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How To Market Your Services In A Small Town

Discussion in 'Sales, Marketing and PR' started by FreelancingQueen, Feb 10, 2016.

  1. FreelancingQueen

    FreelancingQueen Entrepreneur

    I have done freelance writing for several years now. Unfortunately, most of my work is online and I have never picked up any private clients to write for. I live in a very small town and I honestly do not know who or where my writing skills might be needed. How would I market my writing skills so I could get private clients and what types of clients might need to hire a writer?
    setupdisc likes this.

  2. swalia

    swalia Entrepreneur

    You can advertise your services in the local papers or may be circulate fliers for the same. The small IT firms in your area might be needing freelance content writers. You can also approach the local magazines or newspapers if they need a freelance writer.
    setupdisc and FreelancingQueen like this.
  3. FreelancingQueen

    FreelancingQueen Entrepreneur

    We do not have any local magazines that I am aware of. When I say small town, I mean so tiny we used to be part of another town until they decided to split them up years ago. But, I have thought about checking with the one local newspaper to see if they need any commentary writers or if they might want to add a review section for local businesses. I would love that type of writing and might not need a degree in journalism to get a job doing it.
    setupdisc likes this.
  4. ctfranklin28

    ctfranklin28 Entrepreneur

    I would agree with the advice mentioned but I would also encourage you to do just two things in addition: talk and listen. How many people in your local town know about writing? Do they know what kind of writing you do and how it helps clients? Do you have a business card, elevator speech, and website or blog to point them to.

    Secondly, listen. Look around in what your community is already producing. When there is a need for content, who fulfills it? What kind of writing is it? Does it match your writing skills? If it does, get in contact (especially if they are looking for writers).

    If not, create something that interests you as a local and share it. If you don't see a need for your particular flavor of writing in the local market, create it and add a local flavor. Let's say that you write articles, focus on local issues. Write for the newspaper or local magazines. Let's say that you write technical manuals or reviews, focus on products from a local supplier.

    Lastly, don't get super focused on having "private" clients. Focus on building the best platform you can make so they will find you.
    setupdisc and FreelancingQueen like this.
  5. Vinaya.Ghimire

    Vinaya.Ghimire Entrepreneur

    Join freelancer sites such as upwork, freelancer, guru etc.

    Write a good sales pitch, upload your resume, and share the links to your work.

    Take a relevant tests on these freelancer sites. If your expertise is on writing, take English spelling, grammar and language test. Good score increases chances of being hired.

    Now bid on job. The first job is hard to come, however, after you have the first job, it will be easier to get second or third.
    setupdisc likes this.
  6. ctfranklin28

    ctfranklin28 Entrepreneur

    I began my freelancing career on job sites like Upwork, Freelancer, and Guru. They can be helpful for newbies who want to earn cash while refining their craft and building their portfolio. That being said, you have to know when you have outgrown that space as a freelancer. When you use a freelancing site, you can't outgrow the limits of that platform.
    setupdisc likes this.
  7. djentre

    djentre Entrepreneur

    That is so true. The way that these sites work makes you feel cheated after a point. The thing is that they have unfavorable fee structures/revenue sharing models. I mean why should I pay a freelancing website 10 or 20% of my earnings? The person paying the amount thinks "I am paying a hundred bucks to get the job done." but in reality the guy doing the work only gets say 80 bucks. The best thing about these sites is that they use escrow accounts, but the way to mitigate risk outside these websites is to get paid half the amount upfront, so that the person ordering the gig can not simply walk away with your deliverable when the time comes.
    setupdisc and ctfranklin28 like this.
  8. setupdisc

    setupdisc Moderator Entrepreneur

    You might want to leverage all of this. Even though it's true that a lot of the freelancing sites really do take advantage of your work and the customers they have expect slave labor some of the time, you can still use those sites to make ends meet and build a quality portfolio in the process. Once you have a nice one built up, then you can start going to some of the small businesses in your town and approaching them to see if they need any type of press releases or other kinds of literature (even for their own web site or a web presence or blog if they do not yet have one). Many of those small businesses may want to be able to branch partially or entirely out of the small town markets and have the best of both worlds. If they do, then you can definitely help them with that and have quality work to show them what you can do for them successfully. Anyone can market themselves to a potential client, but it goes a long way when they can see those works in print or can log on to see real live examples of what you have done for others with your name on it to prove that it was you.

    When they see what you have completed, they will say to themselves: "Hey, I like that style, and I could really use that freelancer's work here. I'm going to contact them.". Whenever the need is there, realized, and you are able to present yourself as the solution, people who need it will follow as long as they know you're the real deal.

    So show them you're the real deal. :) Be sure to leave a business card or 3 along with your good impression, so if they have friends with businesses like theirs or in other fields, they too can recommend you for their literary needs.
  9. bria1

    bria1 Entrepreneur

    I would say as for small towns...the newspaper and word of mouth. Also you can hit up the churches and announce your services there...maybe on a Wednesday night Bible study or something of that nature.
    setupdisc and ctfranklin28 like this.
  10. rz3300

    rz3300 Entrepreneur

    Never underestimate the power of word of mouth, especially when you are dealing with smaller geographic areas. These places always tend to be more community oriented and word can really get around fast. Of course you cannot just go and shout your company name or anything and you need to be strategic, but always keep that in mind when you are marketing in smaller towns.
    setupdisc likes this.
  11. HooktoWin

    HooktoWin Entrepreneur

    Hi FreelanceQueen,

    Have you considered complementary sources?

    Complementary sources give you all the leads you can handle. These are businesses, organizations or people that serve the same customers you do, but in a different way.

    Here's what I mean.

    Let's say you're looking to buy a house. That transaction is usually filled with people working towards the same goal in different, yet complementary ways.
    1. Your Realtor contacts the seller and negotiates terms
    2. The mortgage broker secures financing
    3. Appraisers estimate the value of your home
    4. And the title company makes sure the seller actually owns the home you're buying.
    If you're a Realtor, the appraiser, broker and title company are all complementary sources. They have their own supply leads.

    It's no different for you.

    I'm not sure about the type of writing you're doing, but I'm pretty sure there are complimentary sources you can reach out to.

    With a little persistence and negotiation, you can create the right pitch for each of these sources.

    That pitch could be:
    • Helping them close more of their customers
    • Monetizing their audience (they have customers but no product or service)
    • Creating more income for your source with little to no effort on their part.
    When the initial hurdles are overcome, you'll find these sources are very eager to send you as many leads as you can handle.

    This eliminates geography as a problem and it frees you up to attract a never ending stream of customers on your terms.

    We use it in our business and so do our customers. It needs the right set of ingredients to work well; it also requires some upfront work, but it pays off big in the end.

    Hope this helps!

    setupdisc likes this.
  12. mooray

    mooray Entrepreneur

    Looking for clients in your local town won't do you much good. However, the internet is full of clients are there are many platforms to find well paying clients.
    setupdisc likes this.
  13. eProject

    eProject Entrepreneur

    You can work online since that is the easiest way you can know how much work you can do and at your own time. If there are no writers in your town then you will be overworked and fail to deliver - if you want to deliver content to your town residents. That will force you to register your own business and start hiring writers who will help you to write. After getting potential writers then you will consider advertising your company on newspapers and local radio stations. You can use billboards as another way of advertising to residents living in your town. You can also write texts to inform them that you can write content for them.
    setupdisc likes this.
  14. Corazon

    Corazon Entrepreneur

    This is the first time I've come across this type of service for a small town. Hmm, maybe you can post an ad in the municipal hall and also in churches that are mostly patronized. I think there are newsletters in small towns which you can avail of. Here we have a village newsletter where aspiring writers can put to test their skills. However, it is on a pro bono basis meaning there is no salary but only an honorarium.
  15. remnant

    remnant Entrepreneur

    You should go to the educational offices around the town and post your advertisement on their notice boards. Here you are likely to access a stream of people who would use the services of a polished writer. Give out your posters to offices of firms and you would be surprised that they would want outsource alot of their writing work like they do with other services. Schools and colleges are great to pay a visit so as to get assignments in academic writing.
  16. onlinecashcity

    onlinecashcity Entrepreneur

    IF it's a small town, people are close and know each other. Call a few places in town that could possibly need your services, and if they don't need them...offer your service in a way that they could maybe benefit from it. If not, ask if they know anybody who would be interested. Sometimes word of mouth is good.

    Maybe post some flyers in the front of general places, like a laundromat or something.

    Without knowing what your services are, I can't help much more. But if it's a small town sounds like you've got to put yourself out there somehow! Don't be shy to just grind and make some calls or talk to as many people as you can.
  17. jona

    jona Entrepreneur

    The nature of your work is such that you could have clients all over the world, why exactly would you want to limit your horizons to your small town? Unlike a welder or a chef you can do your work online so the entire world is your market.

    That being said, if you want to find people that require your skills in your small town I will try to contact any kind of local chamber of commerce if I were you. They probably have some kind of directory or something were you could list your services.
  18. ciaran071198

    ciaran071198 Entrepreneur

    If you want to find local people, printing off flyers and posting them through doors is a great, cheap way to get people talking about you and your services. It's legal in the UK as far as I know!
  19. Jack Benoit

    Jack Benoit Entrepreneur

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