Tips for Creating Your Freelance Marketing Strategy
I connected with Chima Mmeje months ago via LinkedIn.
I loved how her posts shared marketing tips but also her personal experience as a SaaS copywriter and freelance marketer in Nigeria.
She’s also used her voice to speak up for a variety of causes, including launching a drive to pair 30 copywriters from developing countries with more experienced copywriters to help create mentorship opportunities.
Chima also described the challenges and prejudices she’s faced as an African copywriter with clients in Western countries.
I reached out to ask her if she’d give some general tips about her freelance marketing strategy and any other thoughts she’s be interested in offering.
1. What led you to become a copywriter?
I always knew that I could write. It came naturally to me. I started a hobby blog where I talked about socio-political issues plaguing Nigeria.
And I got published in a national newspaper three times.
I figured if I could do this for fun, then I could turn it into a paid gig. One day, while browsing the internet for work from home jobs, I saw an ad for an entry-level copywriter position.
I applied and after two weeks, I was working remotely for a UK copywriting agency. The rest, as they say, is history.
2. What’s your strategy for getting clients?
In my first year as a freelance copywriter (in 2019), I had four freelance marketing strategies for getting clients.
1. Responding to LinkedIn ads. Every day, I would type the keyword “freelance copywriter” and narrow the result down to the last 24 hours. If I was a good fit, I would connect with the marketer, share samples from my portfolio, and go from there.
2. I joined People Per Hour but only ever got one client from there because the rates were always so abysmal that I didn’t apply. I left after 4 months.
3. Create content on LinkedIn. Sometimes people would see my content and reach out when they needed content.
4. Respond to ads in Facebook copywriting groups. Again, abysmal rates, and I only got one client from this platform.
This year, I set out to do things differently and it’s starting to pay off.
- Create content on social media to attract the right clients.
- I niched down in SEO content and 80% of my Linkedin posts were around SEO. It ensured that when clients reached out they knew who I was and what they were getting.
- I used my blog to build authority on the topic of SEO. It became a great source of showing clients how awesome my skills are as an SEO copywriter.
3. How do you normally set your rates?
I think this is more psychological than anything. I started out charging $100 for 1,000 words, moved up to $150, and now I’m charging $600 as a base price for my cheapest copy. But at every turn, what influenced my rates was asking other copywriters “what do you charge for this sort of copy?”
Now, I was speaking to copywriters who were way better and more experienced than me. But I didn’t care. I believe value is based on what I perceived it to be.
Their rates served as a guideline for my rates.
4. Where are the bulk of your clients located? Does your experience with clients in different countries vary?
Ninety percent of my clients reside in the US. And the rest reside in Canada and the UK. My experience with clients in different countries is the same. I haven’t noticed any difference working with clients in different countries.
5. How do you deal with imposter syndrome? What gave you more confidence to start setting more competitive rates?
Imposter Syndrome was a massive issue for me last year when I was just starting out. I would see these experienced copywriters who were clocking 6 figures, working 20 hour weeks and chilling. It made me wonder if I truly had what it took to make it as a copywriter.
But changing my mindset helped me get rid of that feeling.
It also helped when I started receiving more testimonials from clients. This was living proof that I was awesome at my job.
I gained more confidence to set competitive rates rather than scrapping the bottom of the barrel.
6. What role does social media play in your overall freelance marketing strategy? Which platform(s) do you find most beneficial?
Social media is very important to my overall strategy. Most of the visitors to my website come through LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. It’s where I built the most valuable connections and met clients I’ve worked with.
I spend most of my time on LinkedIn because that’s where my clients are. I target SaaS, tech and B2B brands. Most of them do business with other businesses, which makes LinkedIn the ideal platform to find them.
And it’s worked amazingly well.
Ninety percent of my clients come through LinkedIn. I’ve also used it to build backlinks and to attract guest appearances and speaking invitations.
7. Any final words of advice for freelancers trying to launch or strengthen their brand?
Every copywriter should have a LinkedIn strategy that involves creating organic content for the audience you want to serve.
Build relationships with other freelancers in your niche as well as verticals. They’ll mention your name when a client needs your service (if they don’t offer it). They’ll also help you scale your business and avoid mistakes that most freelancers make.
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