keep trying new strategies and approaches to how you showcase your skills and build your brand, and you are going to be headed in the right direction.

How will you keep yourself accountable, and what steps will you take to improve the trajectory of your freelance business? You’ve got what it takes.

Good luck!

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