I can’t agree with Piotr enough here, as responsiveness is hugely important for well-paying clients. Piotr continues…
“Unfortunately, I had a bad experience here. A couple of years ago, just when I started with my independent career, I missed an email from a small hotel which was interested in my essay from the city they are located in. Answering a day later was too late as they had already found another writer. Lucky me, the next time I answered quickly enough and sold my piece of text to a big travel website. That was a hard lesson, but necessary for me to understand the freelance market and its rules. Being a freelancer you work all the time, 24/7. And all this time you have to be accessible for your potential clients, or you’ll lose them.”
“I’m not exaggerating when I say every freelance writing job I’ve gotten has come from someone seeing something else I’d written. I haven’t had to go out and pitch my work to potential employers, and it’s because I’ve written a handful of articles for online publishers. To get work, people need to be able to find you, and they need to trust you. Writing for any online publisher or blog with significant traffic accomplishes both. A large viewership makes it easy to find you, and publishing under a banner bigger than just your name brings credibility.
21. Build Your Portfolio By Taking Lower Paying Freelance Writing Jobs – Samantha Cortez – DrFelix
“Take jobs at lower rates. This is especially important when building your profile on freelance sites like Upwork, Freelancer, or Fiverr. Many writers won’t do this because they consider it selling themselves short, but this is a great way to build your resume, get positive feedback, receive repeat work, and better position yourself to ask for higher payments. I made the huge mistake of charging top-dollar when I left the office world for the freelance life. I learned that clients cared more about clips and samples than my resume.”
“Also, pitch your work to previous clients and new businesses. Being a freelance writer means you’re constantly having to sell yourself. Roughly 80% of the time I reached out to previous clients to let them know I had open availability, they had writing work available for me. In many cases they weren’t even aware that they needed a writer until I’d sparked their interest. Furthermore, I kept an eye out for local businesses and often reached out to let them know the value I could provide through content.”
22. Consider Working For Free – Amy Kilvington – Naturally Content
“There’s nothing wrong with working for free as long as you know your worth. When you’re just starting out and want to build up a client base, offer your services on a pro bono basis to a select few. Once you’ve done a great job and they realise your value, they’ll be more likely to become a returning customer – and then you can start charging the rates that you deserve!”
23. Be Easy To Work With – Sally Kane – PaperStreet
“One thing many freelance writers don’t realize when they start their careers is that landing the best gigs is not just about the quality of your work, it’s also about how easy you are to work with. In my 12 years as a writer and editor, I have learned that hiring writers who follow directions, meet deadlines and are pleasant to interact with is just as important as the work product itself.”
24. Always Pitch – Kristi Porter – Signify
“My number one tip for beginner freelance writers is to make sure pitching is a regular part of your week, unless you have large, ongoing assignments. It’s easy to get caught up in client work or working on your own business and disregard pitching, but most assignments end fairly quickly, and then you’ll be on the hunt for the next one. Regular pitching is a way shorten, or remove, the gaps between work. Pitching can include guest posts, new client work, additional assignments from current client, or even emails to personal connections who may have work, or know someone who does. The right networking opportunities might also be considered pitching.”
A quick note here. Ongoing efforts to collect contact information and do outreach is extremely important when becoming a freelance writer.
Think of it as investing in your business. Yes, you may not get immediate results, you may get rejected, but it helps you tailor your outreach message over and over until it works.
At the very least, create a note or file where you collect websites and emails as you stumble across them so you can use them later.
And, if you spend a few days sending out 100 outreach emails, but get 1 amazing client who stays with you forever…how’s that for return on investment?
OK, moving on.
Perfect and practice your elevator pitch. If you want to gain readers you’ll need to really be able to turn their heads in two sentences or less.”
26. Go The Extra Mile – Hope Alcocer – HA Media
“Too many people half ass everything. Life, work, relationships, projects. Go the extra mile with your client or assignment from the very start. Spend more time on the business proposal, turn it in 8 hours ahead of schedule, offer unlimited revisions.”
27. Sort Out Your Finances First – Jennifer Bright Reich – Mommy MD Guides
“When I left a staff job to freelance, I opened two new bank accounts. I deposited 75% of every cent I made freelancing in one and 25% in the other. From the first, I paid myself a regular biweekly salary—to even out the bumps in the financial road of freelancing. The other I saved and used to pay my estimated taxes.”
28. You Don’t Have To Be An Expert – Crystal Kline – Crystal Kline Consulting
“You don’t have to be an expert in the topic about which you are writing. I’ve written about everything from music to sports to politics to digital transformation in the oil and gas industry. Each topic I’ve written about has been an opportunity for me to learn something I didn’t know. The less you know about the topic of your assignment, the more exciting the challenge. And the more rewarding.”
…How do you feel? That was a lot of information to take in!
When considering how to become a freelance writer, all of these tips will help you stand out from the crowd and be the best freelancer you can be.
Good luck, and happy freelancing!