Making myself known for the freelance writing online market requires balancing a tricky set of personal characteristics. You need to be a little ballsy yet stay approachable (or in Spanish, huevos y humilidad). Potential clients need to be told what I can offer them and why they would be better off if they look to me, Mark Boyd, when they want to hire a freelance writer online. But no one wants to work with someone who is too in-yer-face, so you can’t be overly assertive when cold calling or offering new proposals to current clients.
It is a bit like the content on this site at the moment. If you are a general reader who knows me personally and is curious about my work, the site is probably a bit ‘meh’ for you. The posts to date are aggressively business sales-oriented and stuffed a little with keywords that while not being unnatural seem a bit ridiculous to say. (For example, do I really need to mention that I am Mark Boyd in my posts like I have in the first paragraph today, and in previous posts about agile development and my investment value? Well, yeah, it turns out there are a heap of other Mark Boyds offering freelance writing online. I want to stay number one in search results so that if a potential client wants to follow up with me outside of the at-times debasing freelance writers market site, they would have a pretty simple job of tracking me down.) I have, however, decided to draw the line at using keywords in headlines. I would prefer to risk losing a bit of google rank traction in order to have an interesting title rather than one that bureaucratically uses the dry keywords necessary.
I love the part of my freelance writing online job that is about submitting proposals and chasing new work. This has always been a fun part of any work tasks, requiring me to inspire decision-makers with ideas about a particular outcome and encouraging them to invest in the agency i have worked for. Now, once again working for myself, it is a real buzz when I pitch an idea and it gets picked up and we reach agreement on what I will get paid. I keep my monthly excel spreadsheet of jobs open on my desktop so I can use my cursor to lovingly fondle the color-coded columns of freelance writing online jobs work that have been locked in and that I am working towards completing.
But being able to approach clients and suggest work also needs to be handled with some care. At times, I pull back from gathering all of the information I would like in order to provide what I would consider the best possible online content or Internet marketing approach. When there hasn’t been a chance to develop trust or rapport, it can feel intrusive to start asking about business goals, current sales data and current online marketing approaches. I haven’t quite found the right way to broach some of these subjects that doesn’t force clients to have to admit they don’t know what I am talking about, or would require them to discuss current spending levels.
If I want to do an excellent and measurable job, I do need access to business data so that I can help guide my clients to where areas could be improved. I can also explain what the data is telling them about their brand perception already that could be capitalized on.
At present, my modus operandii has been to keep the envelope in my pocket rather than pushing it during those initial meetings arranging a freelance hire. As I start to generate results and build rapport, businesses begin to see my passion and enthusiasm as a reflection of my energy levels and not as some untrustworthy inquiry into the inner workings of their organization’s online business plan.
For one client, this evolution is occurring now, as I move from a hands-off page editor into a more rounded team leader entrusted with access to the website for managing content live. I may have overstepped this, however, as i have just asked for access to his website analytics account so I can mine traffic levels and match Internet audience against his business’s goals. My request goes unanswered at present. See what i mean?!