Many of my coaching clients ask me how they can break into new markets with their writing businesses.
Some of them are looking for a change. They’ve worked in the same industry for many years, and they want to get into something completely different.
Some have heard about markets that are growing like crazy (e.g., renewable energy, education software) and they think these would be great target markets.
Others have an interest in a particular subject matter (e.g., alternative health, fitness, clean tech), and they want to build their business around that.
I’d love to tell my clients “Hey, you can break into any market you want!”
And some business coaches do, in fact, tell their clients that!
But my advice is different.
As much as I wish it were otherwise, you can’t just pick a target market out of thin air — especially when you’re first starting out. Or even if you’re established but have little to no experience in that new market.
Because if you do, you’re making it much, much more difficult for your freelance writing business to succeed.
Your Prospects Have to be Able to Connect the Dots
In order to land clients, you need to be able to connect the dots for your prospects.
Specifically, the “here’s what I have” dot to the “here’s what I can do for you” dot.
Your background, experience and skills have to relate — in some way — to what the prospect needs.
Otherwise, why would that prospect hire you?
As long as prospects can connect the dots, even tenuously, you’ll eventually find one that’s willing to go with what you’ve got.
You’ll make your case, it will resonate with them, and you’ll get a shot. You’ll have the opportunity to prove yourself.
Will you be nervous? Yes.
Will it take you forever to get the project done because you’re a bit freaked out? Probably.
But once you have that project under your belt, it will be even easier for future prospects to connect the dots.
And over the next months and years, you’ll forge an even stronger connection between what you can do and what clients need.
And when you do, you’ll have more flexibility in the markets you choose to target.
The Market Will Show You the Way
I’ve had clients who’ve successfully taken their freelance writing businesses into new markets. But they did it only after they built their businesses around their background, experience and skills.
Honestly, it’s hard to plan that far ahead. You can say, “I’m going to start by focusing on this target market and then I’m going to move into this market and then that market.”
But you won’t really know what you’ll do until you start that process.
Because after you land that first client – and more clients after that – your thinking will start to change.
You’ll find new opportunities you were completely unaware of before.
You’ll get clearer on the kind of work you like to do (and not do!).
You’ll figure out the clients you like to work with and not work with.
You’ll set some non-negotiables.
And over time, the market will reveal itself to you. The direction you should take will become more obvious.
The bottom line: Start with what you have. Focus on getting your business off the ground successfully.
Once it’s in the air, you’ll spend less time agonizing over which markets to target.
Because the market will tell you what to do.
It will show you the way.
By the way … whenever you’re ready, here are 4 ways I can help you grow your freelance business:
1. Grab a free copy of my new book for writers who are NEW to freelancing.
It’s called “The 3 Magic Levers: How to Get Your Writing Business Off the Ground and Land Your First Paying Client.” — Click Here
2. Download a free copy of my book for ESTABLISHED writers/copywriters.
You’ll discover how to quickly and predictably reawaken dead leads, generate new client opportunities and convert not-yet-ready prospects into freelance writing clients. — Click Here
3. Join our “Get Better Clients Academy”
You’ll get a personalized action plan based on where you are today in your business. Plus all the tools, scripts, checklists, cheat sheets and templates you’ll need to escape feast-or-famine … grow your income … and land clients who love and respect you. — Click Here
4. Get your website DONE!
If you’ve been struggling to get your website done … or if you’re not happy with what you’ve got today… let my team and me build you a beautiful website for your writing business. We’ll do all the hard work! Email me at [email protected] … put “WEBSITE” in the subject line … and I’ll reply with the details.