The Ultimate Guide to Attracting Your First Client as a Freelancing Copy or Content Writer: Proven Strategies

By Quentin Pain

September 23, 2023


To attract anyone to anything, you need to promise them something they are looking for, place that promise in front of their eyes, and then add enough value to that promise so you stand out as the only freelancing copy or content writer worth considering.

You can do this in front of individual businesses who are looking for help on their websites, contacting agencies who can either give you work directly, or help you find clients, or by using online job sites such as Upwork, LinkedIn, Toptal, People per Hour.

What follows will help you get there.


Embarking on a freelance copy or content writing career can be both exciting and challenging. With the rise in demand for quality written content, many skilled individuals have turned to freelancing to showcase their talents. However, attracting your first client may seem daunting, especially for those new to the industry. This guide will cover everything you need to know to secure your first copy or content writing client and successfully kickstart your freelance career.

Understanding the freelance landscape is crucial for any aspiring copy or content writer. From building your skills and portfolio to marketing and expanding your professional network, every step plays a significant role in making you an in-demand and reliable writer. Establishing trust, credibility, and a strong personal brand will help ensure that your first client is just the beginning of a thriving and fulfilling career.

Key Takeaways

  • Hone your writing skills and create a strong portfolio to showcase your work
  • Determine your niche, market your personal brand, and expand your professional network
  • Successfully pitch and negotiate your worth, while maintaining lasting relationships with clients

Understanding the Freelancing Landscape

The freelancing landscape has been evolving rapidly in recent years, with more individuals turning to self-employment and flexible working opportunities. Freelancing allows individuals to take charge of their own schedules and workload, while also giving them the freedom to pursue their passions. The rise of the gig economy has contributed to an ever-growing pool of freelance professionals, with many skilled individuals venturing into the world of freelance copywriting and content creation as a means to fulfill their desire for creative expression and financial freedom.

Freelancers bring a variety of skills and expertise to the table, making them valuable assets to businesses and clients in various industries. As a freelance copy or content writer, it is essential to understand and navigate the dynamics of the freelancing market to attract and retain clients. Many factors contribute to the current state of the gig economy, such as advancements in technology, changing workplace cultures, and increasing global connectivity. By understanding these influences and trends, you can better position yourself to succeed as a freelance writer.

One critical aspect of the freelancing landscape is the freelance gig platforms that connect freelancers with potential clients. These platforms offer a convenient way for freelancers to showcase their skills, build their portfolios, and bid on relevant projects. As a content or copywriter, it is essential to familiarize yourself with popular freelance gig platforms where businesses and clients are actively seeking writers with your skills and talents. Exploring and engaging with these platforms raises your visibility and increases your chances of attracting your first client.

Another key aspect of the freelancing landscape is networking. Establishing connections and maintaining a strong network can lead to more referrals, job opportunities, and a favorable reputation within your industry. Participating in networking events, online forums, and social media groups can enhance your profile as a freelance writer and open doors to new projects and clients. A proactive and strategic networking approach enables you to forge valuable relationships with businesses that may require your services in the future.

Understanding the freelancing landscape is an essential component of building a successful freelance business as a copy or content writer. By staying current with industry trends, engaging with gig platforms, and actively networking, you can create a strong foundation for attracting and retaining clients in this competitive market.

Building Your Skills and Portfolio

As a freelancing copy or content writer, your skills and portfolio are essential tools in attracting your first clients. To start, focus on strengthening your writing abilities by gaining experience in different industries and styles. Hone your craft by practicing various formats, from blog posts to social media content, press releases, and more.

Aside from writing experience, invest in learning about related fields like graphic design, search engine optimization (SEO), and content marketing. These complementary skills can make you stand out from the competition, showcasing your versatility and value as a writer.

In the early stages of your career, consider offering your writing services for small projects or to non-profit organizations to build a solid portfolio. Startups are also worth considering. This approach not only provides valuable experience but also demonstrates your skills and commitment to potential clients.

Creating an online portfolio is a crucial aspect of securing your first freelancing client. Ensure that your portfolio is professional and well-organized, featuring your best work samples. Include a range of pieces that showcase your writing abilities and adaptability to different subjects and styles. Provide context to each writing sample, citing the goals, target audience, and results achieved by the content.

Your resume, an important part of your overall presentation, should highlight your skills as a copywriter or content writer. Make sure to list your experience, education, and industry-related training, as well as relevant achievements, such as prior projects that led to increased engagement or sales for a client.

Finally, tailor your portfolio and resume to suit the specific needs and preferences of each potential client. Emphasize the writing skills and experiences that align with their industry and desired outcomes. This tailored approach conveys a clear understanding of the client’s objectives and exhibits a genuine interest in working with them.

Building both your skills and portfolio is an ongoing process that will help you attract your first freelancing client. By continually refining your craft and presenting yourself professionally, you will establish a solid foundation for success in the world of content and copywriting.

Determining Your Niche and Services

Entering the world of freelancing as a copy or content writer requires a plan, and part of that plan is identifying your niche and the services you will offer. Determining your niche helps you focus your efforts on attracting the right clients who need your expertise in a specific area. A niche could be anything from web design and development to social media content or a specific industry such as healthcare.

To begin, take inventory of your skills and specialties. Understand your strengths and interests, which will align with the type of work you would enjoy and excel in. When deciding on a niche, don’t solely focus on potential earnings, but also consider your personal fulfillment as you’ll be spending substantial time on these projects.

Once you have identified your niche, list the services you can provide to clients within that area. These services might include creating engaging blog content, pitching and writing articles, crafting compelling social media content, or drafting informative web design and development copy. Having a clear and concise list of services you offer increases your chances of finding clients who need your specific expertise.

Next, refine your offerings by understanding the demands and expectations of your target market. Conduct research to identify what your potential clients require and brainstorm ways to meet those needs. An excellent way to stay informed of industry trends is to follow influential professionals and companies in your niche on social media platforms.

One essential aspect of a successful freelancing career is continuous improvement. As you make progress in your niche, look for areas of growth and expand your services or specialties accordingly. For example, if you started as a web design copywriter, consider mastering web development subjects to provide more comprehensive services to your clients.

Finally, maintain a confident, knowledgeable, and clear tone in your communication. This will display your professionalism and expertise, winning the trust of potential copywriting clients. By carefully determining your niche, showcasing your range of services, and adopting a continuous learning mindset, you’ll be well on your way to attracting your first client as a freelancing copy or content writer.

Marketing and Building Your Personal Brand

As a freelancing copy or content writer, attracting your first client starts with marketing and building your personal brand. A strong personal brand can make you stand out from competitors and be recognized by potential clients. To develop a successful personal brand, follow these steps:

First, establish a unique online presence by creating a professional website that showcases your skills, portfolio, and accomplishments. For better visibility, optimize your content with relevant industry-specific keywords. Maintain a compelling blog that demonstrates your writing expertise and serves as an engaging platform for potential clients.

Second, make sure to leverage various social media platforms to promote your personal brand and connect with your target audience. As a copy or content writer, LinkedIn can be a powerful tool for showcasing your abilities, expanding your network, and discovering potential clients. Similarly, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter can be effective in sharing your content, engaging with followers, and reaching a wider audience.

Additionally, invest in digital marketing strategies to boost your visibility in search engines and attract clients who might be looking for your services. Advertise your articles, share valuable insights, and engage in relevant discussions to establish your authority in the copywriting industry.

Lastly, don’t overlook traditional marketing methods like business cards and networking events. These can help you create lasting impressions on potential clients, leading to new opportunities and referrals.

By proactively working on your personal branding and combining it with various marketing and networking strategies, you will be on your way to attracting your first client as a freelancing copy or content writer.

Expanding Your Professional Network

One of the most effective ways to attract your first clients as a freelancing copy or content writer is by expanding your professional network. Building a strong network enables you to tap into various opportunities, learn from others in the industry, and establish a reputation as a reliable and skilled writer.

To get started, consider utilizing online platforms such as LinkedIn and Facebook groups dedicated to copywriting and content creation. These platforms allow you to connect with fellow professionals, share your work, and engage in relevant discussions. Be sure to regularly participate in conversations and offer help or advice when possible to establish credibility within the community.

In addition to online networks, attending industry events like conferences and workshops can be highly beneficial. These events provide opportunities to meet professionals in person, learn about the latest trends and techniques in the field, and gain inspiration from experienced professionals. Ensure to follow up with the contacts you make and foster those relationships for potential collaboration or referrals in the future.

Another valuable way to expand your network is through co-working spaces. Co-working spaces offer a collaborative environment where freelancers and entrepreneurs from various fields come together to work on their projects. They often organize networking events and activities, helping members exchange ideas, collaborate, and establish lasting professional connections. Moreover, co-working spaces can provide you with potential clients who might require your services.

Lastly, don’t forget the power of your existing circle of friends, family, and acquaintances. Inform them about your new freelancing venture and ask for their support in spreading the word or referring you to potential clients.

Remember, expanding your professional network is an ongoing process, and it is essential to be proactive and genuine in your interactions. By consistently nurturing relationships and exploring various networking avenues, you will be well on your way to attracting your first clients as a freelance copy or content writer.

Pitching and Proposal Writing

Attracting your first client as a freelancing copy or content writer requires a strong foundation in pitching and proposal writing skills. To get started, it is essential to understand the fundamentals of drafting compelling pitches and proposals that capture the prospective client’s attention.

Firstly, tailor your pitch to the specific requirements of the prospective client. Research their business, familiarize yourself with their branding and messaging, and showcase how your skills and experience can make a difference for them. It is advisable to limit your proposal to 1-2 pages to maintain conciseness and relevance.

In your proposal, emphasize your qualifications and experience, along with samples of previous work that align with the client’s needs. Demonstrating a clear understanding of their niche and goals will put you ahead of the competition. When reaching out, consider using direct messages on social media platforms or emails to make personal connections with potential clients.

For a successful pitch, remember the following tips:

  • Keep the language simple and concise.
  • Use a captivating subject line when sending an email.
  • Address the client’s pain points and explain how you can solve their issues.

When drafting a proposal, it’s important to separate deliverables from pricing. By doing so, you showcase your services and provide the client with a clear understanding of what they will receive. Providing pricing options, such as different packages or tiers, allows the client to select the best fit for their needs and budget.

To establish credibility and confidence in your services, consider the following:

  • Use testimonials and endorsements from previous clients.
  • Highlight any awards, certifications, or notable experience in your field.
  • Offer a reasonable timeline for project completion to set expectations.

Attracting your first client as a freelancer requires careful attention to pitching and proposal writing. By following these guidelines, you can create a strong foundation that showcases your expertise and unique value, ultimately leading to a successful freelance writing career.

Establishing Trust and Credibility

To attract your first client as a freelancing copy or content writer, establishing trust and credibility is crucial. It starts with understanding your audience’s needs, values, and expectations, as well as demonstrating your authority in your niche.

Building a strong reputation is key to gaining customer trust, and one effective way is by showcasing testimonials from satisfied clients. These positive feedbacks can be displayed on your website or social media channels, providing new clients with evidence of your writing prowess and expertise. Moreover, recommendations from reputable sources or previous clients can also enhance your credibility, so don’t be afraid to ask for referrals.

Another way to establish credibility is by positioning yourself as a thought leader in your area of expertise. Share informative and relevant content on your blog or social media, or even contribute articles to well-established publications. This can demonstrate your knowledge to potential clients and make you an attractive option for them to consider.

By presenting a professional image, both online and offline, you can also boost your trustworthiness. This includes having a well-designed website, consistent branding, and clear communication with potential clients. Furthermore, make sure to deliver high-quality work, and be reliable with deadlines and project requirements.

Establishing trust and credibility as a freelancing copy or content writer is a multifaceted process. By focusing on building a strong reputation, showcasing testimonials and recommendations, asserting your authority as a thought leader, and maintaining a professional image, you can attract your first client and set the foundation for a successful career in freelancing.

Finding Your First Client

As a freelancing copy or content writer, attracting your first client can seem like a daunting task. However, with a confident and knowledgeable approach, you can successfully land your initial project and kickstart your career. Here are some key steps for finding your first client as a freelancer.

Begin by identifying your niche and tailoring your skills accordingly. Specializing in a specific area allows you to demonstrate expertise and differentiate yourself from other writers. A clear understanding of your unique strengths will enable you to present yourself as a valuable asset.

A strong online presence is vital for showcasing your work to potential clients. Develop a comprehensive portfolio website displaying your best work, as well as a professional LinkedIn profile. Make sure to highlight relevant projects that demonstrate your experience within your chosen niche.

Networking plays a crucial role in finding freelance clients. Reach out to your existing professional network and inform them that you’re available for freelancing work. Attend relevant industry events or join online communities to connect with others in your field and expand your network.

Don’t be afraid to seek out opportunities actively. Various freelance platforms, such as Upwork, can provide you with access to potential clients looking for your specific skillset. When applying for jobs, tailor your proposal to each client’s needs to show that you understand their requirements and are the best fit for their project.

Invest time in refining your pitch to make it concise and impactful. Communicate the value you can bring to the client’s project and illustrate how your services will be worth their investment. This will showcase your expertise, confidence, and understanding of the client’s needs.

By following these steps and maintaining a clear, knowledgeable, and confident approach, you’ll be well-prepared to secure your first client as a freelance content or copywriter.

Negotiating Your Worth and Payment

When starting out as a freelancing copy or content writer, it’s crucial to confidently negotiate your worth and payment. Understanding your value and skills will empower you to set fair rates and secure contracts that reflect your expertise.

Begin by conducting research to determine the average rates for copy and content writers with your level of experience and skill set. This will provide a baseline for your pricing structure. Consider charging more if you possess specialized knowledge or industry-specific experience.

It’s essential to approach negotiations with a clear and confident tone. Make a list of your qualifications, accomplishments, and unique skills. Knowing these will help you feel more secure in asking for a higher rate.

When discussing your rates with potential clients, be prepared to provide reasons for your pricing. Be sure to highlight your strengths, such as the value you bring to their projects and the potential return on their investment in your services. Emphasize the quality of your work, rather than just your fees. Explain that while your rates may be higher than others, you offer more value and deliver exceptional results, making it a smart investment for the client.

Before finalizing any contracts, have a clear understanding of the scope of the project and the expected outcomes. This will enable you to prevent scope creep and ensure you’re being paid fairly for the work you’ll be providing.

Here are some key tips for successfully negotiating your rates and contracts:

  • Determine your base rates through research and industry comparisons
  • Highlight your unique skills and experiences
  • Offer reasons for your pricing structure, focusing on the value you bring to clients
  • Be confident and assertive in your negotiations
  • Clearly define project scope and expectations before signing contracts

Overall, confidently asserting your worth and negotiating payment arrangements in line with industry standards can lead to more money and better contracts. This will make your freelancing journey more rewarding and ultimately, more successful.

Follow Up and Maintain Relationship

In the world of freelancing, attracting your first client as a copy or content writer can be both exciting and challenging. One crucial aspect that can make a significant difference in your success is the ability to follow up and maintain a strong relationship with your clients. It involves being proactive, having a positive mindset, and focusing on your goals to ensure long-term success.

After submitting a project or proposal, it is essential to follow up with the client to show your interest and commitment towards their needs. This not only highlights your professionalism but also serves as a gentle reminder in case the task has been overlooked or delayed. Remember, persistence can often pay off, but finding a balance is key – you do not want to come across as pushy or desperate.

Effective communication plays a vital role in maintaining a healthy client relationship. Offering multiple contact channels like email, phone calls, or messaging platforms helps establish open and consistent lines of communication. Regularly update your clients on project progress, address their queries or concerns promptly, and ask for feedback. This builds trust and demonstrates your dedication to their satisfaction.

Having a clear understanding of your client’s goals and objectives is crucial. This way, you can align your writing to meet their expectations and ensure that the content produced adequately serves its purpose. Always strive to improve your skills and knowledge base, as this will make you a more valuable resource to them and increase the chances of being offered further projects.

Fostering a strong relationship with clients is not just about luck; it requires a proactive mindset and a genuine interest in meeting their needs. Connecting with them on a personal level by sharing relevant industry news, offering useful insights, or celebrating their milestones enhances the bond and makes you more memorable in their eyes.

A strong client relationship ultimately serves as the foundation for a successful freelancing career in copy or content writing. By focusing on effective communication, understanding the client’s goals, and adopting a positive mindset, you can increase your chances of attracting and retaining clients, thus allowing your business to thrive.

Using Job Platforms

Harnessing LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a powerful platform for freelancers, especially copy and content writers, to showcase their skills and connect with potential clients. It is essential for writers to create a comprehensive and professional-looking profile, highlighting their experience, areas of expertise, and samples of their work.

Joining relevant groups and participating in discussions can also help increase visibility and demonstrate your knowledge as a content writer. Don’t hesitate to reach out to potential clients or connections within your niche, as networking can lead to new opportunities. Lastly, regularly sharing valuable content and engaging with your network bolsters your credibility as a copy or content writer.

Utilizing Upwork

Upwork is a popular online marketplace that connects freelancers with clients looking for various services, including copy and content writing. To make the most of Upwork, create an attractive and detailed profile outlining your skills, experience, and portfolio.

When searching for jobs, focus on projects that suit your expertise and interests. Ensure you craft personalized proposals that demonstrate a clear understanding of the client’s needs and highlight your competencies. Maintain a strong reputation by consistently delivering quality work and meeting deadlines, as positive feedback and ratings boost your chances of securing more clients.

Finding Jobs on Problogger

Problogger is a go-to platform for many writers in search of freelance opportunities in the content writing domain. It offers a job board featuring a wide range of projects and clients, making it a valuable resource for attracting your first client.

To increase your chances of landing a project, thoroughly read the job description and create a targeted, well-structured application, showcasing your knowledge and expertise in the required niche. Also, provide relevant writing samples to give potential clients an insight into your writing style and capabilities.

By effectively utilizing LinkedIn, Upwork, and Problogger, freelancing copy and content writers can access a vast pool of potential clients and take a step towards kickstarting their career in the industry.

Joining the International Copywriters Association

The ICA serves to help copywriters turn professional through their in-depth online training courses. These include ProCopyClub, a 52 week course that covers everything a freelancer needs to know.

The ICA has also recently added a new course called The Elements of Persuasion. This covers perhaps the most important and yet underated topic in the copywriting industry: rhetoric.

You can find out more in the ICA’s introduction to persuasion over here.


A successful freelancing career in copy or content writing can bring immense joy to one’s life, as it provides the opportunity to work on various projects while enjoying the flexibility of work hours. To attract the first client and thrive as a freelancer, there are essential strategies that can be employed.

First, it is crucial to showcase a strong portfolio with a focus on a niche area that highlights the unique skills and value the freelancer can offer. By doing so, the freelancer demonstrates their expertise and ability to meet the specific needs of potential clients.

Second, building and maintaining a strong professional network can lead to fruitful referrals and opportunities. Engaging with like-minded professionals through networking events, online forums, and social media platforms opens doors to valuable connections and projects.

Lastly, taking an active approach to marketing and promotion is paramount. Utilizing platforms like LinkedIn to optimize profiles and share relevant content, as well as seeking out job listings on freelance sites, can increase the chances of landing the desired clients.

By following these strategies and maintaining a confident, knowledgeable, and clear approach, freelancers can attract their first clients and set the foundation for a gratifying and successful freelancing career.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I cold pitch potential clients?

Cold pitching potential clients involves reaching out to potential clients without any prior contact. Start by researching target companies, understand their pain points, and craft a personalized and compelling pitch. Demonstrate your expertise and provide examples of your work. Make sure to follow up after a few days if you haven’t heard back.

Where can I find freelance writing job boards?

There are various job boards to find freelance writing opportunities, such as Facebook groups, ProBlogger, FlexJobs, Freelance Writing Gigs, and BloggingPro. In addition, you can also use LinkedIn, Indeed, and Glassdoor to find writing jobs. Regularly check these platforms to keep up with the latest freelance writing opportunities.

What strategies work best for beginner copywriters?

As a beginner copywriter, focus on developing your writing skills, building a portfolio, and networking with professionals. Learning SEO and copywriting techniques can enhance your writing and make it more appealing to clients. Finally, be persistent and patient, as it takes time to land your first gig.

How do I market myself as a freelance content writer?

To market yourself, build a strong online presence through a professional website, LinkedIn profile, and social media platforms like Twitter or Facebook. Showcase your portfolio, engage with your audience, and share valuable content related to your niche. Attend networking events, build relationships with other writers and professionals in your industry, and leverage your connections to find potential clients.

Are freelance platforms like Upwork a good starting point?

Freelance platforms such as Upwork can be a good starting point to find clients and gain experience. These platforms connect freelancers with clients and provide access to various projects. However, competition can be high, and fees can be significant. Make sure to create a compelling profile, provide samples of your work, and bid on multiple projects to increase your chances of success.

How can I build a strong writer’s portfolio?

Create a portfolio showcasing your best writing samples from different niches and formats (articles, blog posts, social media content, etc.). Make sure to include projects or assignments that demonstrate your versatility, creativity, and style. You can host your portfolio on your website or use platforms like Contently or

What can I expect to be paid as a freelance copy or content writer?

Freelance writing rates vary based on your experience, skills, and niche. Beginners can expect to earn $25-$50 per hour, while experienced writers can demand higher rates. Conduct market research to understand the industry rates, and set your fees accordingly. As you gain experience and build your client base, consider increasing your rates.

Quentin Pain

About the author

It took me many decades before I realised the power of writing, but once I did, I understood the real value of words. My mission is to pass on all the skills I've learnt to those seeking advancement in the copywriting industry and beyond through the ICA.

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

 Get the latest news and updates from the ICA