Here’s a Sneaky Marketing Tactic Successful Freelance Writers Use Everyday

Does this sound familiar? Marketing for freelance writers

You approach this new prospect and offer a quote with a carefully written email, only to be crushed.

They come back saying their budget doesn’t allow them to pay you that much at the moment.

Or that they don’t really need your services.

Believe it or not, most of the times both the above scenarios are pointing to the same thing.

They don’t see the value in what you’re offering.


Because once they see the real value, they will find the budget for it. They will realise the need and want to fill that gap.

For that to happen, you need to make them see the benefit in hiring you.

Remember, every client has one question dangling in their mind: What’s in it for me?

Your job as a marketer (yes, you read that right) is to make it easier for them to see the answer clearly and positively.


By talking their language.

Far too many times, freelancers send an LOI or cold call a prospect telling them what they do.

Here is an example:

Hi, I am so and so and I’m a freelance writer with an experience in Blah niche. I write for Blah Blah Blah. [Insert more me-me-me statements which tell the prospect nothing about how you can help them].

You see, that kind of approach only tells them about you, not about what you can DO for them.

So instead of opening an email with details about you, I like to advice writers to come up with a solid pitch quoting an article, a press release or a post published by the client. Mention you’ve been following their work on social media. Say why you think their last blog post struck a chord.

That shows you’ve been doing your homework and understand the industry.
Then, talk about what’s missing (for example, perhaps their blog posts don’t get shared enough?) and how you can help bridge that gap.

Now that You’re a Freelance Writer, You’re Not Just a Writer Anymore

Picture this: You ask for a cheese burger at your local takeaway shop and just before processing your order, the girl asks “Would you like fries with that?”

Now you’re thinking: Yeah I should really not be eating those, but what the heck, I had a busy week and I deserve a break. Besides, I’m not eating them everyday.

“Yes, please. Fries would be good.”

Now imagine if the sales person never asked the question. Would you have considered fries? Probably not.

This is a classic marketing tactic of “Cross-selling” and it usually works well with “Up-selling“.

Cross-selling is selling an additional product or service to your client.

Up-selling is promoting an upgraded version of the package to your existing clients.

Combine the two and you’ve created a marketing powerhouse.

You can use this in your business by telling your clients exactly what you can additionally offer, and why that would be a fabulous decision for their business.

Here is an example:

I had a client who hired me to wrote regular blog posts. Things were going well and I enjoyed working with them. Until one day, I realised I could be doing so much more for this client.

So I wrote an email –


I’ve been enjoying working on the posts and wanted to offer you something that will give the brand more exposure. I’m thinking we create a guest blogging strategy where I can help you come up with an editorial calendar, blog post topics, target blogs and pitching stories to the editors.

The idea of guest blogging is … [Insert cool benefits for his business].

BTW – here is a post recently published by [Insert competitor brand to help them see the benefit more clearly].

What do you think?


My client was excited about taking the plunge. The result? A cool extra few hundred dollars just for my proactive thinking.

So the point? As a freelance writer, you’re no longer just that. You’re a business owner, a marketer, a convincer. Don’t ignore those roles.

There are many ways to get paid more than you currently are as a freelance writer. You need to take the step and make an effort. Do the research. What can you offer? And most importantly, answer: What’s in it for my client?

Once they see the value, they won’t quote reasons (aka excuses) like tight budgets.

The takeaways:

1. Always be (up and cross) selling.
2. Think out of the box and stretch your comfort zone by offering additional services.
3. Make sure you communicate your proposal in a way that they see the real value.

Your Turn: Got a similar experience to share? I’d love to talk to you in the comments.

Image courtesy of Ambro at

About Pooja

Pooja is the Founder of Well-Paid Writers and is on a mission to help new freelance writers find well-paying gigs. She's a full-time freelance writer, ghostwriter, editor and online marketing mentor to coaches, tech entrepreneurs and consultants. She teaches new writers to break into freelancing and make their first $1K here. She's written for major blogs such as ProBlogger, WriteToDone, MarketingProfs, JeffBullas, LifeHack, FirePole, Under30CEO, Tabtimes, Hongkiat to name a few. Check out more of her work at Damn Fine Writing.


  1. your posts are very educative, relevant and helpful to newbies and veterans as well. I appreciate your expressing your heart, not just half baked material spewed for the web.

    Thank you.

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