How to Get More Clients as a Travel Writer
One would think that all freelance writers follow the fairly same beats when it comes to client hunting. But the truth couldn’t be further from it.
The way you as a travel writer expand your outreach and reach clients will differ vastly from a foodie writer. In this article, we’ll explore how expanding your portfolio, making business cards, visiting travel agencies and writing for other editorials all contribute to your travel writing career.
Broaden Your Scope of Work
It is almost a given that you should build up your portfolio. Keep in mind which clients/jobs you want to land and write accordingly. For example, there are:
- Lush, creative website content for hotels and BnBs
- Blog posts on travelling on a budget, backpacking, or using any other means
- Researching local events and festivals to entice visitors
- Travel guides
- Original, creative blurbs for travel agencies
- Cultural adaptation and language barriers
Create a diverse palette of texts you can write, but also highlight the ones you enjoy writing. Seeing a broad scope of writing skills can entice any client.
Know How to Pick Your Clients
Do careful research when you choose your clients on freelancer platforms. Try to steer clear from underpaid, demanding jobs with little to no outreach. Dig around for influential bloggers, travel agencies, and social media influencers. Offer your services to those who can introduce your work to others.
Write for Websites They Visit
When you know what kind of clients you want, you have two options: approaching them by e-mail or writing for websites and editorials they read. This includes (but isn’t limited to), websites like Lonely Planet or Tripadvisor, Forbes and the like.
Brush up your writing skills and build up a client base by looking at your own backyard. See if there’s any local work you can do – writing brochures for hotels in your city, travel guides for agencies, and even making your own blog! You can highlight all the things you find important in your city or country.
Combine Your Interests
What makes a travel writer stand out is authenticity. Remember why it is that you want to write travel blogs. Is it the food? The cultural clash? The sheer excitement of travel? Or something completely different? Find a way to be unique and present the world through your lens.
For example, if you’re a foodie, you can partner up with several bakeries to write about local pastries that can’t be found anywhere else. Or, if you’re an art enthusiast, make a guide on the most memorable street art around – which work best for photo ops? Which have cultural meaning?
Don’t Underestimate Groups
Join social media groups, like the ones on Facebook or Instagram. A hub of people will do you good not only in finding the clients that are right for you, but are also great for inquiring in more detail about them. What’s more, joining forces with travel photographers and other writers opens up a whole world of opportunity. Your outreach will be greater, and your portfolio more diverse.
Learn How to Write Killer Pitches
For freelancer platforms, it’s essential to learn how to write the best pitches possible. Since you’re bidding on a client’s posting, odds are that there are dozens of other freelancers you’re rubbing shoulders against. Don’t be shy to write proposals and pitches (by e-mail as well) and send them in droves. You will likely fail quite a bit, but it will be an invaluable learning experience. Only this way can you learn what kind of voice and tone each client needs to hear to hire you in an instant.
Don’t Neglect the Offline
As we’ve mentioned, it’s important to offer your services to local businesses and travel agencies alike. To leave a fully professional experience, look into printing out some of your texts in the form of brochures or pamphlets. Have business cards made which you can easily hand out to interested parties. They give your work an additional level of credibility and are likely to land you a job.
Additionally to the above point, work on your networking. Attend travel conferences, both locally and abroad. They will improve your writer-client pitching skills as you mingle around with other attendees. Acquaint yourself with different creators and their ways of pulling in more clients, as there is a vast pool of knowledge in the travel writers’ community. All you have to do is branch out.
It’s a given that you need to work hard to gain more clients, especially the more influential ones. However, you should also work smarter to distinguish your voice enough for them to notice you. As we’ve seen, your career can only benefit from collaborations, offline engagement with travel agencies and other tourism businesses, as well as reaching out to other creators.