Anyone looking to hire a freelance writer in today's environment is almost guaranteed to be overwhelmed by the sheer number of applications that will come through. It is also guaranteed that the process of filtering out the best candidates will be understandably brutal.
For this reason, it is incredibly important that freelance writers not only do what is asked, but that they also aim to stand out from the crowd with wow-worthy work samples. This week's video offers tips on how you can help keep things manageable for potential clients by presenting your work samples easily and simply.
This week, I want to talk to you about how to present work samples easily and simply for your clients.
I've had the opportunity to work with some amazing clients, hiring freelancers on their behalf to help them get projects done. As a result, I've worked with hundreds of freelance writers, and most recently I was involved in a project where I was helping to hire a dozen new content writers. I put out the call in multiple different places. Whenever I've had the opportunity to hire on someone else's behalf, it's always a learning experience and this situation was no different.
As a result, I have drawn together some things that I think you need to consider as you're pitching writing clients, specifically as it relates to your samples. Your samples are some of the most important things you have as a freelance writer. They telegraph to your client the experience, writing style, and quality that you bring to the table. If your writing samples aren't good, there's a great chance that the client is going to overlook you completely and never get back in touch. In fact, sometimes that's the case when new writers come to me for coaching assistance and they ask, “Why am I not getting any responses?”
Make things easy for the client
One thing I've learned in this most recent round of hiring freelance writers is that it's all too easy to not think about the client experience when you're sending writing samples. What do I mean by that? Make it easy for your client to open the writing samples. Don't send word documents or PDFs that they have to download to their computer. These days, people are really uncomfortable with the prospect of potential viruses, and they are unlikely to open files at all. If the writing samples are too difficult for them to open, they are probably just going to delete your email or ignore your pitch altogether. Make things easy by putting your samples in a Google Drive link or on Dropbox so the client only has to click one time to open it and they don't have to worry about viruses.
Use your best Samples
Another tip for you when it comes to writing samples: make sure that the sample showcases your best work. All too often, I see people who are sending in writing samples that have spelling and grammar mistakes. This instantly tells the client it's not worth working with you – a big mistake that happens far too often, even with experienced writers.
Read and follow instructions
Finally – follow instructions. In my most recent example, when I was hiring freelance writers for one of my clients, I explained exactly what I was looking for. It was an SEO blogging project, and yet I got messages and comments from people saying, “What kind of sample should I submit?” If you bother the client because you haven't read the instructions, they are just going to delete your message and never get back to you. Read through everything a couple of times. It's normal to be excited about the prospect of working on a project and want to get your proposal in as soon as possible. But don't let your willingness to jump the gun jeopardize your very opportunity to actually land that client and build an ongoing gig.
I hope this helps you when you think about making your writing samples accessible as well as examples of your best possible work.