Quick question: You often write that you’ve had to educate many clients on the basics SEO. Who could these clients be? Not SEO companies, surely?
I ask because I want to branch out and contact clients other than SEOs. . . . who else have you contacted over the years?
In answer to this freelancer’s specific question, usually no, you don’t have to educate SEO companies on search engine optimization. The reason I say “usually” is I’ve had clients who purport to be “internet marketing” companies, but their knowledge on the intricacies of SEO writing was practically nil.
This was a few years ago (2008, 2009). When you consider that practically anyone can hang out an “internet marketing company” shingle, then it’s easy to see how/why this can happen.
Search engine marketing (SEM) is changing though, so I see less of this these days.
A Broader Discussion
I wanted to broaden this discussion beyond SEO writing, because it’s really about figuring out who to market to as a freelance writer.
My client base consists mainly of solopreneurs and small business owners.
Their companies usually consist of less than 10 employees, with many of them having less than five. Their revenues are usually under $1,000,000 and they know next to nothing about internet marketing.
How do I know this? I outright ask in some cases; in other cases I’ll do a Google search to find out, using data from well-known organizations like Dunn & Bradstreet.
As an aside, I’m a big believer in niche marketing. The following information clarifies why.
Freelance Writers: What You Should Know Before You Start Marketing
I say all this to say, you should define – and get to know – your target market. Once you do this, it’s easy to find out particulars of the five marketing W’s (ie, the who, what, where, when and why):
WHO is your target market? Drill down into the demographics and psychographics of them (forgive look of old site in this linked-to post).
WHAT are their pain points (ie, what they want/need)? Scour discussion boards for this niche, devise a simple questionnaire asking them; and do some in-depth reading on them
WHERE do they congregate – online and off? Eg, industry associations, Chambers of Commerce, online discussion groups on social media groups (eg, LinkedIn), etc. FYI, you can buy business leads from marketing companies (I’ve used the linked-to company before);
WHEN to contact them? Find out how do they like to be contacted (eg, email, phone, social media), what kind of offers appeal to them, etc.; and
WHY do they need your services? Clearly define what BENEFITS you as a freelance writer provide that will help them reach their objective(s), eg, make more money, get more leads, etc.
A lot of my freelance writing clients come via referral these days. So, I do get clients who do fall outside of my target market. BUT, my marketing efforts are always concentrated on my core clients.
They’re who I think about when I decide whether or not to add a service;
They’re who I think about when I’m constructing my prices;
They’re who I think about when I’m writing content for my (SEO) writing company website;
They’re who I think about when I interact on social media.
They’re who I think about when I think about . . . my overall business.
The Marketing Mistake Many Freelance Writers Make
Many freelancers (small business owners in general) get too scattered in their marketing efforts, which makes marketing soooooo much more difficult. But, if you clearly define who your target audience is, it makes it much easier to stay focused; keeping your marketing messages on point, relevant and beneficial to a defined group.
THIS will bring in more freelance writing jobs.
What do you think?
Do you have more advice on how to figure out who to market to as a freelance writer? Are you a niche marketer? Do you do demographic/psychographic research before marketing.
Please share in the comments section below.
On a Personal Note . . .
Hope you’re continuing to enjoy your summer. After lollygagging for weeks when it comes to work (hanging with friends from out of town, training for my next marathon, not logging on at all on the weekends, etc.), I’m finally back to the grindstone – time-blocking days to get some stuff done before the busy editorial season starts.
It’s amazing how much you accomplish when you time block (and the day flies by soooo fast). I’d actually forgotten!
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