Tips For Attracting DirectOrders
How do you solicit or attract DirectOrders, you ask? Below, Meaghan highlights a few tricks of the trade that she's used with great success during her time with Textbroker.
A hot topic in the comments section of this blog – and one that gets bandied about quite a bit in general regarding Textbroker – is DirectOrders. During the recent run on OpenOrders on the site, many writers found themselves bereft of orders and unable to hit their daily earnings goals. Any savvy freelance writer will tell you that relying on a single source of income is unwise, and the same can be said about relying soley on OpenOrders on the site. Rather than looking at OpenOrders as your primary source of Textbroker income, you should look at them as a means to an end – the end being DirectOrders generated from the work that you've done for satisfied customers.
How do you solicit or attract DirectOrders, you ask? Below, I'll highlight a few tricks of the trade that I've used with great success during my time with Textbroker.
Quality Work Piques Customers' Interest
I've seen a few people mention taking a unique approach to the articles they write as a way of standing out from the crowd. That's well and good, but the primary goal should always be clean, crisp, concise and well-written content. Writing is an art form, and excellent writing skills really will set you apart. It comes easier for some people than for others, but I believe that anyone can accomplish this goal if they work at it. Before sending an order through, look it over carefully. Beyond looking for typos, misspellings and grammatical errors, pay attention to how it flows – and to how each paragraph segues into the next one. If necessary, use subheadings to provide breaks in the content to make it easier to digest. When clients start to see that you consistently provide quality work, they'll come calling.
Choose A Unique Author Name
When you initially sign up for a Textbroker author account, you're assigned a generic ID number. You can keep this number as your screen name – as I've seen many of you have chosen to do – or you can assign yourself a unique screenname. Personally, I find keeping track of my various clients difficult because they all use ID numbers; surely, clients find it hard to keep track of authors who stick with generic numbers, too. I highly recommend clicking over to the Account/Public Profile section and changing your screenname to something that stands out and that is easy to remember. It should go without saying, but use a professional author name to cast yourself in the best light possible.
Get Your Name Out There
Once you have a suitable author name, get out there and start writing OpenOrders. Wet your beak by sticking with topics that you are familiar and comfortable with at first; later, branch out, be brave and try writing orders from a few less-familiar categories. The point is, you want to get your name out there and plant as many little seeds as possible. Between your unique author name and the excellent content you compose, you'll start becoming a familiar "face" to many different clients.
Keep A List Of The Clients You Write For
I highly recommend taking a bit of an "old school" approach and investing in a cheap notebook. Use it to keep track of the clients who you write for, in order to tell them apart and to familiarize yourself with them. After all, those client ID numbers all start blending together after a while. Textbroker also offers a very useful – and, most likely, overlooked – feature that can be accessed by clicking on a client's ID number. Under "My Internal Notes," you will see a link that says, "Write A Personal Note." This is where you can jot a brief note to help jog your memory about various clients. I find it useful to note regular clients' names (if they've given them to me) and the types of articles they order in this section. That way, I can take a more personal approach when I need to correspond with them.
Communicating With Clients
Expecting DirectOrders to simply fall into your lap – especially in the beginning – is unrealistic. If you want something, you've got to go out there and get it! When a client accepts an article from you, make it a habit to send them a note thanking them. Let them know that you are available for DirectOrders, and that you'd be happy to assist them in the future. Use the notebook mentioned above to keep track of who you send messages to, though, so that you don't inadvertantly start spamming people.
There is a whole lot more to be said about getting DirectOrders, but space is limited. Next week, I'll provide more useful tips on this topic. I'll go into greater detail about communicating with clients, and about the big question that is on everybody's lips: pricing.