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How To Find Proofreading Clients: 19 Ways In 2024 [Bonus Tip!]

If you’re new to proofreading, you might be wondering how to find proofreading clients.

It can be quite overwhelming at first trying to pick up proofreading. 

Trying to find clients can add another level of stress. I say this from personal experience!

When I first started my journey into freelancing, the first two jobs I tried were writing and proofreading. I can safely say that these two skills are still very much useful in my daily life, helping me bring in a high income. 

I am forever grateful for learning about this side hustle as it put me on a journey to achieving financial freedom!

In this article, I’ll not only show you 19 ways how to find proofreading clients from home but also tell you tips on how to succeed and get hired as a proofreader.

If you want to quickly know how to quickly find proofreading clients online, here are 19 ways to do so:

1. Create Proofreading Samples

2. Create A Proofreading Website 

3. Add ‘Freelance’ Proofreader To Your LinkedIn Profile 

4. Create A Business Profile 

5. Join Proofreading Facebook Groups

6. Attend Networking Events

7. Tell Your Family And Friends 

8. Cold-Contact Possible Clients

9. Attend A Training With A Partner Company

10. Niche Down 

11. Network On LinkedIn In Your Intended Niche

12. Reach Out To Your Previous Workplaces

13. Ask For Referrals

14. Offer A Referral Discount

15. Offer A Proofreading Freebie

16. Look On Job Boards

17. Look On Freelancer Platforms

18. Consider Joining A Proofreading Society

19. Tell Everyone You Meet What You Do 

BONUS: UNIVERSITY JOB BOARDS!

Affiliate Link Disclosure

Some of the links here are affiliate links, and I may earn if you click on them, AT NO EXTRA cost to you. I hope you find the information here useful! Thanks!

If you want to know how to become a proofreader online but need some training, the Proofread Anywhere course helps you transition into a full-time proofreader/editor and run it as a well-paid business.

The Proofread Anywhere course begins with proofreading basics and then goes on to share advanced proofreading methods, how and where to find jobs, what rate to set, and common mistakes to avoid.

Caitlin is the lady who runs the course and she has been a proofreader since 2007. She turned her love for proofreading into a full-time job and now helps others do the same.

The Proofread Anywhere course is packed with 40+ lessons in 8 modules, grammar-specific worksheets, and real-life example jobs.

After passing with 90% or higher on the final exam you will receive a Certificate of Completion and access to the Self-Publishing School Preferred Outsourcer Rolodex.

Ps; Caitlin is offering a FREE Proofreading workshop that will help you learn the basic skills and decide on whether freelance proofreading is for you. Perfect if you want to know how to become a proofreader with no experience and if you are looking for proofreading courses online for free.

19 Ways How To Find Proofreading Clients in 2023

1. Create Proofreading Samples

Your potential clients can’t hire you if they don’t know what they’re getting, so the best way to first find clients is to create proofreading samples!

When I first started out, what I did was offer to proofread for my friends and family short passages.

I would then turn on ‘track changes’ on Microsoft Word to show my editing and proofreading efforts, and these would be my examples of proofreading. 

I would then send these files to potential clients to show them what I could do.

2. Create A Proofreading Website 

If you want to provide proofreading services online, then you should also have an online ‘home’ for these services in the form of a website so potential clients can find you.

You can either create a website using a .com or use a free online portfolio like Contently

3. Add ‘Freelance Proofreader’ To Your LinkedIn Profile 

LinkedIn is full of busy business people who need things done.

When you add ‘freelance proofreader’ to your LinkedIn profile, not only do you make it obvious that you are a proofreader.

But you help such individuals remember that people like you exist to help them with such tasks, so they focus on more urgent matters that may require their attention!)

4. Create A Business Profile 

Just like how you created a website and an online portfolio for yourself, you should also create a business profile on Facebook, Instagram, and GoogleMyBusiness to get your name out there. 

I, too have a Google My Business for my own writing business, and whenever I hold workshops or have private coaching sessions, satisfied clients leave reviews.

This in turn, helps other new clients find me. Super helpful! 

5. Join Proofreading Facebook Groups

To find more proofreading work, you can always join Proofreading Facebook groups to see if there are job postings. 

Some Facebook groups include Proofreading and Editing Services and Academic Editing And Proofreading

Be mindful that Facebook scams (where clients promise you work and run off without paying) can be quite common. 

As for upfront payment if possible, if not, ask for a 50% advance before you do the work.

6. Attend Networking Events

Don’t just attend proofreaders’ network events!

If you intend to help students or academics proofread, attend a school networking event.

If you want to help doctors or medical professionals proofread, attend a medical conference or a related networking event.

Always make sure, however, that you are legally allowed to be there – look for ‘open to public’ type of networking events to be sure! 

7. Tell Your Family And Friends 

You’ve started a new hustle, and you’re excited.

Share that excitement and this new role with your family and friends. 

Just like how you’ll tell them if you start a new job, starting a proofreading role should also be celebrated and shared! 

And who knows, that could lead to a new client if they need a proofreader or someone they know needs one!

8. Cold-Contact Possible Clients

One of my favorite ways of attracting potential proofreading clients is when I notice a copy full of spelling errors.

I would then point out a few of them and let them know I spot other errors.

I would then offer a discounted rate if they decide to let me proofread the rest of the copy or even offer a discounted rate for a new project.

There’s almost always a take-up for my services in the one out of three times I offer this! 

9. Attend Training With Marketing Support Or A Partner Company

When I first started out, I took a proofreading course by experienced proofreader Caitlin Pyles. 

In her course, she taught me how to better position myself to clients and market my services. 

That helped me land my first few sets of clients, which then led to even more clients within months. 

Another course, Knowadays’ Becoming A Proofreader also provides such support.

They also have a tie-up where they allow the top few people in their courses (those who score a distinction) to take on work with the partner company on a trial basis.

10. Niche Down 

If you feel like there are too many proofreaders around, or you feel like there isn’t enough work in your subject matter of interest, then niche down!

What this means is that you look at other industries or niches which have fewer proofreaders and offer services there.

For example, medical proofreading is an extremely profitable niche due to the fact that you need to be proficient in medical terms. There is also a lot of writing done in the medical field! 

11. Network On LinkedIn In Your Intended Niche

Similar to attending a networking event, what you can do, after you have added a mention that you are a freelance proofreader in your profile is to comment on peoples’ posts if you find them interesting.

Say, for example, you’d like to proofread in the financial technology (fintech) space. 

You can follow a few prominent individuals or key decision-makers.

When they post something interesting, you can comment on the post (with substantial comments) so you pop up on their feed. 

If there is some way to weave in the fact that you proofread, do that, but remember to keep it subtle!

12. Reach Out To Your Previous Workplaces

Sometimes your ex-colleagues may not be aware that you’ve moved onto a different role, doing a different thing.

If you used to work for an F&B company, for example, you could let them know you’ve recently moved into a freelance proofreader role and ask if they have any F&B marketing collaterals that need reviewing.

13. Ask For Referrals

By now, if you’ve followed my steps, you should have gotten your first few clients or first few leads.

Once you’ve finished proofreading for them, if they are satisfied with the work done, ask if they can share your contact details with their friends. 

Chances are, even without you asking, if you’ve truly done a good job, they’re likely to refer you to their friends anyway.

But if you ask them kindly, they’d be more likely to do so after being reminded! 

14. Offer A Referral Discount

Asking an ex-client to refer you could also take up time on the ex-client’s end.

To show your appreciation, offer them a returning discount if they have recently referred a new client to you.

If you have secured enough clients, you might even want to offer a tiered discount – the more referrals, the greater the discount. 

15. Offer A Proofreading Freebie

If you have some potential clients you’re in contact with, but they are hesitant to take on your services or take a chance on you, offer to proofread for free.

But only offer part of it for free.

If they’ve asked you to proofread a document, offer to do the first page for free before they decide.

That way, they can see your level of competence and also your dedication to helping them with what they need. 

Never ever offer to work for free for the whole document unless there is some sort of non-monetary exchange. 

Like I’ve also proofread for a friend in return for a personal training session. Totally worth it! 

16. Look On Job Boards

There are many job boards around that promote proofreading jobs if you’re wondering how to find proofreading clients online.

Some of them include: 

17. Look On Freelancer Platforms

Aside from using job boards, I also used platforms like Upwork and Fiverr when I first started out and didn’t know how to find proofreading clients.

When creating your profile, always make sure you tailor your search tags for proofreading on Fiverr and Upwork. 

This would include adding the terms ‘proofreader’ and ‘editor’ to your profile. 

18. Consider Joining A Proofreading Society

When you join a proofreading society, you gain access to opportunities to network with editors and writers who may need a proofreader.

Such societies also offer training opportunities or workshops to help you succeed as a proofreader.

Being with like-minded professionals, you can also learn from their best practices, mistakes to avoid, and any opportunities they wish to pass on if they’re too busy. 

19. Tell Everyone You Meet What You Do 

I know this goes without saying, but tell everyone what you do. 

If you meet a new friend, say you’re a freelance proofreader. Don’t just say you’re working on an online business or you’re working online.

Be loud and proud!

You never know who needs a proofreader and some proofreading done! Even if it’s for some easy proofreading jobs – if you don’t make it known, you’ll never know! 

BONUS Tip: UNIVERSITY JOB BOARDS!

No one really talks about this but it works! I did it myself and STILL get referrals till today, 6 years later.

Create a flyer and stick it on the many job boards at universities and watch how many students contact you to proofread their university papers.

Universities are RIPE with students desperate to pass their research papers and theses and they give bulk work! Each thesis can be over 100 pages … and if you charge per page, the Math adds up!

Is There A Demand For Proofreaders?

Yes, there is a strong demand for proofreaders! Internet-based services are always popping up. 

This in turn leads to a need for more writers and, thus, more proofreaders. 

Recruiter.com predicts that demand for proofreaders in the US will go up with an annual increase of 5.92% from now till 2029

So yes, there is a strong and growing demand for proofreaders!

What Businesses Need Proofreaders?

All businesses should have their written work proofread, though some smaller companies may opt to do this in-house or by their own marketing staff.

These are the top five types of businesses that need proofreaders most:

  • Publications 
  • Companies providing scientific services
  • Businesses that promote employment services
  • Filmhouses
  • Advertising and PR companies 

FAQs For How To Find Proofreading Clients

Can You Be A Proofreader With No Experience?

Not sure if can you be a proofreader with no experience? Yes you can! You don’t need any sort of experience to begin proofreading documents.

Sure there are important skills such as having good English skills, and a firm understanding of grammar, punctuation and spelling conventions.

But you do not need to have any experience or qualifications to start.

What I found useful for me, though, was to take a proofreading course where I could learn the proper ways of proofreading, common mistakes, and how to market myself. 

How Do I Get Hired As A Proofreader?

Wondering how do I get hired as a proofreader? You can get hired as a proofreader by following these steps:

1. Create proofreading samples

2. Create a business profile or website with these samples

3. Decide on your proofreading rate

4. Market your services to your friends and family

5. Find your first paying client

6. Get paid

7. Ask for referrals and testimonials

8. Increase your rate after some experience. 

How Much Should I Charge For Proofreading?

Not sure how much should I charge for proofreading? There isn’t a set amount you should charge for proofreading, but $13 to $16 for 1000 words is a good start.

If you prefer to charge on an hourly basis, most proofreaders on Upwork currently charge between $18 to $35 per hour.

You can charge more or less, it’s completely up to you!

But just don’t shortchange yourself whichever rate you choose. 

Can You Really Make A Living Proofreading?

Wondering can you really make a living proofreading? Yes, you can as long as you’re willing to put in the work, and also to find your first few clients.

As a freelancer, you can’t just sit back and wait for clients to drop in your lap.

If you want to make a living, you’ll need to proactively seek out clients to succeed in proofreading. 

I’m great proof that you can make a living proofreading – I first did it while working full-time in a corporate job. 

I then gained enough experience and clients and left my corporate role. At that time, I was earning around $2000 to $3000.

But if you put in the effort, you can definitely earn a lot more. 

Is Proofreading A Good Career?

Not sure if is proofreading a good career? Proofreading is a really great career as most proofreaders are able to work on this quite flexibly, whether it is in terms of time or location.

Proofreading will always be in demand as long as there is writing that needs to be reviewed.

Even if you opt not to be a pure proofreader, having proofreading skills as a writer or any other role for that matter will only value-add to your job. 

I know that starting as a freelance proofreader can be extremely nerve-wracking and you might be worried about how to find proofreading clients, among other things. 

Start with the first step first, then cross out each step I’ve mentioned as you go along. 

Chances are you might find yourself flooded with proofreading requests if you do it right.

I’d know! I constantly have to turn down proofreading assignments or direct them to my writing clients because I have too many and have since moved on to managing my blogs more. 

Let me know how it goes, champ! I’ll be rooting for you! 

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