10 Tips for Finding Freelance Writers
Every week I get a few emails from people looking for advice on how to get into freelance writing. While there is no easy answer, and no answer that works for everyone, there are a few tips that I believe will help many people move to independent writing, and survive for the first few months at least.
(1) Invest in a website
The best place for any freelance copywriter or web copywriter to start a website. The website is very important because when you make cold calls and email prospects, you will need to direct them to another location that gives them more information. Keep your website simple, add a portfolio page, add any samples of any type of writing you’ve done, talk about places you’ve worked on, clients you’ve written for, and include any evidence you’ve found. Make sure you enter your address and contact details again so that people will not think you are a night-flight worker. Of course, it doesn’t hurt to upload a photo again. If you can’t say much about your experience, don’t say much. It doesn’t matter if you say nothing. Remember, like any other copywriting, writing about yourself requires skill. If you do not have the knowledge, but you are confident that you can do the job, you can be very smart in what you can say, and many people will read it the way you intended.
(2) Do not identify agencies
If you have never worked as an advertising copywriter or website copywriter before, do not refer to advertising agencies and web design agencies. They know exactly what they are following, so if you do not have a portfolio, you will not be in a position. Managing an inexperienced copywriter with quality control takes a lot of time and poses a risk. Most agencies are very busy giving non-certified copywriters a break, even if you are ready to do work on the spec. Target end clients directly.
(3) Cold call, cold call, cold call
One of the best ways to do business in the early days is to call on potential customers at the end of the day. It’s hard work and time-consuming, but you can pull out some of the most relevant tracks.
(4) Use a database of contacts and tasks
No matter where you are in your freelance writing business, You want a database of contacts and jobs. Reduced CRM tool type (Customer Relationship Management). Use it to record everything! In particular the names, phone numbers, and details of any communication (especially calls). I created my database using Microsoft Access. Visit http://www.divinewrite.com/downloads/contacts and jobs jobs.mdb to download a valid 208KB copy for free. You will need Microsoft Access 2000 to use it. I’m not a database expert, so it’s not a work of art. It will definitely get you started. (TIP: When using a database, press Ctrl +; to enter today.)
(5) Write a few samples
If you identify specific clients or industries, do not be afraid to write a few samples and send them. You can donate the pieces for free (everyone likes something for free) or at a discount, or you can use them as an incentive to sign them up for future work. It all depends on the type of work and the type of client. The important thing to keep in mind is that samples are almost the same as the portfolio for most potential customers.
(6) Invest in a package of accounts
Don’t be fooled into thinking you can manage your accounts manually (or by Microsoft Excel). Even if you only have a few customers, you want the right account package like MYOB or Quicken (both offer small business types). You will understand why you first made your GST reports or annual taxes. In fact, you will understand why whenever you need to dismiss the remaining invoices
(7) Provide good service
This may seem obvious, but it’s important to remember that “good service” means different things to different customers. Most of the time you will be working with specific clients (start-up businesses) and agencies. They both love good service but interpret it completely differently. Agencies rely on their independent authors to meet strict requirements (make work done, done on time, do not exceed the budget). They have end customers who breathe down their necks, so honesty is as important as writing quality. Final customers, on the other hand, need an advertising copywriter or a web copywriter who sees their business the way they do and can convey that idea. They too will probably need more guidance, especially if they are starting their own business. If you can, help them understand that copying is not just about telling people what products and services the business offers; it is about transferring the benefits of those products and services. A good copywriter or web copywriter will be able to help their client think about benefits rather than products and services.
(8) Expect difficult times
The first year or two as a freelance copywriter or web copywriter will be difficult. It takes a while to create momentum and at the same time, you may find yourself wondering if you have chosen the right job. While it is possible to gain six figures each year, you have to be patient (so it is not good for new parents or those who intend to make anyone with large mortgage obligations).
(9) Don’t spend too much money on training
In my humble opinion, no amount of money is wasted on education. However, you should measure the return on investment. I don’t know much about what writing lessons are available, but if they are expensive, I can think twice. In my experience, many clients (either agencies or end clients) value writing over writing skills.
(10) Know that you can do it
Confidence in your writing skills is worth it. If you are unwilling to show results for the next client, you will never be able to convince the client. Remember that everyone feels down at the beginning of a new writing project. There is always a steep learning curve in copywriting, and it is often a time-consuming task. Don’t fall into the trap of focusing on what you can and cannot do.
We wish you good luck and happy writing!