The Writing Revelation That Changed How I View Myself as a Freelancer

Carol Tice

The Writing Revelation That Changed How I View Myself as a FreelancerBy Marya Jan

I hate cold calling.

I hate interrupting someone’s day with my message.

Why should I ask for their time? I don’t want to impose. They don’t owe me anything.

We all feel that way, right? We come up with a long list of excuses detailing why we shouldn’t contact people.

Why don’t we pitch our services more confidently and readily? What is stopping us?

I found the answer to this question in Freelance Writers Den. Carol said something that changed the way I look at my business – forever.

You are a business.

Be businesslike. And stop apologizing.

What a concept!

Yes, I am a business. Not a nuisance.

When I approach people, I do so because I have services to offer that have the power to change their businesses.

I get in touch with them because I owe it to them to let them know I can help them.

As I have gone through the Den material and learned how to create effective Letters of Introduction (LOIs), I have picked up two great clients within past two months.

They are paying me upwards of $100.00 for every post that I write for their business websites.

For ongoing work! Hooray!

So how did I do that? Here’s what I recommend.

1. Research and locate businesses for which you’d be an ideal match

Identify businesses who would love to have you on board. Companies that are looking for you right now, companies that can really use your skill and expertise.

When you do your homework, you increase your chances of getting your pitch accepted. It is not rocket science and still, most of us don’t do it.

2. Approach businesses with confidence

There is no need to be apologetic. You are not asking for donations or charity.

Stop saying things like ‘sorry to bother you’ or ‘I know you are really busy but could you give me a few minutes of your time?’

Get to the point.

You are a business, so act like one.

3. Compose letters of introduction tailor made for their needs

The biggest blunder you can do is to send out generic pitches. If you take away the salutation, could you have sent this to anybody? Then don’t do it.

Carol has some excellent material in the Den where she shows you how to craft LOI’s that work. In the forum, you can post yours for review and people WILL respond, ready to help you perfect it.

4. Pre-sell with your writer site

I am a web writer, creating online copy and content so I can’t survive if I don’t have my own site.

Even when you are writing for print magazines and publications, you should still have your site up and running. Ready to refer people to on a permanent basis, and when you mail your LOIs.

5. Don’t guess at rates

Again, reach out to your inner confident, professional self when quoting your rates. Never underestimate your value.

And stop obsessing about if they could have paid more.

You can always bounce off ideas from trusted colleagues. I find Writers Den’s forum to be really valuable in this regard, and Carol is always there to help.

6. Be professional every step of the way

Lastly, if you have done everything right, and you didn’t get the project, then it simply wasn’t meant to be. The most important thing is to be your 100% best in everything you say or do.

Marya Jan is a freelance blogger and online copywriter. She writes at Writing Happiness where she helps solo professionals and small business owners breathe life into their blog content and make it work that much harder. Follow her @WritingH, she is very friendly.

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  1. Ali

    Marya’s guest posts are everywhere these days, and I enjoyed this one the most 🙂

  2. Joshua Monen

    Marya, thank you for sharing this. I agree, how we view ourselves and the benefits clients get from using our services is so important. I was fortunate to have learned this lesson as an insurance agent, before becoming a full-time freelancer, and it has helped me tremendously.

    I like how you said, “Identify businesses who would love to have you on board. Companies that are looking for you right now, companies that can really use your skill and expertise.” When we think like this we are able find more win-win situations. Thanks for sharing!

    • Marya

      Joshua, you need to be asking one question ALL THE TIME .. What makes you so special that the client should hire you and pay your rates instead of going to a content mill? The moment you answer this truthfully, accurately identify the value you bring to the table, there would be no stopping you. Think about it.

      Thanks for your kind words. 🙂

  3. Amandah

    Absolutely! It’s time for to start pitching my teleplay and soon-to-be finished half-hour TV sitcom. I know both projects are marketable and timely.

  4. Frank Steiner


    This is great article. I personally liked the following part: “Again, reach out to your inner confident, professional self when quoting your rates. Never underestimate your value.”

    I have recently started to charge more and lost only a fraction of customers. I wish I should have increased my rate before.

    • Marya

      This is a huge issue for most freelancers. We all agonize over if we could have quoted higher rates or will we scare the prospective clients. The best way is to quote rates that are fair to both of you and then forget about it. I know, easier said than done.

      Thanks Frank


  1. EDITOR’S NOTE: Stop Being So Apologetic - [...] Carol Tice’s Make a Living Writing and the other day she posted a guest post called, “The Writing Revelation…

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