I began freelancing with magazines. And that’s a logical choice for new freelance writers. But if you want a regular income, it makes sense to reach out to businesses that use content in their marketing. When the magazines you write for pay on publication, and that could be months before getting a check in the mail, securing regular content marketing gigs certainly helps with the budget.
Where do you find businesses in your niche? Surprisingly, there’re five places to find content marketing clients that you probably haven’t thought of and I’m going to share them with you here.
10 Places to Find Content Marketing Clients in Your Niche
The magazines you already write for or read
If you’re already writing for magazines, the best place to find businesses in the same niche is those publications. Just like you analyzed the pubs before pitching to them, you can also do it to find content marketing clients.
First, look at the advertisers. Those who pay for a full-page ad probably have the budget to pay a content writer. (Full-page ads cost thousands of dollars per issue.) Also, look through several issues of the publication to see who the repeat advertisers are. Those companies understand the value of consistent marketing and may be more open to hiring you.
In addition to the advertisements, look for potential clients in the stories. Some publications highlight businesses and their products. Some do an “editors picks” of products. And regionals are big on “Best of…” contests that highlight area businesses. Also, look at the businesses represented by the experts quoted in the stories.
In LinkedIn, I belong to several groups in the homesteading/ag niche. They include Gardening, Homesteading, Slow Food, GardenComm, Horticulture, and more. To find content marketing clients, join groups in your niche and get active. You don’t need to spam people in order to get noticed. Posting and commenting on others’ posts will introduce you to business owners in the field. Go through the member lists and see where people work. Make a list of the companies you find, determine if they would make a good client, then reach out to their marketing manager.
Competitors of companies you’ve already found
Does the list you’ve already compiled include seed companies like Johnny’s or Burpee’s? Then do an internet search for seed companies. Remember to use some adjectives, like “heirloom seed companies” or “seed companies on the east coast” or “organic seed companies.”
Use a site like Owler to find competitors. Owler also gives you stats on a company that could reveal whether or not they will be a good prospect, like annual revenue and number of employees.
Ask your friends
Because our family spent many years growing most of our food on our modest acreage, we tend to hang out with folks who do the same thing. Of course, those friends are great resources for questions like:
- What kind of tractor do you have?
- What kind of pressure canner do you use?
- Do you have a wheat mill?
- Where do you buy your goat feed?
- What is your favorite brand of organic pesticide?
Of course, the answers to those questions are all good prospects for you to reach out to.
Do you have a friend who recently remodeled or redecorated? Ask them where they purchased their new appliances and what kind of appliances they chose. Where did their lighting come from? What brand of paint, tile, flooring did they use? Who was their building contractor? And who were their subcontractors?
I ask these types of questions to a lot of folks for the home remodeling stories I write for magazines. When interviewing people for your magazine stories, always consider questions you could use for other assignments.
The store aisles
Next time you find yourself in the store, look at the brand names. For my example, I would look in Tractor Supply, Rural King, Murdochs, or Southern States to see what brands of things they carry. After all, these are the stores that carry homesteading/ag supplies. To keep from getting overwhelmed, I might limit myself each visit to a particular section of the store. This week, list the gardening supply companies. Next week, the fence material manufacturers. And the next week, the food processing supplies.
The same thing goes for my home remodeling/construction niche. If you find yourself in Lowe’s, Home Depot, or even your local hardware store, take a look at the brands there, too.
Have you added content marketing to your journalism writing yet? If not, give it a go. If you have, share where you find your clients in the comments.