“I'm wondering how exactly you go about finding the big clients in the first place. I'm not talking about the clients you can write articles for, but the ones that provide bulk work that you can then subcontract to other writers. Those are not the kind of jobs advertised in any writing site I've ever visited. Do you contact the clients directly to ask for work, even if there's no advertised job? Do you look in some special website to find these jobs? I've always been curious to know how that works. DB”
Thanks,DB for your question.
I work on a lot of large scale projects and some small ones too. I have been subcontracting for about a year and writing for over 2.5 years full-time. I have a lot of clients. As I get work, I decide whether I can (or want to) do it myself or sub it to one of my team members. I've gotten here partially through help and through a lot of hard work.
Writing Agency Work
It took me a fair amount of time to build up my client list. One of my first jobs when I got started in 2006 was with a writing agency and that company is still my largest client. Because of this client I started my own little writing agency.
The writing agency owner started off just as I did on her own and grew her business slowly so that she eventually went looking for help. I found out about her through a writing friend that I met in the blogosphere. She’s a very smart businesswoman and an excellent writer with a lot of clients. She has taken several years to build up a large client base.
Last year she offered me a team leader role and I put together my own team via Craigslist ads and job postings in two writing forums plus on my blog. The writing agency owner actively pursues new clients through bidding sites and offline as well. She has more than just your average online article buyer as her clientele. She has some clients that she visits and consults and meets with regularly both locally and even in other countries. Her online business is run very much like a brick and mortar business as she has in-house staff and also has remote writing teams as well.
Beyond the agency, I also have three different search engine marketing companies as clients of my own. One of these companies was a gig I found on a writer’s forum when they posted an ad to replace their regular writer. It started off as a small job but the company was acquired by a larger company which worked out really well for me. As their needs grew, I simply added to my team.
Another of my larger clients came to me through a referral from a writing friend and
I have several smaller clients as well. Some order a lot and some come to me periodically and use me regularly for things like blogging, article marketing, sales letters, press releases, e-books and reports plus other copywriting work as well. I have enough of these clients that I typically stay quite busy. Some came from jobs I applied to online and some were people who found me either through my website or through word of mouth referrals. It has taken time to build a list of clients and develop a team of writers so that I can show to clients I'm capable of managing bulk writing orders.
Organic Search Engine Marketing
Besides the original agency, I get work and clients on my own as well. I market myself as a writer online through my own website and through social networking tools so that clients that are looking for writing services in my areas of expertise can find me.
This works very well and some large writing jobs have come my way via this method as well as some of my more profitable writing jobs of my own. My own website means I have work coming in through many sources automatically and often without my having to apply at all. I also apply to job postings that I find online at times when I see something that looks very promising and I have other income sources through passive writing, about ten of my own blogs and affiliate marketing. Being busy can make constant job hunting difficult to keep up with, hence my last post about finding ways to get work quickly when things slow down. I'm usually busy but if I don't keep up my marketing efforts I can experience the occasional lull.
It takes time to build up a large enough client base to keep yourself busy and it's not always easy to manage a team of others. Working on large projects can also mean a discounted rate and a lot of project management and multitasking. I will admit it can be challenging at times but I love what I do.
Thanks again, DB for your question. I’m happy to answer any reasonable question that I can on this blog. I got my start in writing for a living from reading blogs of other writers who freely shared their tips and writing job leads and so this blog aims to share my freelancing journey with others so I can pay it forward.