Large corporations are always in need of organized and skilled content writers for help writing or editing projects. Corporations – with their numerous departments and organizations – produce almost every type of written material. They frequently require outside assistance for ad campaigns, annual reports, manuals, brochures, web copy, blog entries, speeches, technical documents and training materials.
It can be difficult, however, to land your first corporate writing job. Corporations always want to hire writers with experience writing at similar corporations. To make matters more difficult, corporations often keep their contact information private, unlike advertising or design agencies, for example.
Don’t despair. When you market your services to corporations in the right way, you’ll soon land your first job. Plus, once you finish your first writing assignment for a corporation, it’ll become easier and easier to land other challenging and exciting jobs at large businesses.
Do you want a few Fortune 500 companies listed on your resume, but not sure where to get started? Follow these tips and you’ll be well on your way to landing your first corporate writing job.
Use Your Current Network
Your network, no matter how small, is enough to build on. Ask family, friends, former colleagues and fellow alums to spread the word about your writing services. Ask them to introduce you to a colleague who works at a large corporation who can introduce you to other employees. Who you know can be crucial to landing your first job, so always continue to network.
Emphasize Your Niche
Leverage your skills and tap into a specific corporate niche. You’re more likely to be hired when you are known for your specific skill. Once you’ve been hired, you can tell them about other projects that you’re willing to work on.
If you have lots of experience writing web copy, market this skill to the human resources or corporate communications departments to write content for their intranet or public websites. If you have experience writing news releases or articles, contact employees who work at the public relations department.
Create a Simple Website
Emphasize your services for corporations and your corporate niche. The website should promote yourself as an expert writer and make it easy for prospects to contact you.
This powerful tool is perfect for building your professional networks. Introduce yourself to lots of people and use LinkedIn to keep in touch in the future. When inviting someone to join your network, never use the standard message. Instead, your message should be specific to their organization and your services. For example:
Hi Ms. Blake,
I’d like to add you to my professional network. I’m a freelance writer and editor specializing in technical writing. I’d love to connect with you about your projects at XYZ Corp., your approaches, content and how my services could make your life a little bit easier.
Use Snail Mail!
This is necessary for introducing yourself to a broad array of corporate professionals. It may seem outdated, but direct mail is an effective way to reach hundreds of corporate employees. To collect corporate employees’ names, titles and addresses, use the resources at your local library. Online prospecting tools, such as Jigsaw, are very useful, but often cost a small fee per contact. When writing your direct mail letter, keep things simple and no more than one page in length. Introduce yourself as a writer or editor, your specialty and qualifications. Then, point the reader to your website.
Direct mail letters usually generate a 3-5% response rate. It may seem like too little worth caring about, but remember, just one of those responses could turn into a large contract and a steady client for years to come.
Just Get In The Door
Set up coffee meetings with contacts. Your goal is introducing yourself and networking, not landing a job. Dress sharp and bring lots of business cards. Introduce yourself to the prospect and emphasize that you aren’t searching for an immediate assignment – you’re simply interested in learning more about their business and projects.
Focus the conversation around their work, not yours. Ask about the types of projects they write, their organization’s long-term goals, writing strategies and ideas for new projects. They’ll appreciate your interest in their work and smart questions.
After the meeting, keep in touch by sending an email or calling once a month. Once a project arises for them, they’ll think of you straight away. Since you’ve discussed their business and long-term goals, you’ll have an “edge” in crafting a successful writing project that will exceed their expectations.
Go Above & Beyond for Your First Client
In fact, you should go above and beyond for every client, but definitely for your first one. Once you complete the assignment, ask them to refer you to their colleagues within the department or at another branch of the corporation. This recommendation is gold; it’s proof that you understand how their business operates and can produce results. Leverage these recommendations to land jobs at other corporations and expand your business.