I occasionally receive emails from people asking how to get writing gigs as an international writer. Other times I see similar questions posted on social media, forums and blog comments.
Unfortunately, sometimes it’s a bit harder for some people outside of the United States to find consistent and/or high-paying writing work. This isn’t necessarily true for everyone, of course, as your success depends on several factors such as the client in question and your overall approach.
For those who are currently struggling, though, here are some tips to get more online writing gigs.
Chances are you already know what the prospect is thinking. “Oh, no, not a foreigner. I refuse to hire someone whose English is probably broken. It’ll be a waste of my time.” This way of thinking is understandable, but also ignorant on some levels.
Read the person’s mind and say what he may already be thinking, especially if he had implied it previously. Politely acknowledge that it’s common for US-based prospects to doubt an international writer’s abilities, then state all the reasons why you are different.
This alone will often draw their attention because you told him exactly what he had in mind, and it also puts you in a place of higher authority. Proceed to seal the deal with your outstanding portfolio, and some of the other things explained in this article.
Declutter Your Website’s Front Page
Since you might have to prove yourself a tad more than native writers, you can’t afford to implement unnecessary details into your site, especially its front page.
Show powerful, convincing testimonials above the fold, along with your most prominent accomplishments. Also, just because you write for a living doesn’t necessarily mean your copywriting skills are great, as this is often a completely different animal.
Hire a great copywriter if necessary to make your website details pop. He might include more engaging words, phrases and sentences that might have never crossed your mind.
By the end of it all, your website should look clean, crisp, and its overall content should engage your prospects within the first five seconds.
Create a Blog Section Exclusively About Writing
Do you really, really want to land more writing gigs as an international writer? Include a separate blog section dedicated to writing tips and everything related to the field. Here’s an excellent writing blog, to give you a fair idea.
This is one of the biggest ways to prove your experience and skills. It also tells everyone how passionate you are about the subject. It’s much harder for a client not to take you seriously after that.
Even if you only update the blog once or twice a month, the important thing here is to show authority and consistency.
Be Accessible Via Phone or Skype
Whomever you’re trying to convince might be intrigued by your written word and email responses, but you should also step out of your comfort zone and show him you’re not afraid of additional exposure.
During your first or second email (depending on what’s being discussed) offer to schedule a phone or Skype conversation. Even if you have a foreign accent, remember that this doesn’t dictate how good your English skills are. Show the same knowledge and fluency you normally display in written content; if you are as good as you claim to be, this will not be a problem at all.
Professionalism and personality and not mutually exclusive. Remind the person that you’re just a fellow human being, and a very capable one.
Share some light humor when appropriate and don’t always be so cut and dry. Use the occasional exclamation point while explaining how hot the climate is as you two break the ice (no pun intended). Gradually connect with him on a personal level while showing the skills and professionalism that he is ultimately searching for.
The end result should be a working relationship with a bit of Best Friends Forever (BFF) thrown into the mix.
….. and lastly, flirt.
Just kidding. This is a joke. DO NOT flirt. Ever.
Finally, did you notice what I did up there? I kept everything casual to deliver a sense of friendliness. Some clients will appreciate that much more than a formal, dry exchange of words. It all depends on the person/company, so be sure to read them well by analyzing how they communicate through their website or through their “Writer Wanted” ad.
Can you share more tips on landing writing gigs as an international writer? Please leave your comments below.