The 6-step process to land a UX writing freelance gigs

Going from an empty inbox to a contract can be confusing. I'm going to debunk the process of going from client-less to client signed.
ux writing freelance process
ux writing freelance process
In: Freelance

Whether you have clients knocking on your door or you're trying to figure out how to find a UX writing client with no experience, the process of going from "I want a client" to "contract signed" can feel murky.

Where do you start? Where do clients come from? Where do you go from there? I'm here to debunk the process of going from client-less to client signed.

There are 6 steps:

  1. Marketing
  2. Booking
  3. Sales call
  4. Discovery call
  5. Proposal
  6. Contract

Let's dive in…‌

1. Marketing

If you're an introvert like me, the idea of marketing makes you wanna puke. You mean I have to ask strangers to do something?

Over the years, marketing has gone from the bane of my existence to something I actually enjoy. And it's been critical to the success of my freelance UX writing business.

Without a marketing plan, clients wouldn't have found me. And instead, I'd have had to cold email or go on Upwork or Fiverr, and that wasn't something I wanted to do.

See, I wanted to capture people who knew they had a problem and ended up finding me as the right solution. If I could get these warm leads to come to me, my hit rate would be higher than a cold email campaign.

And it worked. My whole freelance UX writing business is based on clients submitting forms on my website or messaging me on LinkedIn.

That said, there are a few key things you need to master in order for marketing to work:

  • You need a personal brand — this will separate you from other freelance UX writers
  • You need a niche — this will make you hyper-relevant to target clients
  • You need a website — this is your sales machine that will seal the deal
  • You need a way for people to get to your website — for me, that’s posting blog posts on LinkedIn
  • You need a go-to channel — whether that's LinkedIn or Twitter, you need a platform to invest in. I recommend starting with one, building a base there, and then expanding.

Basically, you need a marketing engine. This may sound intimidating, and it's a process that happens over time. Start with your personal brand and niche. Then build out a website.

But marketing is key to successful freelancers (IMO.)

2. Booking

Someone reached out to us — yayayay 🎉 Now, you need to make booking a sales call with you seamless. What you want to avoid is a 5-email chain of trying to find a time that works.

If the first touch with you is professional and seamless, that'll set a good first impression. I suggest using a service like Calendly. There's a free plan that lets you have one meeting type, and that'll get the job done.

Always mention that if they can't find a time using Calendly to let you know, and you can move some things around. Time zones can get in the way.

3. Sales call

It's go-time 🤘 There are 7 strategies I used to crush sales calls:

  1. Do your homework
  2. Take control of the conversation early
  3. Know your unique selling proposition
  4. Don't focus on your process
  5. Never mention pricing
  6. Ask to follow up with a proposal (if no discovery call is needed)
  7. Use notes!

The outcome of your sales call is either to 1. gather enough intel to formulate the perfect proposal, or 2. go a step deeper and dive into what you'll be working on in a discovery call.

If you jump to the proposal stage, I have some pricing strategies that'll help you. If you feel like you need more context about what the product looks like and the scope, a discovery call is needed.

Speaking of discovery calls…

4. Discovery call

A discovery call is an opportunity for the client to show you their Figma file, so you can get an understanding of the literal problem and see the scope with your own eyes.

A discovery call is mostly relevant for larger projects, but use your best judgment. Clients are happy to hop on discovery calls because it gives them confidence the pricing and proposal will be accurate and based in reality.

5. Proposal

The only goal of your proposal is to sell your project. You do that by:

  • Being clear and concise
  • Answering all asked questions
  • Reiterating your pitch
  • Making crystal-clear you're on the same page

But the kicker is framing the proposal from your client's perspective. They aren’t a UX writer. They know their problems, not the UX writing process. If you can frame the proposal around how you can solve their problem, you'll be golden.

6. Contract

Woot — a client accepted our proposal 🎉

Now, it's time to make it official with a contract. Don't skip this step — it'll protect you if something goes wrong. Some clients will have their own contract. Some will ask you to send one.

If you don't want to reach out to a lawyer to get a standard contract, tools like Bonsai have lawyer-approved contracts you can customize to match every project. It's what I use, and it's been a lifesaver.‌

Now that you understand the process to land a UX writing freelance gig, it's time to start actually laying the foundation for your UX writing freelance biz 🤩 Excited?

‌Happy UX writing 🖖‌

Written by
Slater Katz
As founder of The UX Gal, my mission is to make learning UX writing fantastically-simple and landing a job easy. I've held UX writing jobs at companies like Netflix, Fitbit, Verizon, Afterpay, & more.
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