Written By Alexandra Romanov

How to Find Writing Clients The Old Fashioned Way (With Your Telephone!)

Picture this: You are sitting on your deck sipping an ice cold drink on a hot summer day. It’s a Tuesday and instead of punching a time clock you are planning your afternoon. You have an article to write for one client that will net you $500, a brochure to finalize for $2500 and a few pithy statements about a new product for a third client that will bring in $1000. Sounds good? Well it all starts with cold calling.

On the list of business interactions the top one that people hate is cold calling. It’s also one of the most effective long-term marketing techniques in the business. It’s simple to do, effective and I’m going to walk you through it. The best part is that most writers don’t have to do this step of their business very often. Once you have plenty of work you can stop. But if things slow down you should consider reaching for the phone again.

There is a dual purpose to cold calling: To get immediate work and to make long-term contacts. If there is no immediate work with a particular company then you want to try and schedule a face-to-face meeting so you can show them your samples. If you prefer, you can request their email address so you can send them samples of your work and of course a link to your website.

Who do you call?

You call absolutely anyone and everyone who could use a writer of any sort. Start locally and expand further. Or start nationally. The choice is yours but start calling businesses and companies. Make sure to keep a list of who you called and when.

This is where your website is worth its weight in gold. I’ve had many conversations on the phone where I was given an email address, sent an email with my samples and website and was still talking to the person while they were looking over my site.

What do you say?

You want to talk to the marketing director or the person who hires copywriters. You let that person know the type of writing that you do, request their email address to send them samples (and a direct link to your website) and to see what types of work they have available. Even if they have no immediate work or say that they have all the writers that they need, follow through and send the email with samples and a link. It’s fast and you may get work from it later. Some of my best jobs have come months after I send that initial email.

When to call

The best times to call are early in the morning or early in the evening. Those who do the hiring generally arrive early and stay late. Calling between 8:00 and 8:30 in the morning and 6:00 to 6:30 in the evening will often see the call going directly to the person to whom you wish to speak. Tuesday through Thursday are the best days to call. Monday is the planning day for the week and Friday is a toss-up.

Make a script

Write out what you plan to say if it helps in the initial stages of your cold calling marketing campaign. This will help alleviate your nervousness and tension. This is not the type of call you get at home trying to sell you widgets. This is business to business and is treated as such by those you call. They are expecting to be called by people offering services to their business.

Be prepared to answer questions

You need to be ready to answer questions about the type of writing that you do, ability to meet deadlines and past work. In the unlikely event you should be asked about cost, defer the question as an “it depends on the range and scope of the project” matter until you have more details. Most businesses understand this and it’s actually rare that they ask. They are far more interested in what you can do for them rather than what it’s going to cost, at least initially.

Does it work?

No one can hire you if they don’t know you exist. You need to get your name and abilities in front of those who do the hiring. The fastest and most efficient way is to simply call them and let them know that you are available to help their business with it’s writing needs. The calls begin a relationship. You send them samples and a link to your site and then they know who to call when they need your skills.

Start immediately

The sooner you start the sooner you will begin to feel comfortable making the calls and the sooner you will be making money. All it takes is a few minutes per call and the rewards are well worth it.


We send you writing jobs.

Sign up and we'll send you 3 companies hiring writers now. Plus, we'll send more companies as we find and review them. All in our free email magazine.

We're the magazine for freelance writers.

We send you companies hiring writers.

Subscribe and we'll send you 3 companies hiring right now.

We'll also send you a guide that gets you started.

We're completely free.

Subscribe now. (It's free.)


About Us

We're dedicated to helping freelance writers succeed. We send you reviews of freelance writing companies, assignments, and articles to help build your writing career. You can view our privacy policy here, and our disclaimer. To get started, simply enter your email address in the form on this page.