Making The Grade as a Freelance Writer
Being self-employed requires a certain degree of self-promotion for success. The old “if I build it will they come” only works if everyone knows the address. In reality, many of us have challenges with self-promotion, and I suspect the difficulty for me has much to do with my upbringing and being a woman of a certain age. It can feel like bragging rather than a business imperative. But, if I just sit around writing at home without sharing, or letting anyone know what I’ve written, no one is going to read….and no one is going to ask me to write for them.
Last week I followed my own advice. I wrote a current client and let him know that I would be interested in additional work. And, voila! He gave me the opportunity to bid on two projects he was working on. Long story short-I am currently working on those projects. Then he invited me to join the team at StringCan Interactive, an online marketing and social media agency as a Content Strategist. The timing was great. After a year of slowly building my repertoire the work I’m doing at StringCan Interactive will be a mix of blog writing, something I know well, and other social media and writing strategies.
If I were to rate myself on my promotion efforts it would be a solid B.
- I’ve written my resume and shared it on my writing profiles in various places throughout the web
- I bid regularly for jobs I find on freelance writing sites
- In the last month I’ve approached other writer/bloggers with offers to do guest posts (more about that later)
- I’ve started participating more on freelance writer blogs and building relationships
- I carry business cards and hand them out whenever I can
- I twitter
A solid B means I have room for improvement, as we all do. The freelance market is competitive and getting more so every day and I’m still a bit of a newbie. I’m developing a strategy for improving my visibility and increasing my client base in the upcoming year.
It was about a year ago that I decided to try freelance writing as an alternative to the 9-5 grind. Most people make the transition slowly, holding on to their primary source of income until their client base becomes large enough to sustain them. In typical style for me, I jumped in… for me it tends to be all or nothing whether we’re talking a new relationship, a favorite author or a major life change. The year has had its ups and downs. But, in the last 30 days I’ve made significant progress and I can breathe a little easier now. And, it’s not just about the money but the idea of someone my age making such a transition. Sure, I’m a writer, but that doesn’t translate into being able to ‘sell’ and I had no idea if it was possible…until I tried. It was about taking risks, about believing in myself and the powers of the Universe.
I’m not out of the clear, I have miles to go before I can call myself a well-paid, highly sought after freelance writer. But, hey… I’m not complaining. And, I’m not going to sit back and relax, hoping the jobs will come to me. I will continue to market myself and look for other avenues to tie into the work I’m doing right now. Maybe you need a freelance writer for one or two small projects, or maybe you know someone who always dreads the monthly newsletters? Is your business website in need of a content update? Get in touch, I might be just the person you’re looking for.