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A good writer delivers value to the client. Period.

In this article, we’ll explore 3 easy steps to follow and deliver max value as a freelance content writer.

Here are the 3 tips that we’ll be looking at in this article:

Let’s get down to it.

Identify Your Target Audience 

You can determine your audience by geography, income levels, gender, age, and more.

Target Audience
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Daniel Foley, marketing expert and founder of Foley Marketing advisors, outlines these 5 steps to defining your target audience:

  1. Understand your product’s unique value: How will your product service the pain-points of your audiences? How is your product different from existing products in the same market category?
  2. Determine your audience’s pain points: Which problems do you aim to solve with your products?
  3. Create buyer personas: Define your audience’s opinions, hobbies, lifestyle choices, likes, and dislikes.
  4. Study your competitors: Identify how your competitors approach the market. What they are doing, what they are not doing, and how you can fill the gap.
  5. Evaluate the market as a whole: This enables you to craft an appropriate strategy.

Before you jot down your first article, you need to know who you’re writing for.

Having a clear picture of who your target audience is is essential in gaining a sense of direction.

Being familiar with your target audience means being familiar with their issues. You will know the kinds of questions that they have. 

Connect that to how the product will solve the issue and you’ll be onto something good.

Lately, there has been a lot of focus on keywords and stuffing as many of them as possible in your copy. Some bloggers even go as far as including them in white font color so that readers don’t see the clutter.

The purpose behind this is to trick web crawlers into ranking their pages higher in search results.

This type of thinking shifts the focus from valuable content to page clicks.

Matt Cutts from Google Webmasters explains that Google is aware of keyword stuffing. Your page will get penalized for this by being ranked even lower in search results.

Keeping your audience in mind while developing your content ensures that your focus is on providing value.

Present a Captivating Proposal

After you’ve evaluated your client’s targets, you will be able to deliver a tailored proposal to them.

Your proposal’s goal should be to demonstrate how your services bring value to the table.

Follow these 2 easy steps to craft your proposal: 

1. Provide the Missing Piece of the Puzzle

This means identifying what the client’s marketing strategy is missing and explaining to them why they should adopt it.

After introducing the problem, give a clear picture of how you’re going to provide a solution.

For example, if the client needs to include more visual aids in their marketing copy, explain how you plan to achieve this once hired. One way would be creating custom images, infographics, and videos to use in your content.

To paint a clearer picture, conduct detailed research on your client’s existing content. Study your competition’s content and practices as well.

If the results point to your competitors having the upper hand, explain the reasons behind the contrast. Create graphical charts for a visual presentation. This should drive home the point of why the changes you’re bringing are necessary.

This kind of visual representation will prove that you took the time to conduct proper research. It will also leave a lasting impression on your client’s mind.

2. Explain How You Will Deliver Value

At this point, the client understands what they are missing. They’re now wondering how you will help them solve their problem.

Confidence is what clients want to see. They want to rest assured that the person they’ve selected for the task ahead knows what they’re doing. They want to know that you have a good plan to achieve the set goals.

This is how you elaborate:

  • Scope of Work: Define the perimeters of your work. What will you be working on? What are the boundaries of your responsibilities?
  • Process: Describe the processes you follow to complete your projects. For example, state who reports to you and who you report to.
  • Timelines: What’s the publishing schedule? Do you publish articles daily or weekly? Make this part clear.
  • Payments: Detail what you’re getting paid for. Does the client pay you per article, or by the hour? When do you expect your payments?

Remember, the terms of payment should be fair to both you and the client.

Respect Your Time

When you’re a freelance writer, it’s easy for the line between work time and personal time to get blurred.

Hour Glass
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You need to treat your services as a business and dedicate time to your work. Stick to this schedule as you would if you were in an office setup. This reduces the chances of getting overwhelmed with work and personal responsibilities.

There’s a difference between being busy and being productive. Your goal should be productivity.

Analyze your days and make sure that you’re not engaging in the busyness business.

Follow these 3 steps to ensure that you’re making the most of your time:

1. Determine Your Productivity Zones

These are the blocks of time in your typical day when you can be most productive.

For some, it might be from 9 am to 5 pm. For others, it might be from 9 pm to 5 am. 

Get this straight to reduce ambiguity in your workdays.

2. Prioritize

80% of the things we spend our time on in a day only help us achieve 20% of our goals.

The remaining 20% is what matters, and it yields 80% of the results.

Identify this crucial 20% and give it the top priority during your productivity zones.

3. Maximize Your Time With a $2 Kitchen Timer

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Francesco Cirillo developed the Pomodoro Technique in the 1980s. It’s a time-management strategy that helps you work smarter, not harder. All you need is a simple timer.

This is how it works in 4 simple steps:

  1. Set a timer for 25 minutes.
  2. Work on your task. During this time, you will work on the specific task that you mapped out earlier. This 25-minute block of time is distraction-free. Focus on achieving the mission at hand.
  3. Take a break. After 25 minutes are up, the timer will go off. Take a five-minute break before returning for another 25-minute run.
  4. Repeat the steps above for four times. After the fourth Pomodoro, take a more extended 20-minute break.

This technique is deceptively simple. However, it is at the core of what effective time management means. Here’s a video by Thomas Frank explaining how to use the Pomodoro Technique.

Prepare for Success

Being a successful freelance writer means that you, your client, and your target audience benefit. Deliver maximum value to all parties involved.

Apart from time management, there are other vital steps to succeed in the freelance world.

Take the initiative to sharpen your skills every day by: 

  • Reading insightful content.
  • Learning from professionals in the industry.
  • Enrolling in courses tailored to writers’ needs.

Fortunately, the Small Revolution school offers all that and more online. With informative and engaging courses aimed at writers and freelance professionals, you can prepare to succeed.

To give you a headstart, enroll in this brilliant course on working online.

Photo from Freepik by drobotdean

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Small Revolution

I'm Katrina McKinnon, founder of CopySmiths and Small Revolution. I'm using my 20 years' experience in building and operating online businesses to create engaging educational materials that helps others become successful online workers. Find me on LinkedIn and Twitter.