Freelance writing is becoming a popular carrier choice for those who wish to work from home. In America today, over 54 million people opt to forego traditional careers and start a freelance business that gives them more flexibility to create a lifestyle they love.
We’re currently witnessing unprecedented shift in the way companies function across the globe.
To them it is like a freedom as they can set their own rate of pay, their working hours and also having enough time with their family.
However, to set the ball rolling in this carrier, it takes some preparations before you have actually begun working from home.
Here are some of top 10 tips for becoming a successful freelancer.
1. Define your goals.
Defining your goals before starting your freelancing job is very vital before can start. Why? Without clearly defined and easily measurable goals, you’re going to have a very difficult time getting to where you want to go.
- Is freelance a means of earning extra income on the side of your 9 – 5 job?
- What is your main ultimate goal? eventually becoming a full-time freelancer; because of the lifestyle benefits of being your own boss?
You have to decide whether you want to become a freelance writer? Freelance designer? Or Freelance developer?
You have to make sure this decision is the right move in your progression toward achieving your main goals.
As with starting a successful business, take time to understand why you are starting a freelance business. No matter what your ultimate goal is you have to make it as clear as possible.
once you have the clarity around where you want freelancing to take you, you can start backing into your shorter-term goals and benchmarks that will help your freelance business become a success.
Suppose your main goal is to become a fully self-employed freelancer. You’ll have to set your own work-hours, decide your work partner(s), and call all the shots in your business.
2. Prepare financially
Before you can think of a carrier in freelancing you must as yourself, “what if it doesn’t work?”
There are potential problems associated with freelancing which are not limited to the following:
- A client failing to pay their invoice in time
- A client failing to pay their invoice completely.
- Variation in availability of jobs; you can have an overwhelming volume of work in one week and have a dead week next.
- Also there can arise a dispute between you and your client that arise from misunderstanding of the terms of agreement.
All these potential problems result in not getting paid for your service. Therefore, you must have a well thought out financial goal in mind when you decide to quit your job and become a full-time freelancer.
Ryan Robinson wrote, “Because I’ve quit my day job too early in the past with the phone case business I started (and ended up moving in with my parents for a few months), my personal rule is that I now must reach a side income of at least 75% of what my salaried job pays me, before even considering quitting to pursue my side business – full-time.”
Before becoming a freelance writer, you should strive to eliminate all consumer debt while simultaneously saving for at least 6 – 12 months’ worth of living expense in an emergency fund after approximately 90 days.
If all these have been considered, then it is time to consider freelance as your carrier path.
3. Define Your Niche
In case you are considering being a freelance writer, it is very essential to write about topics that are near and dear to your heart.
If you take on writing gigs that require more time to research on, your hourly rate will suffer because you could underestimate how much research you will need to perform in order to write a quality article for your client. What you should have in mind is that there are a lot of competitors in your industry that’ll be willing to charge much lower rates than you, no matter what you do.
By taking time to find a profitable niche for your freelance business, you’re actually seeking out an industry and type of clients that value quality. When you’re in a platform that competes on quality, you’ll completely change the ways in which you sell your services. You’ll be actually competing on value; not price.
Once you’ve made yourself invaluable within your niche of choice, you’ll have a platform by which you can expand your freelance business in any direction you’d like in the future.
Instead of stressing yourself about how you’re going to get from step 0 to 100, take freelancing one small step at a time. Progress produces more progress with your side hustle.
4. Identify Your Target Clients.
In the same way, as it is important to find a profitable niche, so it is to attract the right types of clients for your freelance business. As you are just starting, it is a wise thing to dedicate your effort to land a few clients.
You need to strategize and wisely choose the target clients. Target them first, and after working with a few of them, you’ll develop a very clear sense of whether or not you want to continue pursuing similar clients.
This is no easy decision to make at first because it means turning away a lot of business. But still, the process of narrowing in on the target clients that you work best with will help you achieve much better results in the long run.
In order to determine the best type of target clients as you start a freelance business, ask yourself these questions:
• Which businesses or individuals will find my services useful?
• Which of them can afford to pay the prices I’ll set, in order to get to my income goal?
• Who are the decision-makers in these businesses, and what can I learn about their demographics & interests?
• Can I find a way to connect with them at a personal level?
When you have all of this information, you’ll be well-set to craft a suitable email that cuts straight to the core of what these clients need from you; you’ll be able to connect with them and offer immediate value.
Once you have a few selected clients who are willing to advocate for you, the momentum will automatically pick up.
5. Set Prices for Your Services.
Whether you like it or not, the amount of money you make as a freelancer is proportional to the outcome you’re producing.
And this narrows down to 3 things:
• Making sure you’re able to clearly show your client what you can do for them (because some simply don’t understand how your skills can help them reach their goals)
• Making sure you have the right target market (because if they’re unable to pay a lot of money, then it doesn’t matter how good you may be) …
• Lastly, always trying to go for the “all-inclusive” packages as they are very vital for your decisions.
In other words, it doesn’t matter if you’re charging $650 or $6,500, …Clients always look at fixed prices as “all-inclusive”, and since they view freelancers as “working consultants”, or people who can not only do the work but also provide advice when needed. It’s important to plan accordingly, as that’ll save both parties trouble down the road.
Always remember that you need to price yourself based on the value you deliver – not based on what your competitors are charging.
Don’t allow anyone else to influence the terms by which you define your value. That’s actually not what starting a freelancing business is about.
Although some clients would prefer high rates, smaller clients, on the other hand, often don’t have as much money to play with, and thus can’t sustain much in terms of losses when projects don’t deliver big returns.
There’s no such thing as prices that are too high. Your prices may be too high (or too low) for the types of clients you’re targeting, but if you do your homework in deciding who to pitch your services to, you’ll be selling exactly what your clients need – for a price they can justify.
For freelancers who write contents that range from 1,500 to 2,500 words per piece, and designed to rank well in organic search results, may often charge up to $500 per post (plus distribution) and sharply go up from there, based on other requirements and add-ons.
Don’t charge too far above your value, but don’t ever undervalue what you’re doing for your clients. Always remember that price becomes a secondary concern if a client’s already convinced you’re perfect for the job.
6. Focus on your portfolio
If you are just getting started as a freelancer, your best bet is to begin taking small projects in order to build a portfolio.
Having a portfolio website is often the first impression a potential client will have of you, your style, your work and past clients you’ve worked with in your freelance business. You need to communicate effectively the services you offer, and to whom they are meant for.
Ask your first clients to start attributing articles to your name. you can also ask if you can get an author biography with a picture of yourself on their websites.
If you’re a known blogger within a particular niche and people can gauge your abilities, you can easily charge high prices that other firms are currently charging.
Above all, you need to sell yourself on why you’re the best person for this type of work – for the clients you want to work with.
7. Get In The routine of Refining Your Writing Skills.
Writing skills is what makes you different from others. As a professional writer, you will want to spend at least two hours per week to refine your writing skills and study industry analysis.
In order to get the highest return on investment, companies and individual clients will want to hire competent writers who will do the work at the lowest price.
It’s is therefore very important to work on your writing skill if you were to thrive in your niche because you will obviously have competitors.
8. Find your first client
Upwork is the number one website for those seeking and providing freelance writing services. If you are just beginning your career in freelance writing, Upwork is a good place to start building your portfolio.
As a freelancer who is just starting out on Upwork, be aware that many clients may seemingly ignore your proposals. It is important that you write a creative and well-packed proposal that catches the attention of your first potential customer.
When you begin to progressively add writing pieces in your portfolio combined with continuous 5-star feedback, clients who post the high paying freelance writing jobs on Upwork will start to take notice of your proposals.
In case you wish to avoid Upwork, other freelance writing platforms are also available such as:
If you want to take a more organic approach to freelance writing lead generation. You can also consider setting up a website and lure potential leads to your service with your public portfolio.
You may also want to utilize social media channels, message boards, and direct marketing in order to gain more leads.