Marketing Yourself as a Writer: How to Position Yourself as an Expert
Editor’s Note: The following blog is part two of a four-part series designed to help freelance writers market themselves more effectively in an increasingly crowded field.
As we mentioned in our previous post, brands are looking for someone that is extremely well-versed in a particular industry or topic, and has a proven track record of success.
In short, because the content landscape has been changing, brands aren’t looking for a jack-of-all-trades master-of-none type of writer. They want the writer that understands a specific buyer persona and/or industry inside and out. This expertise is what will ultimately provide them with an upper-hand against their competitors.
This is why, when you’re creating your writer portfolio, it’s so incredibly important to highlight exactly which industries you have the most experience writing for. While you may have experience writing for more than 10 industries, which ones set you apart from the other writers? Which ones do you understand inside and out? It’s time to play up your strengths!
On nDash, writers have a section on their profile titled “Industries I Write About.” It’s here that it’s crucial for writers to not only list the spaces they understand, but also to utilize keywords under each to highlight specific niches and topics that they thoroughly understand. Not only does this act of including keywords reiterate that you understand that industry – and understand it well – but it also helps brands search your profile much easier on nDash.
Additionally, you have the option to include a tagline next to your name. Think of this as “choose the job title that will market you best.” We’ll dive into examples of how to choose a great tagline soon.
And lastly, it’s incredibly important to list multiple writing samples that “back-up” what industries and tagline you have chosen.
And now it’s that time, let’s break this all down with a few examples of how to best position yourself as the subject matter expert you are!
While this writer only has three industries highlighted, they are all in alignment with the B2B technology space, which really showcases his area of expertise (and you may also remember his bio as example one in the blog last week).
Then, what he does next, is he has taken the time to really highlight specific topics under each of these industries, by placing keywords underneath. Not only does this highlight what exactly he understands in each industry, but it makes it easier for brands to find his profile AND to better understand exactly what he has written about.
Now let’s chat about the tagline (or title) that he places next to his profile picture. He chose: Copywriter for the IT and tech industry. Which, needless to say, is incredibly fitting since that’s exactly the expertise he’s been highlighting in his profile all along.
He then included six blogs, all highlighting content he wrote for the B2B tech industry. Check out how they are displayed here:
Notice how he highlights which type of deliverable it is, includes the title of the piece, and THEN provides a 2-3 sentence summary under each, so that brands can understand EXACTLY what that article is about, even before clicking the link.
Some writers prefer to link an entire portfolio. While that’s not technically wrong, it does make it MUCH HARDER for brands to easily see the articles you want them to see.
Make their life easier, and land yourself more work, link directly to the 5-6 pieces that are your best work.
This writer lists a bit more industries that the previous example, but notice again how they are all within the technology space.
As a writer, you may be capable of writing about both B2B technology and B2B marketing, and that’s great, but which one is your strength? If you believe both are. Then let’s put a pin in that – we will explore that later!
In short, it’s important to really pinpoint EXACTLY where your area of expertise is. This way brands feel more comfortable paying you the price you’re asking for (stay tuned for next weeks blog!) because they understand the expertise you’re bringing to the table.
She chose the tagline Technology Copywriter (which makes sense), and then also listed her writing samples. Here’s a quick shot of the great summary she wrote for one (of her many) samples listed:
And lastly, let’s discuss what happens if, as a writer, you are more than capable of writing for both B2B technology and B2B marketing (or something of the like). How would you tackle this effectively?
Let’s check out the Industries I Write About section that this writer provided:
There were many, many more industries that this writer did list, but you’ll get the basic jist from the above. This writer (who was also example three in last week’s blog) took advantage of listing every industry – not because she claims to be an expert in all – but because she’s an expert at writing for a specific type of persona, which happens to be across all of these 15+ industries.
When you hold specific expertise writing for a persona – and not necessarily an industry – THAT is when it’s a good idea to mention all of the industries you’ve written for. But make sure you explain that in your About Me section, so that potential clients have some context.
The tagline she gave herself on nDash is Content strategy and development, which is perfect for her, and she listed BOTH a link to her public profile AND included additional writing samples.
If you DO choose to list your website, make sure you also include numerous writing samples for a client to reference (she included 9).
At the end of the day, a mix of the three portfolios listed above are going to bring in the most clients for you.
It’s important to also remember that brands even not on nDash (see our referral program), will see your public profile as well. So you definitely want to take the opportunity to edit your profile so that your best foot is put forward for the brands already on nDash, but ALSO so that more brands outside of nDash will click through on your profile and hire you (you’ll also collect a referral bonus every time you or someone else does work for that client on nDash – forever).