Have you ever wondered how other freelance writers seem to do a ton of marketing in a matter of hours when it comes to building their authoring platform? Or how they quickly come up with proposals and contracts and then get new clients on board so easily?
Here’s their super stealthy secret: They use custom templates to automate time-consuming business procedures.
They avoid the time problems and headaches that typically trap freelance writers in confusing hour-long black holes, and instead improve their repeatable processes with models.
Don’t fall into the trap of custom making everything that comes out of your inbox. Have a set of templates that you can tailor to your personality and help you work efficiently, improve your customer experience, and remove lint from your business.
Freelance writing templates to help you automate your business
After nearly a decade of freelancing, I have tested these contracts and templates to make sure they not only cover your marketing efforts, but also set you up for success with the right contract plans.
Here are six different independent writing models you need, why it’s important to have them in your arsenal, and how to use them to automate and personalize your business.
1. Letter of Intent Templates for Businesses and Trade Magazines
When writing letters of intent (letters of introduction) to market your writing services to businesses or trade magazines, the process can become repetitive and time consuming; especially if you are reaching several potential customers in the same niche. As you write these short letters, it’s easy to waste hours figuring out different ways to say essentially these same things to hundreds of different people:
- Ask if they need help writing
- To present oneself
- Explain the relevant niches and clients you have worked with
- Titles for your article ideas (trade magazines)
But, when you create a template to work from, and then customize it by niche and trade magazine type, you create a repeatable system for getting more marketing in less time. Instead of starting from scratch every time you jump to the marketing board, you’ve completed 90% of the work and just need to add a few personalization touches before you hit send.
With a Letter of Intent template, you can quickly send personalized messages via email, LinkedIn InMails, DMs, or login invitations. And here’s some more behind-the-scenes information: If you’re starting out with one template, it’s easy to create dozens of templates for any niche, genre of trade magazine, or other marketing needs.
Then when you need to market, you can use a custom deck to send the right message to the right prospect in minutes to automate the process. And since you’re able to reach more leads faster by setting more irons on the fire, you can grow your customer base and earn more money.
2. LinkedIn Marketing Models
Like Letter of Intent Templates, LinkedIn Marketing Templates are designed to help you send marketing and networking messages that are like you, but more effectively (and less time consuming). From InMail connection requests to referrals to presentations, these templates span the gamut of LinkedIn business and help you reduce your time on the platform, but have a more global impact.
This toolkit allows you to prospect, grow your network, ask for referrals, follow up with warm prospects, connect with other writers, and communicate like a LinkedIn pro … without wasting a ton of time you need to devote to paid work. You are able to accelerate customer acquisition by increasing the amount of marketing you send and reduce potential customer round trips by modifying your templates over time to include the information that is most requested from you.
One of the best platforms for freelance writers, LinkedIn offers plenty of opportunities to connect with clients and grow your business. And when you have models in which you can design your personality, sending letters of intent and marketing pitches, responding to messages, and showing connection and referral requests becomes almost automatic.
You can plug in and play with a basic framework, where you tweak a few specific details for personalization, then send warm messages that look professional, but with a touch of you that sets your communication apart. By simply changing a few variables, you are able to work more in a copy-paste mode than spending hours writing dozens of messages and no longer working on your paid client projects.
3. Proposal template
Nothing speeds up the customer onboarding experience and adds more value than having a quality proposal template. When you have the structure, adding details like below for each new client proposal is a snap:
- Design elements such as photos and relevant colors
- Introductory messages
- Project objectives and scope of work
- Validation via testimonials and a list of former clients
- Project cost
- Next steps for the potential client
During the learning period, sending a refined proposal that looks, sounds and feels like the experience of working with you catches your client’s attention. And if you’re using a template, while it looks like a fully personalized experience on the reception side, the creative side is usually minimal. You can create multiple custom models per niche to further reduce time and onboard your client without much fuss.
With a template-based proposal, your onboarding is simplified and since you spend time up front to create an easy to customize plan, you only have to spend a short amount of time updating it for each new potential client. .
4. Models of commercial contracts and magazines
Because businesses and magazines have different needs, it is important to have two freelance writing contract models. However, they both work towards the same goal: to describe the collaboration process in clear, straightforward terms, and to provide a layout that you can use over and over again in your freelance writing business. With the two right models, you already have a sequence of information (and maybe some legal aspects), which only need a few updates such as the scope of the project, the duration of the contract, the amount of the initial payment, due dates and, potentially, payment terms and rights.
As a freelance writer, having contract templates helps you keep your agreements consistent and clear, but it also protects you. When you have a straightforward document to work on all the time, every additional clause or term you add as your business grows endures and builds a more secure contract. When you don’t have a template, it’s easy to recreate the wheel for each contract, forget specific clauses and conditions (I know, I did), make mistakes, and create inconsistencies between customers.
But when you’ve personalized a specific agreement, you can send it to clients faster for signature, get your upfront payment faster, and onboard your client with no huge effort. In addition, you can go from proposal to contract to payment in a much easier way.
5. Model NDA
With an NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement) template in your arsenal, if you receive an NDA from a client that isn’t right for you during your onboarding process, you can quickly submit yours. Whether it’s the entire deal, a few clauses, or a long contract term, instead of agreeing to terms that aren’t copywriter friendly, just send your custom template for review .
Since some NDAs require you to keep information or processes secret forever, having your own framework on hand that spells out a year or two of silence on their secrets saves having to fall out. When you don’t have a backup plan, especially one that’s tailor-made for freelance writers, you can end up using an NDA that gets in the way more than it helps.
Plus, with an NDA in your back pocket, you minimize the time spent finding and rewriting new ones frequently, and you avoid potential onboarding headaches and mishaps. A few minutes of typing and you have a template that you can send when you need it and basically automate the NDA training and signing process.
6. Model VA and independent contractor contract
When you want to hire outside help for your business, having a contract template to work with helps make the onboarding easier and more automated. Whether it’s a VA (virtual assistant), SEO consultant, or graphic designer, or you’re building an agency-style business with contract writers, you want a template to customize according to your exact work needs.
Unlike a business or magazine, this deal can cover more than the scope of the project, payment terms, rights, and compensation. And having a deal in hand to quickly add someone to your business helps you move forward and grow stress-free and without additional time.
With a pre-built framework that’s friendly for freelance writers, the deal is more malleable for the different types of subcontractors you can hire in your business and, like your marketing models, can turn into several different contract models for your specific work needs. It’s like having a step-by-step option where you just need to customize the scope and rights of the project, send the document, and get back to more important tasks.
As you grow and evolve, you may need to add a clause or two if your business becomes super complex. But having a template contract for a VA or independent contractor that you can almost define and forget, and that clearly describes how you’ll work together, makes the process of recruiting help a lot less complicated and straightforward.