You know you have the skillset, and you’re excited about being a freelance writer. You’ve done the work to set up a system and processes that enable you to onboard new clients, get the work done with them in an organized and timely manner, and you know how to get paid. Now it’s time to get the word out there and market your service.
One of the most powerful methods of marketing ever known to man is word-of-mouth marketing. That is the main reason sites like Yelp and other review sites are so popular. People like knowing what others say about any product or service that they are using.
Your friends and family love you, so if you tell them about what you’re doing, they’ll tell others that they know; and before you know it, you’ll find business through them.
Develop an Online Presence
Build your own website, and set up profiles on social media platforms like LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, and more – wherever your audience likes to hang out. That is where you should be making offers and having discussions with others. Focus your online profiles on you as a freelance writer so that they’re all professional.
As a freelance writer, you don’t have to wait for a client to make money or write. Instead, spend the time you set aside to work for clients that you don’t have yet on working for yourself. Publish in your own name on Medium.com, your blog, in the local newspaper and local magazines. You can also publish your book via print on demand or via Kindle through Amazon. These actions can help your clients evaluate you through the work you’ve already done. A book can be your calling card.
Get Good at Writing Queries
As a freelance writer, you’ll have to find the people who are hiring for the type of work you want to do. Go to their sites and submit samples of your work and inquire as to what they need in a writer. Submit queries and track the answers you get. The more you submit, the more jobs you’ll get.
Create a Marketing Funnel
Once you have your website set up and social media set up, you can create a marketing funnel. You’ll need to understand the buying cycle of your customers so that you can create content for them at each place they are in their journey to persuade them to use your services.
Remember that your job as a freelance writer is to attract your customers to you. You want them to use your system or product (in this case writing) to solve their problems as it relates to your offers and fulfills their need for writing. When you don’t have a client, use the time to find your customers, engage with them, and show them your offers.
How to Get Paid for Your Work
Becoming a freelance writer isn’t just about the romance of being a writer. It’s about the financial facts of earning a living from a skill that you are good at and like performing. Because of this, you need to know in advance exactly how to get paid for your work as a freelance writer.
- Get Your Financial Life in Order – You need to set up your bills so that you’re working toward paying off your consumer debt and managing the money you do have to pay all your bills and responsibilities on time. Know what you need and have a plan for it in terms of investing and living.
- Set Up Your Business Bank Account and Payment Processing System – It’s essential to keep your business income and your personal spending totally separate. To do this, set up a business bank account, accept payment to that account only, then transfer money to your personal account for personal use only. Sign up for PayPal, Stripe.com, and any other payment processing system you’d like to use. The more options you offer your clients, the better.
- Create Solid Contracts and Yes, Sign Them – Write a basic contact and change only what needs to be changed to make it personalized for each of your clients. Ensure that the content states what you’re responsible for and what they’re responsible for, from A to Z. Address how work is performed and how it’s paid and what the deliverables will consist of. Be very specific in the contract and ensure that you both sign them.
- Set Up a Process and a System for Billing and Payment – Make the invoicing, billing, and payment process as simple as possible. You can send an invoice via email, submit it via your project management system, or even in an old-fashioned way via snail mail. However you do it, do it consistently so that it all runs smoothly.
- Consider Passive and Recurring Income Options Too – Don’t forget that as a writer, you can offer products and services on a passive as well as a recurring basis. Most invoicing programs now let you automatically invoice on a recurring basis. If you like to create content for medical newsletters, for example, you could create a private label version and sell that repeatedly to others all over the country.
Getting paid for what you do is an important component of setting up your business model. Setting up processes and systems that ensure that you can work with the other person from the start of the project until the completion of the project ensures that everything goes smoothly.
Get Started NOW!
Now that we’ve looked at what it takes to be a freelance writer, here is what you need to do to get started right now. To be successful at anything in life, it’s imperative that you know who you are, don’t put too much pressure on yourself to make it big, and are able to make plans and set goals that work.
- Know Yourself – This might seem like a strange thing to say, but the truth is, only you know deep down if you’re willing to stick to a set of steps to achieve a specific goal or not. For example, if you know you hate calling people on the phone, don’t do that; find another way around it.
- Start Small – You don’t need to quit your job and go full time into freelance writing to test it out to see if it’s for you. That’s one thing that’s awesome about this career. You can start with just one job to find out if it’s for you or not.
- Set Up Your Home Office and Business Legalities – Follow the best legal steps as well as the best comfort steps that you can afford for starting your business. Get the right tools, the right chair, and, if needed, a business license so you can open a business bank account and open a PayPal account to accept payments.
- Practice Writing Every Day – If you have determination, you can work for clients five hours a week. And even if you don’t have clients, you need to write during those five hours a week that you set aside for writing. This is the only way you will become a good writer: WRITE.
- Invest in Yourself – Spend money on tools of the trade, training, education, courses, masterminds, and other investments that help you become better at whatever you need to become better at doing.
- Set Goals for Everything – When you get good at goal setting, you will also become good at implementing. Goal setting properly includes figuring out the steps needed to reach the goal.
- Network with Other Writers – Being a freelance writer can be lonely for some people. If you network with other writers, not only do you open up a whole new world of friendship, but sometimes you open up new connections for information that you may need too.
- Persevere and Never Give Up – No matter how many times someone tells you no, if you really want to be something when you “grow up”, including a freelance writer, don’t give up. Set up a process and steps based on your goals that enable you to build the freelance writing business you desire.
Freelance writing as a career is an excellent opportunity for anyone with the right skills. If you can write at the level needed for the work you want to produce, you can become a profitable freelance writer. You just need to get started.