Moving Into The Freelancing World For The First Time
So, you have decided that you want to become a freelance writer? There is no denying that the freelance market is booming at the moment and there are lots of opportunities for those who enjoy writing. Nevertheless, competition is also fierce, so you need to do everything in your power to stand out. Read on for some key pieces of advice.
Focus on quality
The truth is that you can lower your price to the point whereby you feel like you are working for free, and there will still be someone working for less. Rather than trying to undercut everyone on price, focus on being an expert in your field. If companies want quality content, they will be willing to pay for it.
Needless to say, the quality you provide is only going to get better and better as time goes on. Experience is everything! However, you can embrace different ways of increasing what you have to offer, such as by taking training courses and reading relevant blogs and advice articles. You should make a dedicated effort to take steps forward and provide a better service to your clients. This is ultimately what is going to distinguish you from your clients, so it really does matter.
Supplement your income
As you are going to spend your days at home (or at the local coffee shop) working on your computer, it is a good idea to try and find ways to boost your income. From taking paid surveys to doing some online trading, there are so many different options you have at your disposal.
The pandemic has taught us more than ever before just how important it is to make sure that we diversify our income as much as possible. Another way that you can do this is simply by having a diverse client base. If you simply work for the same people all of the time, there is always a risk you will be left without work if that client decides he or she no longer needs your services anymore.
The last thing you want to do is put all of your eggs in one basket. You need to reduce risk, and that is what diversification is all about.
Do not be immune to the prospect of getting help
While you are clearly an independent person who likes the thought of working independently, this does not mean you should overlook the prospect of getting help from time to time.
Outsourcing can offer a lot of benefits, especially as you are going to have a lot to handle yourself. Customer service can be one area where it is difficult to really shine, as you are busy providing your product or service, and then it can be challenging to handle customer relationship management as well. However, you certainly do not want your service to disappoint in this area. That is why it makes sense to look for more details on live chat services. This can help you to ensure that you are always present for your customers, as they can connect with expert customer service agents as and when needed.
Aside from this, other areas that freelancers tend to outsource include cyber security, accounting, software, IT support, and marketing. It is important to think about the areas that take up a lot of your time and take away from your core activities. By outsourcing these sorts of tasks, it will enable you to free up time so that you can focus on your core activities. I.e. writing exciting content for your clients.
Sign up to a number of different freelance websites
In the beginning, you will find it difficult to secure jobs because you will be competing with freelancers who are established and have been providing writing services for years. Don’t let this dishearten you, though. You simply need to make sure you sign up to a number of different freelancing websites, from PeoplePerHour to Freelancer, and make as many job applications as possible to put the odds more in your favour. You should also make sure you attach samples of your work to each application.
You also need to maximize all of the opportunities that are available to you. It is important to network and connect with professionals in the industry. You never know what opportunity could lead to another. You will be able to speak with people who may lead you to other clients, and you can often end up finding your most loyal and high-value customers in this manner.
Be honest and communicate well
It may be tempting to promise that you will have a project due in ‘x’ days even though you know you are cutting it fine. You want to secure the job after all! However, you are only going to end up letting the client down in the end if you fall behind. You also need to make sure you communicate frequently with the people you work for and that you are honest if there are any delays.
Needless to say, there are always going to be times whereby things do not quite go to plan. You may lose power or your Internet connection may start playing up. You may not feel very well or you may have a family emergency to deal with. These are all the sorts of things that can derail your efforts and put a hurdle in the way when it comes to achieving high levels of efficiency. However, it is part of life, and your clients will understand. If you are not feeling well or there is any other reason why your work is going to be delayed, it is important to make sure that you communicate this so that you can manage expectations.
Learn how to say the word ‘no’
It can be very tempting to take on every single job that comes your way. After all, you do not want to turn down an opportunity and be left with no work. However, you need to get good at figuring out what opportunities are worth it, and which ones are simply a waste of time. There are some jobs that can end up costing you more money than they are worth because they take so much time or because the client always goes back and forth with requests.
In the early days, it is understandable that you may take on some jobs at a cheaper rate or jobs that you would not usually take on because you want to get your foot on the ladder. However, as time goes on, you really need to learn about what jobs are worth it, and which jobs are simply wasting your time and preventing you from taking on better and more profitable opportunities.
Be payment savvy
One of the biggest concerns for freelancers is that they are going to do a job for someone and then that person is going to disappear once the payment is due. There are a number of things you can do to make sure this doesn’t happen. If you use the freelancing sites mentioned, you will have a layer of protection, as clients need to deposit funds, which are held securely until the project is complete. If you do not use such a website, make sure you have a contract drawn up and that you request a down payment from the client.
We always recommend that you send your invoice as soon as you have completed the work. The sooner you send the invoice, the sooner you can be paid. Plus, you do not want the invoice to build up to a high amount and then have the worry whether or not someone is going to pay you the money they owe you. Aside from this, you may want to consider asking for a 50 per cent deposit before you start any work. This is another good way of ensuring that you are protected.
Aside from this, it makes sense to do a little bit of digging online. If a client has a bad reputation and is known for not paying on time, you may be able to pick up on it. This is not always the case, but the Internet is a great hub for information, so you would be surprised on the different information that you can pick up on about people, so it definitely makes sense to at least try and do a little bit of digging.
Hopefully, you now feel more prepared to make it as a freelance writer. If you follow the advice that has been given above, you will have a great platform for making a career for yourself in this domain. Needless to say, you will learn a lot along the way, and it is important to make sure that you do not end up being too hard on yourself when mistakes are made. It is a learning experience, and it is important to keep this in mind.