Social media account management; and
Writing SEO content.
Why is this important?
Well, when you look back over jobs, it tells you where your profits centers are; what kinds of jobs are popular now. This is a signal to go after more of these types of jobs.
3 Popular Services for Freelance Writers to Offer in 2014
Funnily enough, all of these jobs have come from old – very old – clients.
I. Ebook Writing/Editing Jobs
One of the ebook editing/writing jobs came from a client who I’ve been working with for well over a decade now. Sometimes I don’t hear from him for a year or two, then out of the blue he’ll email me saying he has some work he wants done. In the last year/year and a half, we’ve completed three ebook editing/writing jobs for him.
Over the last year, my writing company has had about a dozen inquiries about ebook writing/editing. One of the most recent ones (1/22) read:
Can you give me a quote.
I would like to get 2 ebooks. one that i would be giving away free (so a short 1-3) pages.
then one that i would be selling, a more in depth value. (50-100 pages and anything else that may add value like a video etc.) if you have something in mind. The topic will be on [topic listed], and the book would give solutions. [Ex. (Topic of Ebook) Miracle].
Also, as you know if you’re a regular reader of this blog, we post freelance writing jobs leads every week. I’ve been running across more and more ads seeking ebook writers, aka ghost writers. In my opinion, it’s because of the following, which I pointed out in a recent list of freelance writing job leads, saying:
Self-publishing is fast shedding the stigma it used to have, and you don’t have to sell nearly as many copies of your book when you publish it yourself as you o do with a publisher. Since 2010, over half my income has come from my ebooks.
Also, many companies are distributing ebooks as a form of content marketing; many times offering them as free downloads from their site. There’s a lot of money to be made writing ebooks (short reports) for companies.
Bottom line – this is a sizzling hot niche for freelance writers/ghostwriters/editors/proofreaders in my opinion, so go after these types of jobs.
II. Social Media Account Management
This is an easy add-on to any freelance writer’s arsenal of services. Why? Because you create the content, so it’s not a leap to distribute it for clients. Also, it gets you more in touch with what their clients like and want to read more about.
A couple of days ago, I got an email from another old client – the last time my firm worked with this client was in the fall of 2012. She wrote:
I hope this email finds you well. 🙂
You might remember me from a couple of years ago when your team managed the Twitter account of my previous workplace.
Thanks so much for the great work! The results were amazing.
I’d now like to see if your team would be interested in managing my personal Twitter account and posting entirely different content. The service I’m interested in is: Individual Social Media Account Management: $247/month (Twitter)
My interests are [interests listed].
If you’re keen to go ahead with the job, please let me know what else I should supply and I would happy to provide anything and everything that might help. Please let me know if you’re interested, in which case I’ll send you my Twitter handle, password, and more info.
I hope to hear from you soon.
Why Social Media Account Management Is on the Rise
Like having a cell phone, email, blogging, using PayPal and other services many adopt slowly – but come to rely on for practically every day use – social media is becoming a staple in business. You can no longer ignore it. It’s a must have.
But, it’s also ONE MORE thing you have to add to your day. Many businesses are swamped with what’s already on their plates and they don’t’ have time to add this one more thing. So, they outsource it. Proof?
According to the Intuit blog post, Should You Outsource Your Social Media Efforts?:
In a 2012 survey of 500 small businesses, Vertical Response Marketing found that a third of owners, proprietors, and CEOs want to spend less time on social media. Yet two thirds are spending more time online than they did the previous year, even though they struggle with the added workload. As a result, many small-businesses owners are outsourcing the work to a marketing firm or consultant.
And, as Nina over at Nina Online, who is a social media expert and co-author of Inkwell Editorial’s The Social Media Marketing Bible for Freelance Writers, so wisely pointed out, it can be very lucrative.
What to Charge for Social Media Account Management
When I first started I was charging only $97 a month for managing 3 social networks. However, I soon discovered burn out!
I presented rates from $197-$497 and discovered my local market was willing to pay $ 197 for the management of 3 social networks. With the rate increase, I was able to hire a local part-time employee to help me with the tedious details that goes into getting clients “targeted” followers. But, with anything, you have to determine a price that you are comfortable with.
I have had talks with fellow social media experts and they charge anywhere from $750-$3,500 for the same level of service. If you want to do consulting/training, you can command fees of $125-$10,000 and get it. My consulting fee is $125 an hour. However, that will be going up very soon.
III. SEO Writing: A Growing Need for Qualified Professionals
Yet another old client – yeah, they seem to be coming out of the woodwork! – contacted me this month. The last time I’d done business with him was back in January of 2012. What does he want? SEO articles.
He’s a realtor we wrote SEO content for back in 2011/2012. Two to three years later, it’s still ranking well. He said to me today:
“The stuff you wrote for us way back when is still showing up in the number one, two or three spots on Google. I don’t know what you did or how you did it, but I need you to do some more. We have an un-ending need for more content ‘cuz I’ve brought on more realtors who are handling more properties all over the state.”
Writing search-engine optimized content is growing for one reason mainly – content marketing. It’s the new way to reach old (and existing) customers; a way to get away from the hard sell and soft sell customers by giving them helpful information, ie, not a sales pitch.
But what clients are learning is, SEO takes time to work. I’m not surprised this client’s copy is ranking well after two or three years. It was well written and informative, while adhering to Google’s SEO copywriting guidelines. Google updates its algorithm all the time – 500 to 600 times per year (really!), but the foundation of writing SEO content hasn’t changed.
As all the keyword-stuffed, spammy copy gets dropped from search engines, quality copy will rise to the top. But to get there (and stay there), you must continually add more. And this is where you as a freelance writer can capitalize.
Many clients are now realizing that ordering a few articles here and there won’t cut it. You have to constantly add new content — quality, SEO’d content – to increase your chance of ranking well because not only do you have the spammers and schemers to compete against, but you have new sites, and your existing competitors chomping at your heels too.
Today, I emailed a tech guy I haven’t used since 2011. I’ve kept his info on file all these years because he did a great job and I have more work I want him to do.
The lesson here – just like my old clients kept my info on file, so will yours. So reach out to them. Now’s a good time because it’s still the beginning of a new year, and some of them may be ready to green light projects they’ve been holding off on.
The client I spoke with today said to me, “I’ve been holding off, but the real estate market here is finally taking a turn for the better and it’s time to get going.”
So touch base with some of your old clients — and prospects who haven’t responded to your marketing messages. Ask them if they have a need for:
An ebook (short report) to help them pre-sell products and services;
Social media (SM) account management: ie, bring dead accounts back to life and/or set up new SM accounts; and/or
All of these are in-demand services that piggyback on each other, which means they make easy upsells. If a client says yes to one, they just might be open to another not too far down the line.
Share Your Observations
What services have clients been ordering from you lately? Is it a service you specialize in? Do you regularly keep in contact with old clients/prospects? If so, how often? If not, why not? Please share in the comments section below.
Get the exact knowledge that pushed my freelance writing career to the next level – allowing me to travel and live abroad, get out of debt and really “live the freelance life.” One freelancer wrote:
I hope all is well! I just wanted to let you know that this month marked the first month that my writing income surpassed that of my day job.
Thanks to your help and inspiration, I have more work than I know what to do with and have successfully landed a number of clients that give me recurring work. Thanks again for your advice!