By Janice King, special to

Like the contestants on TV’s Beauty and the Geek, I too have found a lot to love about working with technology clients. Every technology company needs marketing communication and public relations services, and freelance writers who can handle technical material will remain in demand.

High-tech marketing projects are often intellectually challenging and require strong writing skills. Technology continually offers new subjects to learn and the opportunity to build expertise that attracts loyal, long-term clients.

And, you may never hear higher praise for your work than from an engineer whose barely coherent draft you have transformed into polished prose.

Can You Talk Tech?

Serving technology clients takes a commitment to working largely–even exclusively–in this field. In most types of technology, the subject matter is increasingly complex and it changes rapidly. You won’t impress a prospective technology client by saying, “I’m a quick learner.” Instead, you will need a level of technical knowledge sufficient to build a good rapport and work productively with subject experts.

To develop this technical depth, focus on a particular technology area and seek out the relevant Web sites, trade publications, dictionaries, and other resources.

After you have developed knowledge and experience in one technology, you can often extend it to others. For example, my primary focus is telecommunications and most of my clients have been equipment vendors or phone companies. But this focus opened the door at a semiconductor manufacturer that sells the chips used in network equipment. It also got me into a major computer systems company, and once I started writing about systems sales, I became the right writer for a medical systems company.

Breaking Into the High-Tech Market

Successfully marketing your services to technology companies requires consistent and persistent targeting.

  • Target your services. Instead of being an “I do it all” writer, increase your credibility with potential clients by offering targeted services for specific project types, media, or technology areas.
  • Target your clients. Look for prospects in both high-tech companies and agencies with a technology practice. Former clients and colleagues may show up in your future at another company, so make sure your relationships are positive.
  • Target your self-promotion. Use successful completion of one project to sell the client on another: “Now that we have written this product brochure together, what about white paper?” Look for add-on projects for the same product or with other marketing staff in the company.

A Match for Success

Writing for technology companies won’t necessarily give you the kinds of projects that other writers will envy. But by matching your writing skills to an engineer’s need to communicate clearly, you can find many opportunities for building and sustaining a successful freelance business.

And I promise, you too may come to love (or at least enjoy) working with geeks.

Copyright (c) 2006, Janice M. King. All rights reserved; used by permission. Janice is an award-winning freelance copywriter who helps technology companies around the world produce clear, compelling sales and PR materials. Her latest book, Copywriting That Sells High Tech, has been called “a superb guide to great copy for any technology-based product or service.” Learn about the book and find many valuable resources for high-tech marketing at Janice’s site: