What’s the real key to success for online businesses? Is it social media? Will the likes of Facebook, Twitter or their kin be the best way to generate traffic? Sure, social media is part of good marketing, but it is not the site or the platform that attracts readers, followers and customers. Rather, it’s the substance of an article, tweet or update that catches their attention and leads them to the business itself.
Technology startups have risen in prominence, and many of the products and online services you use today are likely to be the work of tech startups. Do you use an Android smartphone? Are you fond of Twitter or Facebook? Do you chat using Viber.com or Whatsapp.com? These are all products of tech startups, and some have risen in prominence to become multibillion-dollar companies.
As a freelance writer, you can offer your services to tech startups and help them get the attention they need. By providing quality and organic content, startup companies would get the boost they require to catch up with other existing companies or startups that have had a headstart over them.
First, you will need to hone your skills. Fine-tune your writing abilities and knock the cobwebs off if necessary. Build up your confidence and come up with a presentable portfolio that will impress the company and your future boss or client. If you’re an expert in a certain niche, focus on that particular industry.
If you are a writer, you can maintain your own personal blog. Regular updates will show that you keep abreast of the current trends and styles. As an alternative, you can also showcase your portfolio on writing platforms like Medium.com, which offers collaboration and feedback, aside from having an already sizable audience. The same goes if you’re a design freelancer. You can set-up your own portfolio on design sites like DeviantArt.com or Dribbble.com. Besides practicing your own skills through your blog, you can also try and test out new techniques in optimizing your content to rank higher on search results. See which techniques are effective and which ones are not, thereby increasing your expertise and knowledge in quite a lot of things, expanding your horizons and allowing you to be more flexible, desirable and important.
Ready to put your pitching skills to the test? Get ready to hunt for companies that are in need of your services.
1. News Sites
Your first stop would be news sites and databases that feature tech startups. These include Venturebeat.com, TechCrunch.com and Angel.co.
2. Social Media
Social networking sites are also popular virtual watering holes for startup founders. They are often involved in startup communities on Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn, as well as developer-oriented forums.
3. Job Boards
Job boards are also a great way to find tech startups in need of talent. While most of the listings at the likes of Angel.co/jobs, StartupHire.com, and e27.co/jobs are for developers, you can still get yourself introduced as a creative individual who can offer contributions on non-technical aspects of a business.
Get in touch with the startup founders directly, and introduce yourself as someone who can help improve their business. Become involved in the community. Even if you’re not a technical person, not all startup founders are developers, anyway. Many of these people do have a vision and hire the technical, marketing and creative personnel that can turn their ideas into a reality.
Finding the right company for you to work with may take some time and it might not be that easy, but persistence is key and patience is a virtue. A company that needs you, your writing style, and your technique might take time, as different companies have different necessities and each and every writer has his or her own persona and skillset. In case you are turned down, it does not mean that you are not good. It simply implies that you may not be the person they are looking for at the moment.
What Services to Offer
The range of services you can offer would be dependent on your skillset. You could offer anywhere from writing web content to minor or major editing, content overhauls, improving site details such as fixing “about us page” and “home page” and the like.
You can also offer content-related services such as Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Social Media Marketing (SMM), Search Engine Marketing (SEM), data entry, blogging, press releases or even copywriting if you wish. Again it would depend on what you know and on what you can do.
One area that tech startups would greatly benefit from is user experience or UX, which will require a keen eye from someone who can take the perspective of both a product manager and an end-user. With UX, simple copy-related details such as buttons, prompts, user agreements and forms will require streamlining in order to be effective.
At the end of the day what is important for tech startups is gaining traction by improving their online presence. Freelance writers, designers and other professionals can help in this aspect, whether it’s helping improve the user experience or helping get the word out through content development, marketing, SEO and social media updates, and even handling the startup’s human resources, accounting or other business needs.
About the author:
A technology and automotive journalist with an interest in emerging standards, J. Angelo Racoma has written extensively about mobile, social media, enterprise apps and startups. Angelo has been active in online media since the early blogging and social networking days. He is co-editor at media company e27.co and co-founder at WorkSmartr, a small outsourcing platform for freelancers.