Are you contemplating the idea of abandoning your tedious 9-to-5 working schedule in favor of a more flexible and rewarding job opportunity enabling you to put your above-average writing skills to good use?
If so, you should know that this new career path could help you unlock a wide range of benefits linked to a freelancer’s lifestyle, including the ability to make your own schedule, become your own boss, get involved in projects that actually resonate with your passions and interests, and work from any environment with Internet access.
You may be wondering: if freelance writing is such a positive life-changing experience, why aren’t all people willing to give it a try? Surprisingly, this has very little to do with their aptitudes and skills.
What You Need to Know about Freelance Writing
Believe it or not, freelancing in this area is a small business opportunity that requires more than a little bit of talent and love for writing. In order to survive in this already highly competitive industry in 2017, you will need to count on a plan meant to protect your resources, solid strategies designed to attract more clients and get the highest-paid gigs, and an ardent desire for self-improvement. If you need a little bit of guidance while working 24/7 to build your own freelance writing empire, here are a few expert writers tips that will point you in the right direction, allowing you to avoid losses throughout your journey.
What You Need to Learn as a Novice in This Industry
Freelance writing isn’t a career path that requires any impressive credentials. While the credentials earned in a university may help you broaden your horizons and support your creative thinking, they won’t always help you build or maintain a solid connection with deep-pocketed clients, or lift your website and blog off the ground. These two goals, as well as any other objectives you may set up as a freelance writer, depend a great deal on three less conventional credentials that you must work on:
- Curiosity– The need to explore, make predictions, and present current events from different perspectives can help writers make a name for themselves on any niche
- Self-Confidence– Courage and self-confidence are two invaluable weapons that all writers should count on to be able to face rejection with grace every now and then, and keep improving their work and marketing tactics to lure more high-profile clients even on the most overcrowded markets
- Perseverance and Perfectionism– Some of the most successful writers are the ones that are constantly expanding their knowledge database and refining their skill set to reach a broader audience, boost their authority, and attract a more diverse clientele.
Before actually getting started, those who are willing to give freelance writing a try should learn how to:
- Implement a good money management plan and set up a financial system enabling them to take care of invoicing, tax filling, and other to-dos related to their new source of income
- Cultivate their self-discipline to stay organized
- Create and upgrade a workflow and a deadline system based on whiteboards, wall charts, diaries or online reminder solutions, to prioritize assignments and make sure all deadlines are being met
- Create a dedicated, productivity-oriented writing space
- Maintain a flawless communication with partners (web designers, photographers, and so on) and clients
- Expand their areas of knowledge and skill set by becoming familiar with different aspects that could support their content creation efforts and help them bring in more clients, such as social media management, search engine optimization, and web design
How to Survive on the Market
As a newcomer, you have to struggle to make yourself known for your writing skills on a market where some of the most reputable, well-established competitors have what it takes to steal the highest-paid gigs right before your eyes. Fortunately, in some of the fastest growing freelancing sectors, including writing and social media marketing, the small fish manage to eat the big fish by offering more flexible, customizable service packages carrying smaller price tags. If your number one goal for 2017 is to survive on the freelance writing market, here are some steps that you should take to accomplish your mission.
- Join as Many Freelance Platforms as Possible. These days, you could count on a wide array of websites and boards especially designed for freelancers. Platforms like Upwork make it easier for you to find and get involved in projects matching your interest, skills and financial expectations, so join as many freelance job sites for writers as possible to stay busy and keep those paychecks rolling in.
- Stay Active on Social Media. Freelancers always turn to social media to find new clients and land new gigs. Whether you choose to showcase your remarkable creativity on Instagram, position yourself as an industry expert on Twitter, or looking for potential customers and partnership opportunities on Facebook, keep in mind that all social networking websites are gold mines for freelancers who are looking forward to supplementing their monthly income.
- Use Your Contact List Wisely. Don’t hesitate to market your services within your social circle; at some point, your aunt Mary who runs a clothing store may require some professional SEO optimization to get her website on the first page in Google, or your nephew Mark may need help with his content marketing strategy to take his startup to the next level; profit from all these opportunities to pay your bills and expand your portfolio.
- Always Stay Busy. Long periods of inactivity may affect your creative thinking and communication skills, and make you slip into a pool of apathy and self-indulgence. To avoid this pitfall, try to stay busy even when it’s quiet. Whether we’re talking about taking a SEO or content marketing course, polishing your resume and portfolio, or organizing client meetings in your pajamas, in front of your computer, all these basic actions will help you stay relevant and competitive in your line of work.
How to Bring in New Clients
When it comes to expanding your client database, there are several tried-and-true strategies that you could employ to reach your goal. Here are a few of our most effective writers’ tips that may work for you:
- Team up with other freelancers to get involved in lengthier, more complex, better paid projects
- Personalize your emails and cold calls by targeting a specific person in the company who may benefit from your services
- Attend industry events to share your expertise with likeminded people who may require your assistance in the future
- Stay in contact with past clients who have appreciated your work at its real value; sometimes, you could get to work with an old client again and land the job of your dreams simply due to the fact that you’ve popped on their radar in the right moment.
- Consider doing pro bono work; volunteering may help you establish new relationships with big companies that may be willing to pay the right price for your quality services in the near future.
Survive and Thrive on an Overcrowded Market by Keeping Yourself Busy
In 2017, in order to penetrate a crowded market, make money and gain appreciation and respect in the freelance writing sector, you have to stay busy, and use every single trick in the book to build and promote your own brand.
Create a website and a blog. Learn the basics of Google-friendly optimization tactics. Join all the freelance writing platforms where you could find well-paid jobs and collaborations that may trigger your enthusiasm. Take a couple of hours each day to read the latest industry news, and stay up-to-date with new trends and job opportunities. At the end of the day, all these steps will help you become a more seasoned writer, and acquire the skills and knowledge required to leave your competition in the dust.