Friday, October 10, 2008

Find Job Security as a Freelance Writer

Right now there is a lot of financial turmoil taking place around us, but still I say, DO NOT PANIC. Because if you haven't noticed yet, businesses are still looking for freelance writers. Oh yeah, there are a lot of business out there searching for us. In the past month I've had two prospects contact me because both businesses had longtime freelance writers they heavily relied upon to recently freak out and leave them for a "steady," full-time job. These companies did not advertise their positions. I just happened to contact them directly while marketing my services.

I even think that it's possible that more freelance writing work could become available because of the massive layoffs. Heck, somebody has to write the copy, right? One good thing about being a freelance writer amid this financial crisis is that we are survivors by nature. We know how to handle the ebb and flow of income. We create our own job security.

When you need to keep the projects coming, you have to put in some work. It's that simple. Consider the following as you work to create financial stability:

1) Diversify your client base. If you are relying on one or two clients for your income, think seriously about what would happen if those clients suddenly fell to the wayside. If you can't afford it, schedule time each day to search for new clients. You need enough of a variety so that if business stops coming from one source, you're still covered.

2) Market consistently. I was recently on a writer's forum where a couple of writers were complaining about not having enough clients and how much they hated marketing. But this is the easiest way to keep projects coming and increase your bottom line. Don't stop marketing altogether just because you're busy. And create a marketing plan that helps you reach the right clients that are positioned to send more work your way. Consistent marketing pays off in a big way.

3) Increase the value you bring to your clients. Treat them right every time. I'm surprised at how many freelance writers skip these basics: return emails or phone calls in a timely manner, keep clients updated on projects, stick to deadlines, and let clients know about any additional services you offer that could help their business. Keep clients informed by say for instance offering a free report to educate them about the role quality web content plays in sales conversion. And stay educated and up to the minute on any trends and changes affecting your specific niche and your clients' businesses.

4) Keep your eyes open. The Internet and technology in general are always changing, so make sure your business keeps up.

5) Don't be afraid of change. Your business may already be in pretty good shape. But if you are struggling to meet your goals, then it may be time to make adjustments to your business plan. Business is always evolving, so don't get stuck in only doing things one way. The beauty of an online business is that it's easily adaptable.


Amy Derby said...

This is some great advice. I'm always surprised too that so many freelancers seem to gloss over the common sense basics of good service.

Avid Writer said...

Amy, when I first started freelancing full-time, I would often see other writers on forums or reponding on other blogs making flip comments about what their clients did or didn't have the right to expect from them. Many times it just comes down to treating others with respect in my humble opinion.

Anonymous said...

Yes, it's like any other business. Understand what the customer wants (and needs, if different!) and get it done as promised. Do that often enough and new clients will come to you - with a little humility they'll be paying customers in no time!

Avid Writer said...

Erik, it seems so simple, right? But you'd be surprised at how many people skip skip the customer service part. Thanks for stopping by!

Lori said...

Excellent advice! I agree - you can really capitalize in this market!

Avid Writer said...

Thanks, Lori. I know that you have been doing very well this year, so you exemplify just what I'm talking about.

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