So you’ve decided to become a freelance proofreader. But how can you secure work? In this post, we suggest five ways you can promote yourself as a freelance proofreader:
- Set up a website where you can promote your services and update it regularly.
- Use social media to network and advertise your work.
- Join a proofreading society to connect with other freelancers and potential clients.
- Research potential clients and reach out to them directly.
- Do extra training so you can prove your credentials to clients.
For a little more detail on all of the above, check out our advice below.
1. Have a Website
As a freelance proofreader, a website can be a great way to promote your services. You can:
- Set out the services you offer and your rates in clear, simple terms.
- Include examples of your work and customer testimonials to showcase your skills (make sure to ask for permission from clients before sharing any documents, though).
- Have a clearly labeled “Contact” page to make it easier for potential clients to get in touch.
- Show off your professionalism and attention to detail with a clean, error-free site design.
In addition, you can have a blog. This gives you a chance to demonstrate your expertise by writing about proofreading-related topics. But regularly updating your site is also great for SEO, especially if you use it to target high-value keywords. With a little research and planning, then, adding a blog to your website can attract new visitors and boost your profile online.
2. Use Social Media
Social media isn’t just for pictures of cats and arguing with strangers! You can also:
- Set up professional accounts to promote your services (we suggest using dedicated work accounts so you can keep your professional and personal lives separate).
- Offer free advice on writing and proofreading to show off your knowledge.
- Keep up to date with news in the writing and editing world.
- Network by engaging with other proofreaders, editors, and content creators.
- Share any relevant content from your website or that you publish elsewhere.
LinkedIn is arguably the most important social network to be part of due to its professional focus, while Facebook and Twitter are also hard to ignore. But don’t worry about having a profile on every platform going! Instead, pick two or three and focus your efforts on those.
3. Join a Proofreading Society
Membership of proofreading and editing societies can offer many benefits, including:
- Opportunities to meet and discuss your work with other professionals.
- Membership directories you can use to advertise your services.
- Access to training, industry news, and networking events.
All of these can help you increase your profile and find new clients. In addition, membership of a well-known society (e.g., ACES in the US) can reassure clients that you have the skills and experience required to do a professional job, helping you to secure more work.
4. Cold-Contact Potential Clients
Sometimes the best way to find work is by reaching out to potential clients directly. This might come via a recommendation from a friend or colleague. But you can also try cold-contacting potential clients. To do this effectively, you will need to:
- Identify clients likely to need a proofreader (e.g., publishers, marketing agencies, or other businesses that produce a lot of written content). Additionally, you could focus on clients in your geographic area or academic publishers in your area of expertise.
- For business clients, find the person responsible for content and contact them directly.
- Write a polite email introducing yourself and explaining why your services have value for them (e.g., by having an error-free website, they will increase their professionalism and people’s trust in their services, boost SEO, and bring in more revenue).
You may also need to follow up on this initial contact to get a response. Don’t overdo it, of course, but sometimes a little persistence can win you new clients.
5. Do Extra Training
Completing training will show clients that you’re dedicated to your work and developing your skills. As such, it is always worth researching training opportunities as a freelancer.
Our Becoming A Proofreader course, for example, covers everything you need to know to start proofreading professionally. And seeing this on your resume or website will show clients that you have all the skills and knowledge required to do a great job on their documents.
If this sounds like something you want to try, sign up for our free trial today to find out more!