This is a guest post from the talented and savvy Ron Douglas and Alice Seba.
You may have heard it said that anyone can become a freelance writer. While this may be true to an extent, the ones who make it for the long haul stand out from the crowd. Outside of having writing skills (a MUST), these are the 3 key characteristics that will help ensure your greater success. If you don’t have these skills perfected, there are steps you can take to improve them and we’ve included tips for you below.
Successful Freelancers Stick to Their Schedule
As a freelancer it’s tempting to play hooky. When you’re the boss nobody knows if you’re working or playing. In fact, your client doesn’t really care as long as you get your work done and respond to them promptly. However, as you already know, things happen. If you wait until the very last minute to work on a project chances are that’s the day you’re going to be sick. That’s the day your internet is going to go down. It’s very stressful and often puts you in a situation where you have to ask the client for more time. That’s not a good way to earn repeat business or referrals. Sticking to a schedule accomplishes a few things. The first is that it helps you stay relatively stress free. This is important or you’re going to get burnt out quickly. Your schedule also helps you plan for play time. Finally, sticking to a schedule helps you remain professional. Make sure you schedule your work hours and prioritize client work. Figure out which times of day are your most productive and take advantage of that. And most importantly, don’t take on more than you can manage and make client satisfaction a priority.
Successful Freelancers Know Their Market
It’s very important for you to know your customer inside and out. What do they need? Why do they need it? How can you offer them the best value possible? When you understand your market, your customer, then you can offer them exactly what they need. It makes being a freelancer much easier and more profitable. But more than that, they know how to target their IDEAL CLIENT. The client who is going to be easiest to work with, value your time and pay you well. We include detailed training for you in our WriterHelpWanted membership to help you identify those best clients for you.
Successful Freelancers Actively Market Their Skills
Rather than sitting back and waiting for new clients to come to them, a successful freelancer markets their services and seeks customers and projects. Marketing isn’t something everyone loves to do. However, if you want to make money as a freelancer it’s important to market your services. Additionally, if you enjoy your freelance specialty and/or niche then marketing is actually quite fun. It’s easy to get busy with clients and then forget to continue to market yourself, but marketing is an important part of your business. Make sure you: * Help your client identify the ongoing needs they have for your service and show them how it will help them grow their business. * Ask for referrals and actively follow up with those referrals. * Build relationships with other freelancers, so you can refer work to one another It can be very rewarding to be a freelancer and if you’re already freelancing, you know it can also be quite challenging. Approach your freelance career as if you were creating a business…because you are creating a business. Plan your business. Create policies and procedures. Establish a system of working that balances work and free time. The more professional your freelance business is, the more successful you’ll be.
Want to Write for a Living?
WriterHelpWanted.com co-founders, Ron Douglas and Alice Seba, recently got together to discuss the 5 obstacles that keep most writer from earning a good living from their writing. Click here to access this eye-opening recording.