How can I get started as a freelance grant writer? It’s a question that comes to me often and I want to let you in on a few secrets to getting started as a freelance grant writer.
- First, get really good at grant writing. As a freelance grant writer you’ll have to constantly sell yourself and your services. You need to be confident and competent, and that has to come across in every conversation you have with a prospective client. Plus, it doesn’t hurt to actually be good at what you do, so that when someone hires you the first time, they’ll come back again and again. You can accomplish this by lots of practice, through classes, volunteering, and working at smaller nonprofits that might not pay the best starting out.
- Create a killer website. The internet is a great marketing tool–my favorite, actually–and it’s here to stay. I know grant writers who have succeeded without ever creating a website, (or by creating a very bad one) but they also had 30 years of nonprofit experience and a network you wouldn’t believe. If you don’t have these things, you can attract business and prove yourself with a great website.
- Tell everyone what you do. The more you mention that you’re a freelance grant writer–even if it’s just in passing or in casual conversation–the more you’ll become known as such. And that’s how you build a network, get noticed, and drive referrals. Referral business is often a freelance grant writer’s best clients, so it’s important to build this aspect of your business immediately.