How to get started as a freelance writer
AS a freelancer I count myself as being a very lucky woman.
I adore freelancing, it is by far one of the best career moves I have ever made and radically changed my life since I took the leap over four years ago.
The team over at Hiive have asked me to share some of my top ‘get started’ freelancing tips with you guys and as I’m all for spreading the freelancing lurve, naturally I jumped at the chance. Hiive is a creative networking site where creatives can post their portfolio, collaborate, learn and find work – www.hiive.co.uk. Sounds good ey?
I work as a freelance writer offering everything from feature writing to copywriting and I’m also an award winning blogger here at Pouting In Heels. Therefore writing is as much a part of me as breathing. I wouldn’t be me without it!
If you’re the same and you’re wondering how on earth you can make a living out of being a writer too, here are my five top tips to get you started.
1) If you want to do it, just DO it!
Freelancing isn’t easy nor is it for the faint hearted but if you’re serious about giving it a go, then just go for it! (Life is too short not to right?!)
A few words of caution though – you can’t be half hearted about freelancing nor should you think work will magically appear out of nowhere. You will need to work hard and give it your full attention. But if you can and do, I promise you anything is possible.
2) Get organised
Do your research and get organised before or as soon as you begin. Do lots of reading, tell the tax man what you’re doing (even if you’re only working part time), set up a business account and sort out a decent office or work space.
Make sure your computer is in excellent working order, set up a phone line if you haven’t got one and get a decent Internet connection. Oh, and don’t forget to put plenty of money aside too, because you’re definitely going to need it, especially in your first few months.
3) Promote yourself
As a freelancer, you’ll never earn a normal monthly wage ever again. Scary I know, but that’s the reality. So to find work, you have to promote your talents and get yourself ‘out there’.
Firstly, tell everyone you know what you’re doing and what you’re offering. (You never know who knows who so utilise those contacts!) Next, get to grips with social networking if you haven’t already, making sure you’re on popular sites like Facebook, Twitter , LinkedIn and Hiive. (I can’t tell you how much work has come my way through Twitter alone).
Get some business cards printed and finally, use the web to showcase your work. A well-designed website, blog or online portfolio is the easiest and most impressive way of showing what you can do. And don’t forget your testimonials!
4) Start thinking of yourself as a brand
Because as soon as you start freelancing, you are one. After all, what you are selling to people is essentially YOU!
With that in mind, make sure your behaviour, appearance and activity always positively reflects who you are and what you do. And always, always be professional!
5) Believe in yourself
Freelancing is a tough ol’ gig. Wonderful but certainly not without its challenges. Therefore, you have to believe in yourself and your talents. Always.
Often this can be easier said than done but I can’t stress how important this is to your success and longevity. There will be months when you may not have any work coming in or you may on occasion find yourself in a disagreement with an awkward client. Both of these struggles are normal and part of the course, but they can take their toll.
You gotta dig deep as a freelancer, hang on to that self belief and remain hopeful. But if you can roll with the punches, work hard, stay positive and believe in your capabilities, all kinds of magical things can and will happen. Freelancing may be a rollercoaster ride but it’s a hell of a lot of fun, if you can stomach it.
Good luck! x
What do you think about my pearls of wisdom? Freelancers and blogger pals, have you anything to add? What are YOUR best tips for working for yourself? As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts!
Psst – Do remember to check out Hiive if you’re looking to kickstart your creative career. They currently have three £1500 bursaries for personal work up for grabs!
Disclaimer – this post was sponsored by Hiive.