Start your editing business

How to market yourself as an editor – Promote freelance services

Why is it important for editors to market themselves?

The assumption here is that you are working as a freelance editor as opposed to in a company.

In a regular salaried editing job, you are given a fixed pay and you don’t have to worry about getting work since the company manages it.

However, as a freelance editor it is your responsibility to get more visibility among prospective clients.

You might be the best editor on the planet but if authors and writers are not aware of it, your brilliant editorial skills will remain under-utilized and that’s not a good thing for your financial well-being either.

Most good editors lack a marketing skill to promote themselves effectively and that’s a huge opportunity for you to break through the clutter.

We’ll share several tips that you can use to promote your editorial services.
 

How promoting editorial services is different from promoting any other services?

Editorial services are quite unique and personalized. It is important to understand that you can’t blindly adopt a marketing strategy that has worked for another product or service.

You can’t simply provide a list of features like you would while promoting (say an iPhone), you’ll have to provide a more holistic value proposition in a manner that your clients appreciate.
 

When should editors start marketing themselves?

When you’re promoting services, you’re not waiting for spikes in the demand. You’d want a steady supply of leads to keep you busy throughout the year.

For that, your marketing strategy has to be an ongoing process as opposed to once a year. Of course you can tune the frequency and intensity based on your current workload.
 

How to market yourself as an editor?

Let’s dive into the various options we have to promote yourself as a freelance editor.
 

1. Word-of-mouth marketing

Cost: Free | Effort: Low

This is where you leverage your existing network to spread the word. Look at your social and professional relationships and try to identify messengers who can take your message far and wide.

This also includes satisfied clients who would be more than happy to recommend your services to their friends and colleagues.
 

2. Traditional print marketing

Cost: High | Effort: Low

Newspapers and magazines have a classified section where small businesses and freelancers can publish advertisements.

The fee, charged by the publishing company, depends on the size of the advertisement as well as the popularity of the publication.

There are a wide range of publications ranging from the mainstream to the niche. The volume and relevance of leads will be driven by that choice.

This approach was quite popular in the days before the internet but in the current day and age, with the dwindling readership and tumbling fortunes of the print media, you won’t get the same bang for your buck.

We’ve listed this for the sake of completeness but we don’t recommend this option.
 

3. Marketplace Listings

Cost: Low | Effort: High

Websites such as Upwork allow freelancers to create profile pages. You can create a profile for yourself and include credentials, qualifications and service pricings.

However, you cannot sit back and relax; you will not get work automatically based on your profile. The site works as a marketplace, getting clients and service-providers together.

But reaching out to those clients is your responsibility. You’ll have to bid on freelance jobs posted by writers and authors expecting editing help on their articles, books, presentations, novels and papers.

While the number of editing jobs posted is high, the competition to win those jobs is cut-throat.

You’ll find a lot of editors willing to drop their fees to ridiculous levels just to win a client and build their portfolio in that site.

They assume the high number of jobs completed coupled with high client rating would enable them to climb up the ladder and charge higher once their credibility has been established.
 

4. Social media marketing

Cost: Low | Effort: High

You probably have an account on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and other social media platforms already. That’s a good start since you’re already familiar with how those sites work.

But you may have been using them in a personal capacity as opposed to business promotions.

If you plan to use those platforms to get editorial jobs, we’d recommend creating a professional page/profile.

This is to ensure that you don’t rub your personal connections the wrong way. You don’t want your friends and relatives to look at you as a spammer.

Having an official page helps you keep your personal and professional posts separate. The flipside to this is that you’ll have to work on building your follower list from scratch.

This can be a slow and tedious process. The other option is to use the paid promotion services that these social media sites aggressively promote.

While you may get a lot of leads from a paid marketing campaign, the quality of those leads is likely to be quite poor.
 

5. Content Marketing

Cost: Free/Low | Effort: High

We’ve saved the best for last. This is the approach that has worked wonders for our primary essay editing business.

Without spending a single dollar on advertising, we attract over 7 million visitors each year to our MBA essay editing website. We get more leads than our team of freelance editors can handle.

In principle, the approach is quite simple. You create helpful and informational content and publish it on your website.

The site could be your own or you could publish on another website that attracts a lot of traffic.

Depending on the quality, depth and relevance, your article will start ranking on search engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo and others.

When a prospective client runs a search such as ‘Best editor in New York’ or ‘Affordable freelance editors for science fiction’, if your website has been optimized for those keywords/ phrases it will show up in the search results.

This helps them discover you thanks to your effective content marketing strategy.

There are a few challenges to this which discourages many editors, leaving the room wide open for someone like you who’s serious about using content marketing as an effective promotional tool.

  • You need a website that is technically optimized to rank high on search engines.
  • You need to learn the basics of search engine optimization and how to incorporate them in your articles.

If you’ve read this far and the content marketing option sounds intriguing, we have some news for you.

The other essay editing website that we talked about takes up all our time so we don’t currently have the capacity to operate Booksoarus, though we spent a lot of effort to make it as technically optimized as our other site.

If the prospect of creating a new website and tuning it sounds intimidating, you might be interested in buying our domain (booksoarus.com).

Drop us an email with your bid/proposal on: info [at] booksoarus [dot] com

If we find it interesting we’ll get back to you.

Good luck in growing your editing business!

If you’ve been largely working under the radar, here’s what you can do to get into the limelight and improve your editorial income: How to start a freelance book editing and proofreading business from home

Here’s something to check out, if you’re a little more adventurous: How to start a book publishing company

About Sameer Kamat

Founder of Booksoarus. Author of 2 bestsellers - 'Beyond The MBA Hype' (HarperCollins) and 'Business Doctors - Management Consulting Gone Wild'.

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