List of Topics

SfC Home > Writing > Technical Writing >


Marketing Yourself as an Independent Technical Writer

by Ron Kurtus (revised 3 May 2003)

Some technical writers go into business for themselves as freelancers or independent contractors. A number of those become successful enough to form a writing company and hire a staff of other writers. In either case, the technical writer who is self-employed must continually perform marketing to maintain a steady income.

Questions you may have about this are:

This lesson will answer those questions.

Attitude toward business

You should look at yourself as a viable business, even if you are just getting started in working independently. Give your business a name. Get business cards and even stationery. You can buy blank business card sheets at an office supply store and print your own cards. Likewise, you can make your letterhead from your home computer. Just make it look like you are serious about being in business for yourself.

Never call yourself a freelancer. That implies you are writing as a hobby. If you work alone, say you are a "one-person business" or say, "I have a writing business."

If you are getting jobs through a consulting firm or job shop, where you become a temporary employee of the firm, say you are subcontracting. The attitude of being in business for yourself is essential.

Marketing is important

Marketing is a most important part of being a business. It should not be thought of as some chore to perform.

Continue to do marketing, even with clients you worked for before. Send out your brochure, a newsletter or give them a call every so often. Don't take clients for granted.

Above all, ask clients for referrals. If they liked your work, they will either pass your name on to others or give you a lead. They should know you are looking for more work.

Marketing methods

Do some research and find organizations for which you are interested in working. Don't make cold calls. Rather try to get contacts before calling on a potential client.

Have a portfolio and give presentations. Call up potential clients and say, "May I meet with you to show you my portfolio?" When meeting with a potential client, tell the stories behind the publications in your portfolio, explaining the challenges you faced and how you resolved them.

Be enthusiastic about your work. Tell the person, "We'd love to work with you." Your enthusiasm can be contagious and will also imply you do good work. Leave samples behind when you are done with a presentation or meeting with a client.


Have an attitude that you are a viable business. Enjoy marketing and let others be aware you are looking for business. Be prepared when you go in for an interview.

Improve your business by helping clients improve theirs

Resources and references

Ron Kurtus' Credentials


"Ten Reasons Why Designers are Better at Marketing Themselves than Writers" by Carollyne Hutter - Washington Independent Writers

Society for Technical Communication

Technical Writing Resources


(Notice: The School for Champions may earn commissions from book purchases)

Top-rated books on Technical Writing

Questions and comments

Do you have any questions, comments, or opinions on this subject? If so, send an email with your feedback. I will try to get back to you as soon as possible.

Share this page

Click on a button to bookmark or share this page through Twitter, Facebook, email, or other services:


Students and researchers

The Web address of this page is:

Please include it as a reference in your report, document or thesis.

Where are you now?

School for Champions

Technical Writing topics

Marketing Yourself as an Independent Technical Writer

Technical Writing topics

Getting work as a Technical Writer

Developing technical documentation

Using tools

Success factors

Also see

Let's make the world a better place

Be the best that you can be.

Use your knowledge and skills to help others succeed.

Don't be wasteful; protect our environment.

You CAN influence the world.

Live Your Life as a Champion:

Take care of your health

Seek knowledge and gain skills

Do excellent work

Be valuable to others

Have utmost character

Be a Champion!

The School for Champions helps you become the type of person who can be called a Champion.