Do you want to become a freelancer but don’t know where to start? Maybe you need some freelancer advice to get you started.
The first thing you need to know is that the world of freelancing is a fierce battleground that sees you sleeping with one eye open. It’s not an exaggeration! As a freelancer, you’re required to work in different areas that are sometimes out of your chosen trade. This often calls for the need to get out of your comfort zone.
However, at the end of the day, it comes out as one of the most fulfilling professions that sees you being the captain of your own ship. You have control over your time, your choice of clients, and you can even work at the comfort of your own home!
Whether you’re doing freelance work on the side or making freelancing your main source of income, you need to take it seriously in all aspects, from work habits, down to professional development. It’s not all that hard if you have marketable skills, and the increase in demand for freelance writers makes it easy to find work that will supplement your income. But if you really want to succeed in your chosen career path and make it a truly rewarding experience, here are some freelancer advice that will guide you to the right path:
Establish a Comfortable Work Environment
Freelancing doesn’t require you to have a dedicated home office, but you need to set up a workspace where you can maximize comfort and productivity. Make sure you have the necessary supplies, equipment, and references within reach. At the same time, you need to keep your workspace well-organized. If you’re working at home, express the importance of respecting your workspace and your time to your family and friends.
Learn the Tricks of the Trade
Educating yourself about marketing, negotiation, and communication skills can help you build confidence when it’s time to submit queries, discussing compensation to clients, and conforming to and between projects.
Set Up Your Own Blog/Website
Market yourself by creating your own blog or website. It can be difficult at first, but promoting your freelance writing services via high-quality, resourceful, and reliable content can make a huge difference between drawing in leads and missing out on a lot of great opportunities.
If you’re on a tight budget, you can easily set up a blog for free on WordPress or Blogger. If you have money to invest on a website, you can go all-out and host your own.
Learn Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Nowadays, learning and understanding the fundamentals of SEO is important. Whether you’re running a blog or a website to promote your freelancing services, making your web pages SEO-friendly makes it easy for potential clients to find you in search engines.
Make Your Presence Known
Don’t just be present on social media, take some time to engage, share and network! Keeping up with all your favorite social networks can eat up a lot of your time, but social media plays a crucial role in marketing yourself and your freelance writing services online. Be proactive, share trendy and relevant content, and initiate a little bit of networking on the side.
Create a Contract
Get everything in writing before you submit your work for evaluation and for payment. A contract should include what you’re supposed to write, for whom, how much to charge, and the deadlines.
In cases that involve writing for someone else, you need to be knowledgeable of copyright issues. This is especially important if you’re ghostwriting because you might not be able to claim any rights to your own material.
Make Sure You’re Given Enough Time
These days, most freelance writing jobs pay by the word or for a flat fee. Before accepting a project or submitting a bid for work, make sure to give yourself enough time to research the topic, and include it in the amount of time you need to finish the job. Research time doesn’t get you paid and pushing yourself to the limit by writing about something completely foreign to you could end up costing you more time than the job itself pays.
Clients Are a Top Priority
Once you find yourself an engaging and rewarding project, do everything you can to keeping that client satisfied and happy. If a client keeps on asking you to rewrite your work, is slow to respond, and won’t even give you a “raise” after a few projects, do yourself a favor and ditch that client to make room for a better relationship. Keeping a problematic client in the hopes that things will get better could put a strain on your business.
Communicate With Clients
If you’re not sure about the task given to you, you can restate them in reply in your own words and ask for confirmation from your client that you understand the procedure. At the same time, you can help clients understand their own work, as some companies tend to assign work to those with insufficient skills and/or time for managing projects effectively. With tact and discretion, you can provide suggestions for more efficient procedures, presentation, or organization, regardless of the person’s level of expertise.
Freelancing can be a fun, lucrative, and rewarding career. On the other hand, it can also mean long hours of work, frequent writer’s block, and breakneck deadlines. If you’re serious about freelancing, make sure to prepare yourself for clients to appreciate your work, and for others to hate it and return it to you for revisions or reject it completely.
Most freelance writing jobs demand you to listen and to do exactly what you are asked to do – not to offer your own ideas or creative inclinations. If you don’t have the patience for it and you’re not prepared for the backlash, freelance writing might not be your calling. However, if you can take constructive criticism from a friend or family member, then you’ll probably be able to handle it from a client.