How to Get Clients as a Total Newbie – Without Lying About Your Experience

Newbie Experience

One of the biggest fears new freelance writers have is being ‘found out’. Exposed as a fraud. Called out on their lack of experience. They worry that if a client guesses they’re totally new to this game, they won’t get hired. The trouble, of course, is that they also don’t want to be dishonest. They don’t want to lie and say they’ve done this a hundred times before, when the reality is the only real writing experience they have is rambling on their personal blog and penning college essays. They dread the questions, ‘What experience do you have?’, ‘Can I see some other projects you’ve worked on?’ and ‘Do you have anything published I can look at?’

I’m guessing you’re the same. I was.

One of my students, Kate Tunstall, was worried going into a meeting with a prospective client. What would she say if the client asked about her past experience?

Here’s how it went, in Kate’s own words:

He didn’t ask me!

I’ve decided that there are two types of people in this world:

1. Those who take you as they find you — come across confident and pro and you will be accepted as such.
2. Dicks like my brother who are always trying to catch everyone else out and make you doubt yourself. I wrote on here about him some time ago. (In your face bro.)

So basically, unless you encounter a dick (why would you choose to work with a dick? Your biz, your rules), you should be just fine. Prepare, dress sharp, show up and be friendly. The last part of the jigsaw is negotiating a price. BOOM. Think I’ve had an epiphany!

Kate nailed it. If you act confident and professional, it won’t even cross the prospect’s mind that you’re new to this, so they’ll have no reason to ask about your previous experience. Because, let’s face it, the only reason anybody asks for that is because they don’t trust you can do the job. Or because they’re a dick.

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