Freelancers are everywhere, and there is no room for denial. According to data from Upwork, the number of U.S. freelancers increased by 3.7 million from 2014 to 2018. By 2020, the numbers are even higher. While this does a lot in telling freelancing is much easier now than it was 20 years ago, it sure seems scary for aspiring freelancers to see there is so much competition going on.
On any freelance website you visit, you will soon observe that freelance writing services are some of the most sought after. But with millions of writers all over the world, how can you stand out from the crowd and make a name for yourself? By delivering good content, being professional, and organizing your time so that you make the most out of every minute.
To help you out, below are some tips that will take your freelance writing career to the next level.
Don’t quit your day job yet
If you are just at the beginning of your career as a freelancer, don’t make the mistake of quitting your job the moment you score your first client. Start doing freelancing part-time for now, get a sense of how things are going, and only give up your day job if you feel you start making enough money to compensate.
Once you’ve started building a steady flow of jobs and clients, and you are sure it is enough to sustain your lifestyle, then you can go ahead and give freelancing your entire time. Don’t rush it just yet. Take this time to figure out which direction to take in your career, learn as much as you can, and work on your professional independence.
Invest in good hardware
If you want to kickstart your career as a freelancer, you will need to invest in things that will help you be professionally independent. For freelance writers, fortunately, the only hardware they need is a good computer for research and, well, writing. You won’t need the latest generation Alienware, but you do need a laptop that won’t crash when you keep your browser and writing app open at the same time.
If you can’t afford to invest in a new laptop just yet, no problem. You can always look for rent to own MacBook laptops online. This way, you can basically rent a laptop and purchase it when you have the money to do so. It’s a very good solution to secure the hardware you need without having to take put too much money out of your pocket at once.
Purchase a few tools to help you
Besides hardware, you will also need to invest in some writing tools that will help you create better content. Depending on the type of writing services you offer, you need to do some research and find some affordable and reliable tools to use.
Editing and proofing tools such as Grammarly should be of no miss, because no matter how careful you are, we are only humans, and typos or spelling mistakes can happen at any time. But if you turn in a project and it is filled with mistakes, chances are clients won’t be that considerate. You want to present yourself as a professional, so you need to treat each job as professionally as possible.
Never turn in unfinished work
Whenever you need to turn in a project, make sure it is 100% finished before sending it to a client. If it’s not, then ask for an extended deadline or explain the situation, but never give a client a half-written or edited article.
You want to ensure you turn in your work with a clean copy, meaning you proof and edit everything. Keep sentences short and concise, make the subject easy to comprehend, and don’t use language you can’t understand. Once you are finished, give your work a thorough analyze, read it word by word and make sure you are not missing any typos or grammar errors.
Start a blog to put yourself out there
If you have a passion for anything besides writing, use it as a way to train yourself. Start a blog and use it as a creative outlet to experiment and learn more about writing without the pressure of an actual job. You can write on any subject you like and use your content to see how readers react to certain writing styles, types of content, or language.
A blog also gives you an online presence, and if you incorporate some basic SEO strategies, you are one step closer to getting yourself known as an established writer. Use this blog as your business card, portfolio and way to market yourself. If potential clients stumble upon your website and like what they read, chances are you will be receiving some interesting emails very soon.
Be professional in every client interaction
If you want clients to start treating you as a professional and expert, you need to act like one. You can be creative, funny, and a specialist at the same time. You can have a bubbly personality and still be professional when it comes to it. Clients appreciate someone that knows when to make a joke and when to talk business, so be sure your profile, no matter if it’s on Upwork or LinkedIn, is as professional as possible.
List your previous works, speak about your skills, set up a professional photo on your profile, and always answer to clients on time. If you embrace this attitude, clients will start seeing you as the expert you want to become, and this leads to them trusting you more.
Learn to get organized
Last but not least, learn how to keep your life on track. Freelancing is different than having a traditional 9 to 5 job. Yes, you can be your own boss and set your own schedule, but if you are not careful, you can easily fall into the trap of procrastinating and not getting your work done on time.
Set deadlines, don’t take on more work than you can finish, and make sure you find time for yourself. Otherwise, you risk experiencing burnout, which can take a toll on your health and professional wellbeing.