Learn the top 10 ways to get clients as a freelance writer in Nigeria. Use these tips to attract your dream customers and grow your business. We even made a free freelance writer marketing strategies checklist to make things easy for you.
Freelance writing is a great way to make money from home, but it can be difficult to get started. In this blog post, we will share our top 10 tips for getting clients as a freelance writer in Nigeria.
We will cover everything from branding, email marketing, and local search optimisation to exploring paid ads and building thought leadership. So whether you’re a new freelance writer or you’re looking to grow your business, read on for some helpful tips.
Table of Contents
Key Takeaways (Editor’s Pick)
- Stand out from the crowd by branding as an industry expert.
- Join various freelancing platforms to reach ready-to-pay clients.
- Create a portfolio website to take full control of your marketing and brand messaging.
- Nurture and upsell clients by building an email list.
- Create an omnichannel social presence by signing up on all the popular social networks.
- Dominate the local competition with local search optimisation.
- Get quick wins with paid ad campaigns.
- Demonstrate credibility and expertise with thought leadership.
- Use personalised cold emails to reach specific clients.
- Ask for referrals from satisfied clients to lower your acquisition costs.
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How to Get High-Value Freelance Writing Clients
Freelancing writing is a highly crowded space. Standing out can be a huge challenge. But here, we shared our favorite advanced strategies for getting high-value clients.
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Now, let’s begin.
1. Brand yourself
Branding as an industry expert is your best bet to stand out.
It involves building an identity that sticks in the minds of your target audience and becomes their preferred option for doing business. It’s essential for cultivating long-term customer loyalty, stimulating sales, building credibility, and differentiating from the competition.
Branding waters the ground making it effortless to attract and retain high-value clients.
And here is how you can brand your freelance business as an industry expert:
- Pick a niche and don’t try to be a jack of all trades. It makes you less credible.
- Take courses to improve your skills. Display your certificates and badges on all customer touchpoints to demonstrate expertise and credibility.
- Create a brand identity to give your business a unique voice and face.
- Share your expertise on social media.
- Build relationships and network with professionals in your field.
- Differentiate yourself from your brand.
We have written extensively on how to brand as a freelancer. We recommend that you check it out. We also included a free freelancer branding toolkit that can help you build your brand as a freelancer in Nigeria.
Recommended Post: How to Build Your Brand As a Freelancer In Nigeria
2. Join freelancing platforms
Branding makes you appealing to prospects.
But attracting your ideal prospects starts with joining a freelancing platform. These platforms make it easy to connect with clients who are actively looking for freelance writers. This means that you can focus on providing great service to your clients, rather than spending time marketing your services.
I tested a bunch of freelancing platforms to help freelancers find the right one.
I vetted them, considering things like the fee structure, user base, stand-out features, native marketing and payment features, and customer support. Eight stood out for me, and I categorised them based on their user cases.
Take a look to see which one is right for you.
- Upwork: Best freelancing platform to bid for projects
- Fiverr: Best freelance online marketplace
- PeoplePerHour: Best low-competition freelancing platform
- Freelancer.com: Best freelancing platform to find high-value clients
- Legiit: Best freelancing platform for SEO services
- 99designs: Best freelance platform for designers
- Guru.com: Excellent Freelancer.com alternative
- Toptal: Best freelance platform for high-skill talents
Pro Tip: Our article Top 5 (+3) Freelancing Platforms for Nigerians took an in-depth review of these platforms plus how to select the right ones. It also offers a free freelancing checklist to help you put your best foot forward and build a thriving freelancing career in Nigeria
3. Create a portfolio website
Freelancing platforms are a great way to get started as a freelancer.
They can help you build momentum and attract some initial clients. However, if you’re serious about scaling your business and attracting the right clients, then you’ll need to create a website for your freelancing business. And we have three reasons.
First, it gives you full control over your marketing.
When you use a freelancing platform, you’re competing with other freelancers for the attention of potential clients. This can make it difficult to stand out and get noticed. But with your website, you can control the content and design, and you can make sure that your website is optimized for search engines so that potential clients can find you easily.
Second, having a website lets you tell your brand story.
Freelancing platforms limit the amount of information you can provide about your business.
But that’s not the case with your website. It lets you create a more comprehensive and engaging experience for potential clients. You can share your portfolio, your experience, and your unique selling proposition. You can also write blog posts and articles that provide valuable information to your target audience.
Also, a website lets you manage your client relationships.
When you use a freelancing platform, you usually communicate with clients through the platform’s messaging system. This can be a convenient way to communicate, but it can also be limiting.
With your website, you can create a more personalised and streamlined experience for your clients. You can set up a contact form so that clients can reach out to you directly, and you can also create a client portal where clients can access their files, invoices, and other important information.
Action Tip: Use this resource to access our free branding toolkit for freelancers. Create a stunning, immersive portfolio website with the free Zakra WordPress theme.
4. Build an email list
Being able to build an email list is one of the perks of having a freelance writing website.
It lets you seamlessly connect with new potential customers, nurture leads, and cultivate long-term customer relationships. You can also use your email list to upsell to existing clients, which can help you improve your customer lifetime value (CLTV).
One of the things we enjoy about email marketing is that it’s way more effective than social media at acquiring new customers. For example, studies show that email is 40 times more effective than Facebook or Twitter, and can generate 6X higher click-through rates than tweets.
To build an email list, we recommend that you:
- Add an email sign-up button on your website.
- Encourage prospects to join your email list with enticing offers or discounts.
- Run social media promotions to reach new prospects and sign them up.
- Offer leads magnets like free checklists and guides in exchange for prospects’ emails.
Action Tips: Segment your list based on demographics, preferences, or location to offer personalised experiences to your subscribers. Regularly analyse your email data to see your engagement level and conversion rate across the segments. Also, wet inactive subscribers’ appetite with re-engagement emails.
Download free freelancer writer marketing strategies checklist
Use the checklist to stay organised and create a marketing plan that will help you attract new clients and grow your freelance writing business.
5. Stay active on social media
Around 4.8 billion people use social media worldwide.
This number represents about 60% of the global population and 93% of all internet users. So, it’s likely that your clients are on social media. Being active and creating valuable content on these platforms puts you in front of your ideal prospects, improving your chances of landing more high-paying clients.
For a start, join all the popular social media platforms, such as Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Quora, and Instagram. It gives you an omnichannel social media presence, opening multiple touchpoints for clients to experience your brand. Then, start posting regularly on these platforms to build engagement.
We recommend creating tailored social media strategies for each platform.
And here’s how our favourite use cases for each of these platforms:
- Facebook: Share customer success stories, testimonials, and case studies.
- Twitter: Join trending conversations.
- LinkedIn: Share expert opinions and articles to build thought leadership.
- Quora: Provide valuable answers to relevant questions to show industry knowledge and expertise.
- Instagram: Share customer video testimonials.
Pro Tip: Reach new customers by promoting your services with personalised ads on these platforms. You can also retarget website visitors who didn’t convert.
6. Optimise for local searches
You’ll also earn big from targeting local businesses.
To do this, you need to optimise your website for local searches, which are location-specific keyword searches that prospects perform to find nearby businesses. Unfortunately, many freelance writers ignore this. A study shows that local searches attract over 20% of traffic.
That’s a lot of traffic to leave on the table.
In addition, SEO brings in a 5X to 12X ROI. It also drives 20X more traffic and a higher click-through rate than PPC on both mobile and desktop. Even better, SEO leads to a 14.6% average conversion rate, making it one of the most effective marketing channels.
To optimise for local searches:
- Create dedicated city pages for every location you target.
- Optimise your website for location-based keywords, for example, “Best Content Writer in Lagos.”
- List on Google Business Profile to boost local visibility.
- Embed explainer video on relevant pages to boost dwell time.
- Help search engines understand your pages better with schema markup.
- Leverage content marketing to target long-tailed keywords.
- Connect all your social media accounts to your website.
- Build quality links to boost your ranking and stay on top.
- Pay attention to Google’s quality content and algorithm updates.
Pro Tips: Ranking at the top of the search results can be tough. So, if you’re not an SEO expert, we recommend hiring a professional to help you with your local search optimisation.
7. Explore paid ads
Paid ads give you quick wins.
They can help you reach your ideal prospects in a couple of minutes after launching a campaign, which is much faster than organic searches, email marketing, and other marketing channels. And the good thing is you can get up to $2 for every $1 you spend on a PPC.
Google Ads results are insane. On average, businesses earn $8 for every $1.60 spent. Also, 98% of advertisers rate Google 4 or 5 out of 5 on trust rating.
Here’s how to use this channel to land new clients.
- Run paid search campaigns on Google to rank for relevant search keywords.
- Leverage Google Display affinity audience to show ads to people who visited a particular website, let’s say, competitors’ or freelancing websites.
- Launch a Facebook ad campaign to target business owners in the United States.
- Use Facebook’s custom audience to retarget customers on your email list.
- Retarget website visitors who didn’t convert on Facebook, Instagram, Google Display, and Twitter.
Pro Tips: Use engaging visuals for your ads to grab attention. We also recommend changing the visuals weekly or monthly to prevent ad fatigue.
8. Build thought leadership
Getting high-ticket clients becomes easier when they see you as an industry expert.
And that’s where thought leadership comes in. It involves creating and sharing authentic content that demonstrates your expertise, insight, and experience. The goal is to become a subject matter expert.
For instance, if your freelance writing niche is Amazon eCommerce marketing, then your ideal clients should see you as a subject matter expert or a thought leader. And you can achieve this by creating and publishing authentic insights on your blog or LinkedIn page.
To build thought leadership:
- Define and understand your audience.
- Review existing thought leadership in your field to understand the stance they’re taking.
- Create thought leadership content on ideas your clients care about.
- Distribute and promote your content.
- Measure results.
Pro Tips: Use LinkedIn to share your thought leadership content. In addition to being the preferred social media channel for business owners and executives, LinkedIn articles tend to rank higher too.
9. Send cold emails
Don’t always wait for clients to reach out to you, you can get to them first with cold emails.
However, the average open rate for cold emails is about 8.5%. Of course, it’s not encouraging. But you can improve your numbers by picking the right prospects, personalising the email, and following up regularly.
Personlising the email subject alone can boost your open rate by 50%.
So we recommend taking the time to craft a subject line that is specific to the recipient and their interests. Additionally, you should also ensure to personalise the body of your email. For instance, you can address the recipient by name, and mention something specific about their company or industry.
Also, send a follow-up a few days later to keep your email fresh in the recipient’s mind and increase the chances of them responding.
Pro Tips: Keep your cold emails short and to the point. Also, highlight the benefits of working with you, and don’t forget to drive the desired action with a compelling CTA.
10. Ask for referrals
Asking for referrals is probably the most underrated client acquisition strategy.
It’s a cheap and effective way to grow your customer base and build relationships. About 83% of customers are happy to refer products and services to their friends and family, and 29% of them are willing to do so without being asked.
Here are a few tips for asking for referrals:
- Only ask for referrals from happy customers. And do this when you think they are happiest. It improves your chances of getting quality referrals from them.
- Don’t just send out a mass email asking for referrals. Take the time to reach out to each person individually and explain why you’re asking for their help.
- When someone gives you a referral, be sure to thank them. A simple thank-you note or email can go a long way. It could help you get more referrals from them.
- Offer discounts to entice clients to make referrals.
Top 12 Ways Nigerian Freelancers Can Retain Their Clients
Want to keep your freelancing clients this year? Our advanced customer retention guide can help. Use our free downloadable checklist to make it easy and get more value from your existing customer, while keeping your acquisition cost low.
How do I get started as a freelance writer?
Here are a few things you need to do to get started as a freelance writer:
- Define your niche. What kind of writing do you want to do? Are you interested in writing blog posts, articles, website copy, or something else?
- Build your portfolio. Start by writing samples of your work that you can share with potential clients.
- Create a website or blog. This will give you a place to showcase your work and attract potential clients.
- Start networking. Attend industry events, connect with other writers on social media, and reach out to potential clients directly.
- Offer your services on freelance platforms. There are several freelance platforms where you can post your services and connect with potential clients.
Where do I find freelance writing clients?
There are a few different places you can find freelance writing clients:
- Freelance platforms. There are several freelance platforms where you can post your services and connect with potential clients. Some popular platforms include Upwork, Fiverr, and Freelancer.
- Networking. Attend industry events, connect with other writers on social media, and reach out to potential clients directly.
- Cold emailing. Send cold emails to potential clients who might be interested in your services.
- Referrals. Ask your friends, family, and colleagues for referrals to potential clients.
How much should I charge for my freelance writing services?
The amount you charge for your freelance writing services will depend on many factors, including your experience, your niche, and the type of work you’re doing. However, a good rule of thumb is to charge between $0.05 and $0.10 per word.
How do I get paid as a freelance writer?
There are a few different ways you can get paid as a freelance writer:
- Hourly rate. You can charge a set hourly rate for your work.
- Per-project rate. You can charge a set rate for each project you complete.
- Royalties. You can charge a percentage of the revenue generated by your work.
- Combination of rates. You can charge a combination of hourly, per-project, and royalty rates.
How do I retain my freelance writing clients?
These tips can help you delight and retain your clients:
- Deliver high-quality work. This is the most important thing you can do to retain your clients.
- Be responsive. Be responsive to your clients’ inquiries and feedback.
- Go above and beyond. Do more than what is expected of you to show your clients that you value their business.
- Build relationships. Build relationships with your clients so that they feel like they can trust you and rely on you.
Putting Together a Freelance Writing Clients Acquisition Strategies
Getting freelance writing clients in Nigeria can be challenging, but it’s possible.
We suggest you follow the tips in this article to increase your odds of success. Start with the easier options and then slowly move on to the more complex strategies until you’ve covered everything. Create a timeline for implementation and assign KPIs to each strategy so you can track their progress.
Use the free freelancer writer marketing strategies checklist to stay organised and create a marketing plan that will help you attract new clients and grow your freelance writing business.