Okay, so maybe you are considering a career in freelance writing or have been producing articles and delivering copywriting assignments for the past few months. This is your passion, but you need to earn more than the few dollars per article that a lot of clients pay. You need to pay your bills. So, what is the best way of turning your hobby into a full-time career? A career that will still allow you to pursue your dreams of penning a novel as well as fulfilling your family commitments?
Before you start rolling your eyes in outrage or disgust or start shouting about slave labor. Taking some low-paying jobs for a few months while you get started is the BEST way of building a strong portfolio and reputation. With hundreds of thousands of freelancers all bidding and competing in the same marketplace why on earth would potential clients entrust their work to a newbie that charged over the top rates. (Yes, even normal pay is viewed by a lot of clients as over the top) Swallow it, and you will see results.
This is not a “wish-list” or something to aspire to. You have to deliver on time every time with no excuses if you are to stand any chance of getting business, and crucially repeat business. Most online companies give clients the chance to rate your performance across several different areas, and tardiness will not win you work from a new client that has tight deadlines of their own to meet. Building a reputation for reliability is one of the best tricks that you can have up your sleeve.
Building a strong base of repeat customers will save you time in the sense that you won’t continually have to bid for work. It will also increase your chances of getting higher pay. If you are lucky enough to secure some clients at decent rates, then for God’s sake hang on to them for dear life. Go that extra mile, over and above to ensure that you are indispensable to them.
Committing to working a set amount of hours each week and crucially sticking to it will pay dividends in the long term.
It can be very easy to bite off more than you can chew. If you are exhausted, or have a lot of other family commitments then don’t take on more work than you can handle at any one time, as it is only going to increase the likelihood of you submitting inferior work or not delivering on time.
Get into the habit of thinking of your work as a business, and business will come to you. Treat it like you would any other task.
If they are not already, then spreadsheets should be your new best friend. Keep records of the kinds of tasks that your clients are asking you to do and then go and tout for further business.
A designated area that is away from distractions will help you and those that you love understand that you are working. Organization is the key to success. Plan for your deadlines. Set up your spreadsheets, set aside space at home, and the work will come to you.
Remember why you got into freelancing in the first instance. Make sure that you constantly remind yourself of this when the going is tough!
Don’t allow yourself to become stuck in a rut. Vary the different kinds of business that you go for and eventually you should find yourself with the right balance.