And how to make money doing it!
The world of freelancing is swirling with myths and straight-up lies in between all of the great people and advice within the writing community.
It can also be confusing and can feel like every freelancer has specific rules they say are the only way to make money.
Sometimes it feels like no one makes money AS a freelancer, they are just selling their books and courses trying to teach others how to be a successful freelancer!
I’ve seen people upset about the lack of strong resources or how much tools can cost, and I’ve seen people put off starting to work simply because they felt overwhelmed with information.
Here are the truths I have discovered on my journey in writing and entrepreneurship:
- You should not spend ANY money when you’re first starting. You can start a service-based (like writing) business for free.
- You don’t need to know everything when you start. You can research and figure things out as you go along.
- Even when you’re first looking for clients and feel so inexperienced, don’t ever work for free. Here’s how not to and why you shouldn’t.
- Market yourself, especially using social media. Social media is free and, as a small business owner or freelancer, completely necessary. Here’s how I utilize social media.
- Make sure to always be creating and maintaining your pipeline of future clients to fight the natural ebb and flow of sales and freelancing.
- Figure out what you need to be making and use that for your pricing. Then stick to it. Pricing and sticking to it is so important as a freelancer. Clients want work for free, so never let them dictate what you’re worth.
- Focus on your main objective or idea when starting your business. There is such a thing as too many ideas.
- Network constantly. Whenever I go anywhere, I have my cards in my bag. When I meet new people, I give them my card, explain I’m a writer and let them know I’d be happy to discuss any writing or editing needs they have. Here are some tips on how to network successfully.
- Even when you’re first starting, you’re allowed to say “no” to work! So many freelancers feel they need to take on anyone who comes to them, to gain experience, build a portfolio, whatever. You do NOT. Saying “no” to some work has made me more successful and profitable.
- Make sure you deeply understand blogging and article writing. Here are 10 lessons I’ve learned on my journey as a blogger!
- Learn from others who have come before you – but remember that your journey will be your own, so take things with a grain of salt – even my advice!
- When working from home (or for yourself), staying organized and not procrastinating is the only way you can succeed.
- Freelancing can be lonely. Make sure to maintain friendships and hobbies outside the home to keep your sanity!
- Have a contract in place. This is super important. Your contract should dictate payments, deadlines, deliverables, and anything else having to do with the client/freelancer relationship. Both of you should sign this and a deposit paid before ANY work is done. There are many free contract templates available online and you’re welcome to use mine.
- Keep an eye on the future. How will your business evolve and change? Think about what you enjoy doing most as you gain clients and learn new skills and see how you can incorporate more of it or move to different pricing models. Evolution is an important part of building and growing a business.
This is real information from a freelancer who has been where you are. You do not need to pay for any expensive courses or anything to get started. Just find one person willing to pay you fairly for your work and BAM! You’re a paid freelancer.