Are you struggling to find more clients? Are you new to the freelance business and don’t know where to start? Or are you trying to bust through the ceiling and take your freelance business to the next level?
The answer to all of these problems is to use online press to find more freelance work. Get your name out there, connect with influential editors, and get mentioned on popular sites. But how?
Most people would recommend you hire a PR agent to help get your name out there, or to spend countless hours on social media. While these things could help your business, I’m here to let you know that you don’t have to shell out of lot of money on a PR agent, or waste time on Twitter making connections.
Here’s how I’ve been able to get mentioned in the media and use online press to grow my freelance business and land more clients for free.
Become a Huffington Post blogger
This is the starting point of everything for me. After hitting publish on my story of paying off $14,000 of debt in 14 months, the Huffington Post’s Money editor reached out to me about republishing my article on their site. I was shocked and excited! Of course I said “yes”, and since then I’ve been a Huffington Post blogger for the past 2 years.
From my example, Careful Cents contributor Catherine, was able to use my submission as a guide to get published on the Huffington Post and become a blogger for them too. She’s even had a recent post go viral.
Since then I’ve helped a number of freelancers in the community get published on The Huffington Post. Being a blogger for the Huffington Post helped me land one of my first speaking gigs. The company reached out to me directly and then flew me out to San Francisco to speak at a local financial institution.
I’ve been able to build upon this by getting mentioned on other popular blogs, and have worked with other corporate clients like, The Neat Company, Office Depot, and H&R Block. All of which started with being a HuffPo blogger.
Learn to Help A Reporter Out
Believe it or not there are hundreds of journalists and writers out there who are looking for stories, features, and sources for articles they’re working on. Thanks to a free tool called Help A Reporter Out (HARO) you can connect with these journalists and get featured in the media without having to hire a PR agent.
HARO has over 30,000 members of the press in their network, and you can sign up for their free version (they have paid versions too, but you’ll only need the free one) and start sending your replies and getting massive exposure for your business.
You’ll receive three emails a day with queries divided up into different sections:
- Biotech and Healthcare
- Business and Finance
- Entertainment and Media
- High Tech
- Lifestyle and Fitness
- Public Policy and Government
So there’s something for anyone, in any niche. Just scroll down to your preferred category and scan through the queries. When you find one you want to respond to, click the link and follow the instructions in the query.
Sometimes you’ll receive an email back from the journalist letting you know that your submission will be used, but most of the time you won’t know if your response was accepted. Just keep responding to queries and in a few weeks you could see your name published on popular blogs.
I’ve done this countless times throughout the four years of me being a blogger, with a lot of success. In fact, using HARO was how I was able to land a mention in INC Magazine. (Scroll down to #10.)
Guest blog like a boss
The backbone of my business has been built through guest blogging. This is when you pitch a unique blog post idea to another blog or website, in exchange for a byline and link to back to your site. This will expose you to a new audience, learn to work with different editors, create quality relationships in the industry, and even help you land more freelance clients.
Sites I’ve been a guest blogger for include; Brazen Careerist, Freelancers Union, FreshBooks, Upwork (formerly oDesk), and Freelancer FAQs. Over the years guest blogging opportunities have helped me land media mentions in Business Insider, Time.com’s MONEY section, and Refinery29.
Some guest posts are paid but most won’t compensate you for your content. You have to be willing to write for free in exchange for more traffic or exposure on bigger sites.
Or leverage these one-off gigs into long-term freelance jobs that pay. I followed up with one unpaid guest post and turned it into a well-paying freelance writing gig. (I wrote my first post for Bidsketch and followed up with the editor a month later and asked if he was looking for more contributors!)
This is another reason you want to make sure your guest posts are super high quality and offer a lot of actionable value. You’ll make more sales, get more traffic, and the editor may even hire you as a regular contributor.
Add media mentions to your portfolio
Now how do you turn these media mentions into paying freelance gigs? Add these mentions to your freelance portfolio on Pinterest and LinkedIn, as well as the portfolio page on your website. Then use them as the “hook” when sending out your pitch emails to potential clients and editors.
I was able to negotiate a new job (via LinkedIn) that pays $70 an hour editing mini-books for financial authors because my portfolio was so impressive (her words, not mine). This client initially offered me $50 an hour but instantly said yes to my $70 an hour request, simply because I’ve written for so many big sites, and she knew my work was worth the extra money.
You can also add your media mentions to your “Featured By” section of your website or blog. I have this on the homepage of my site, so when people land on my blog for the first time they instantly know I have credibility and experience.
Only use the best/most reputable sites though, you don’t want to overload people with all the places you’ve been mentioned. Choose the top ones and remove the rest! (This is why it’s important to keep your portfolio, and LinkedIn profile, updated.)
Use online press to get clients
If you’re frustrated with your being able to find new clients for your freelance business, or are ready to take it to the next level, use these tips to get mentioned in the media. I promise it will help you grow your portfolio, build your reputation, and land well-paying clients.
Need more help? Shoot me an email or connect with me on Twitter (@carefulcents) and I’ll be happy to share my experience or answer your questions.
Getting published on media outlets like The Huffington Post and Business Insider, have helped me find clients, and other awesome opportunities, that would have never happened otherwise.
Do you want to be mentioned in the media? What are your goals for getting published?