Freelance Writer Market: Find Jobs And Clients

This article tells you all you need to know about finding jobs and clients for your freelance writing business.

Once you decide what type of services your freelance writing business will offer, you will have to find clients. You need to know where to direct your sales efforts as to not waste your time. There are five major markets for freelance writers: corporations, advertising agencies, public relations agencies, graphic design studios, and associations. There are also many smaller markets, but we will focus in the biggest; the first two, corporations and ad agencies account for about 90% of all freelance writing work.

Corporations are the biggest employers of freelance writers. Manufacturers, utilities, distributors, insurance companies, banks, management consultants, service companies and professional organizations need just about every type of writing imaginable. You will be writing ad campaigns, annual reports, sales literature, speeches, technical writing, trade show publications, and internal communications such as newsletters. When approaching various corporations, you will want to target the advertising department to do brochures, sales bulletins, and new product announcements. The employee communications department is who you contact to do employee newsletters, training manuals, and benefit brochures. The public relations department needs people to help with press releases, media kits, and feature articles. If you want to write speeches and annual reports, you should contact the corporate communications department. A good directory of corporations is the Standard Dictionary or Advertisers. This directory lists 17,000 corporations, complete with addresses, phone numbers, and key management personnel. It is published annually and is available in most libraries.

The second biggest market for freelance writers is advertising agencies. You may think that since these firms write for a living that they have all the writers they need, but the fact is such firms often hire out contract projects. And writing ads and TV commercials is only a small part what they do. Ad agencies need people to write catalogs, direct mail, sale brochures, labels and package copy, dealer promotions, radio commercials, newsletters, and slide presentations. The bast place to find listings of ad agencies is the Standard Directory of Advertising Agencies, which lists 4400 ad agencies. Listings include contact names, phone numbers, addresses, and key personnel. It is published three times each year, and most libraries have a copy.



Public relations firms often hire writers to produce feature articles, speeches, and newsletters for their clients. They also typically offer marketing services, so they also need writers to write annual reports, advertisements, brochures, and direct mail. The best directory of public relation firms is O'Dwyer's Directory of Public Relations Firms. This book lists 1700 PR firms and their addresses, and phone numbers. When considering PR firms, make sure you are working with a real firm, not someone who is a one-person freelance writing business like yourself. Such min-firms typically don't make as much money as the larger firms. If you do work with a small firm, you should ask for half your fee up front.

There are thousands of professional, business, and trade associations out there who often need writers for such projects as feature articles for newsletters and magazines, direct mail for new subscribers, mailing and brochures to sell their various services, and press releases. You can find listings of associations in The Encyclopedia of Associations, which should be in your local library. But if you are just starting out, open your phone book to the yellow pages and you should find dozens of listings for associations. You may not make a lot of money this way, but it's a good start.

Graphic design studios produce brochures, annual reports, invitations, folders, and other similar printed graphic materials for their clients. Most graphic design firms hire out cooperating work when a client asks for text as well as graphics. You can find local graphic design studios in your yellow pages under "Graphic arts studios," "art studios," or "design."

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