If you’ve been freelancing for any length of time, you probably know the struggle well enough by now: finding a unique selling point (also called a unique selling proposition). Your USP is everything, because in a world where everyone thinks they’re a writer you’ve got to be able to stand out. It’s difficult, and sometimes it’s downright frustrating. However, I believe those of us who freelance actually have an excellent selling point: we’re agile.
Keep up with the business culture long enough and you’ll hear the word “agile” float around. Businesses want to be agile, agile project management is a thing…the word is everywhere. But what does it mean, and how can we harness it as freelancers?
Without a lengthy description, agile basically means efficient. Businesses are continuously looking for ways to cut costs, streamline their business structure, and get more done with less money and time investments required.
That, to my ears, sounds like gold for freelance writers. We’re the most agile thing they could want.
Think about it. Most companies don’t need enough content to warrant the full-time onboarding of a content creator or manager. It’s just not necessary. However, because many businesses have such a hard time finding qualified freelancers, they end up hiring someone anyway. It costs more money and is more of a drain on their business to hire this person than it would be to simply contract their content creation to freelancers like you and me.
At this point, you might be asking, “Why don’t they go find freelancers, then?” That’s a fair question. However, it has a surprising answer.
Freelance writers – qualified ones who really know what they’re doing – are actually difficult to find. Furthermore, many business owners don’t know where to start, and even if they did they’re so busy trying to conduct all the other necessary functions on which their business depends that they don’t have the time.
Simply put, finding a freelancer is either too difficult or it falls through the cracks.
That’s why I find it so hard to believe when freelancers say that they’re afraid of contacting businesses to pitch their services. Why? Most of these businesses would be happy to find that a qualified, professional freelancer landed in their lap overnight.
Back to pitching yourself as agile, though. You don’t have to use the word if you don’t want to, but you should bring up the fact that hiring you to write content as needed helps them streamline their business and cut costs. That kind of language tells business owners that you’re thinking of the value you can add to their organization instead of just begging for work.
I’ve seen examples of actual pitches to business owners by freelancers who essentially said, “Please hire me because I need work.” It’s not your client’s job to feel sorry for you and pay you because you’re struggling. That’s just unprofessional, and it doesn’t put you very high on the list of people they’re likely to call if they need a freelancer.
By pointing out that you’ve thought about their needs and feel that your services will be of help to them, you’re making the case that not only are you a professional freelancer with writing skills, but you’re aware that adding value to their organization is a real thing and something they’re looking for.
Hopefully, this helps you the next time you go to pitch your services to a business owner or content manager.
Have you used this USP before? How did it work for you? Let us know in the comments!
Until next time,