New freelancing copywriters and content writers must have a social proof strategy. If you are new, it's a requirement to have from day one of freelancing. As I personally see it, there's nothing more valuable than experience which the prospective employer can cross-check with the previous employer. That's the image the markets gives to me anyway, which is hard, and kind of depressing for those who are total novices.
I hope that hard work as an independent contractor, be it content writer, digital marketer, or whatever, if it resonates with the customers, and one is tracking it, it's going to show numbers. That's another cold-stone truth like verifiable experience. And I don't mean just testimonials from the few of one's clients that kindly gave feedback and permission to publish it.
I mean, if a struggling freelancer wasn't able to get any kind of social proof involving a third party, still there aren't excuses to not create it oneself. That's why I say it's a strategy. A way to track the social proof tactics you employ in the grand strategy must be implemented from day one, with every social and asset touchpoints having a means for tracking and extracting statistics.
This isn't hard, but also isn't easy. Solid work hours have to be put into achieving it. The best advice I can give to get something fast is a two step approach:
Requirements for this Project
- You need your own portfolio, content website, or blog site running on a real CMS
- You need basic digital marketing skills. Knowledge of social media apps, automation, trackers, webdev
If you don't meet The Requirements
If you can't host your content in any of the conveyances I named above for any reason, then you might use a platform like Google docs to store your content samples that will be the germ of your portfolio.
After working for some clients and after finding a better way of housing your portfolio, instead of samples you'll feature actual pieces of content you sold to your clients, that you asked permission to include in your portfolio.
If you can't or won't mess with technical stuff, you can dismiss the social media part of this guide. Still, you need a method to outreach, so at the very least you need email.
If you still find it difficult to figure out how to get your gigs going, then you should read a guide like this one.
Examples of Tactics
1) Join as many social networks as you think you could use to work. Also freelancer platforms, content sites, and similar communities, and interact with the community often
2) Experiment through executing a content marketing strategy in each, or an integrated one that includes as many as possible of them. Something that directs interested persons to your site
3) Get featured in authority sites and have your content there link back to your portfolio site
4) Focus on your cusomer needs. Check your point of sale every day and respond to inbound prospective customers, but don't fret too much about this, instead...
4.1) Have a viable outreaching plan, and set objectives for how much time you're going to give yourself to land your first gig
4.2) Outreach to desired clients when you see opportunities to do so
Once you shared content (owned, earned and third party) for three months or more in each, you'll have a clear picture which sites are a source of traffic for the your site. If you continue delivering value and if you create a critical mass of interactions and engagements, that is going to create traffic that will show up in the monthly reports of the solution you used to track and extract statistics.
As a bonus, if you have a means for your visitors to start a gig on your website, like a sales page and a form, you may even get some inbound business. I said bonus, because what matters for this tactic is tracking statistics and generating a report that shows that you are able to create interest in a short period of time.
The focus of this example I gave of social proof tactic is just one method, and you must have as many as these as possible, to prove your prospective customer, client or employer that you know what you're doing.
These are just my two cents of advice. There are many more ways to create social proof without selling anything to or interacting with your potential clients.
I leave you with another article, a great way to start thinking how to go about designing your own social proof strategy: 12 Jaw-Dropping Social Proof Examples To Grow Your Business. This is unrelated, but the ultimate takeaway from that article, for me was that it’s actually a very neat example of how to make a rich content article.