Posts tagged business marketing
Everyone has to begin somewhere. No one just leaps into the top spot in an industry. Or starts off knowing everything there is to know.
And that is especially true with freelancing. It doesn’t matter what type of freelancing. Computer work, software design, art, writing, bookkeeping. And it doesn’t matter how long you’ve been working in your field. Freelancing in a field is different than being an employee in that field.
Maybe you’ve written your first book or maybe your third eBook and you’ve gotten a taste for writing a book. So now you’ve decided you like it and you want to become a freelance writer. Good for you. But you’re going to find it’s a whole different world. So in this blog entry I’m going to share some tips to help beginners in freelance writing. To ease the transition as it were.
1. Freelancing is a business.
Being a freelancer might seem at first glance to be a form of employment. But it is a business and you need to think in terms of running a business. That means like any entrepreneur, you need to spend time working on your business. In fact that is your priority over working in your business. You are no longer a writer — you are an entrepreneur. So think and act like one.
2. Rainy days come sooner than you think.
One of the main pieces of advice that debt counselors give is to put away roughly six months of earnings. As a freelancer your goal is to put at least a year’s earnings away. And you need to start as soon as possible.
3. Time is a limited resource.
As a freelancer you’ll soon learn that you are being drawn in many different directions. If you let it you’ll soon find yourself spending too much time on one part of your business and not enough on another. You need to ensure that you are allocating time to each of the major elements of your business – marketing, finance, information, production. Each is important and each needs your respect and involvement.
4. Sometimes it pays to not do things.
Some people believe that no one can be an expert in everything an entrepreneur does. That’s just not true. In fact it’s easy to do. But what is true is that it isn’t wise to do so. In any job — especially running a business — there are jobs that you don’t do well. There are jobs you don’t enjoy doing. There are jobs that are worth less than other jobs. There are jobs that anyone can do. There are jobs that require specialized knowledge. And then there are jobs that you need to do yourself. And jobs that will earn you more by doing them. As a freelancer you need to identify which group those jobs belong to. And then hire someone else to do the less valuable, less enjoyable, less suitable jobs.
5. There is no such thing as downtime.
As an employee there will be the occasional period of unemployment. And vacation time. And holidays. And other than searching for a job most people take those times as relaxation time. As a freelancer, you will be out of work far more often. But that downtime isn’t. You need to spend the time wisely. Tip number 3 applies even during downtimes. Even if you allocate the time to vacation!
6. Showing is better than telling.
One of the key marketing tools you must develop from the first is a writer’s portfolio. As an employee your main tool is your resume. Not because it’s the best but because the person hiring uses the same rules for everyone. As a freelancer you’ll find you get hired by two disparate groups — those who know how to hire a writer and those who don’t. Your portfolio is what the people who know will want to see. So build it quickly and keep it up to date.
7. Keep your own counsel.
Complaining is an old privilege of employment. However, you’re not an employee. You need to appear professional. And professionals know how to keep their opinions to themselves. So don’t get involved in employee bitch sessions. While your customer isn’t always right, they are your customer. And their business is their own to run. Not yours.