Hire a Freelancer or Get Hired as a Freelancer

I recently began popping into the Internet marketing forum at Digital Point whenever I can. Digital Point and the Warrior Forum are two of the most vibrant communities of Internet marketers. A wealth of information is exchanged on both. Lots of marketing, joint venture partnerships, and other IM business takes place.

Two Digital Point forum Q&A exchanges I've noticed a lot of activity around are:
1. how to hire a freelancer for copywriting services, and
2. how to get freelance jobs if you're a freelance writer.

I happen to sit on both sides of the matter. I hire freelance writers all the time who do a tremendous job of helping with Pet Leopard's projects. I hire freelancers for press release and ebook writing, sales copywriting, and graphic design.

But as a marketing communications consultant, I'm also always submitting proposals and preparing bids for projects, too. Making my work samples and case studies more competitive is a crucial and ongoing task.

If you're new to freelance consulting, the best advice I can offer involves your portfolio of writing samples. I'm often contacted by freelancers whose writing samples just aren't sexy. They're not engaging to look at. It's important to periodically look back over our work samples for typos and formatting glitches. So:

~ To start winning more jobs, it sometimes helps to re-invent and invigorate what you're showing as representative of your work.

~ You can volunteer your services if you need to quickly get more work to enhance your portfolio. If your work is good, you stand a good chance of getting paid by this repeat customer the next time.

~ If you don't get any takers on your gratis service offer, just produce something to showcase. If you like writing in a certain niche, write a few articles even though no one's commissioned you to do this work.

~ It doesn't matter if you send links to your live work or PDF attachments. But you've gotta provide something for people to respond to. Other than an email expressing your interest, that is.

~ You can also submit links to your Squidoo lenses, HubPages, blog posts -- you name it. It all represents the quality of your writing. Try to submit links to work that's similar to what the client seeks.

~ If you have few samples in a niche you like, create some Squidoo lenses, HubPages, AssociatedContent and other instantly publishable e-material. Include these links in your pitch material.

~ Brand your individual PDF samples with your logo, links to your website, and/or a credentials list section. Add color touches if there are none. Unify your presentation look across pieces.

~ Create one round-up PDF that showcases the breadth of your work, skills, or services. A quick-snapshot brochure piece helps underscore that you're experienced and in demand.

~ If you can boast generating lots of Diggs and other votes for your writing, show your prospects screen shots of your success.

From the other side of the coin, if you're looking to hire a freelance writer or marketing consultant, apply these evaluation considerations:
~ Clearly, you're looking for pitch emails from freelancers who craft error-free pitch copy. This is your first clue to quality. It's always nice if the intro email is at least a little customized to address your specific needs.

~ Those who don't provide a link to their work or attach samples off the bat fall into a 2nd tier of consideration. You really shouldn't have to spend time writing anyone back to ask for samples. Some job candidates start off eating into your time and not anticipating your needs. The workstyle and energy may not get better.

~ Review the writing samples work and look for a) how much 'fixing' you would have had to do if they'd written this for you, b) if any of the impressive samples happen to be in your niche, c) to-the-point but engaging writing, and d) keyword-savvy (if search engine optimization [SEO] is what you need).

Best of luck in both ventures!

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