The life of a freelance writer looks like nothing short of a dream, and many aspire to become one, mainly for the perks that are associated with it: flexible work hours, along with writing articles in the comfort of one’s home while sipping on his or her favourite mocha. Many people with a flair for writing and a yearning to earn some cash, while still maintaining their calm at least, consider taking up the job of a freelance writer.
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But there is more to it all than just the perks stated above, because an independent study conducted in 2015 states that 57 percent of freelance writers list difficulty finding new clients as one of their top struggles. So, judging by that, the life of a freelance writer can be a real joyride or an absolute hell. Toddler freelancers are faced with two problems: what channels to use, and how to pitch themselves to potential clients. Luckily, this article addresses both.
Here’s how you can go about tackling the first problem, that of finding new channels when you are just starting off:
Make yourself visible
Just as you do not become a photographer just by buying fancy gear, similarly, you cannot be a freelance writer if you don’t write. In an industry where people are judged on the basis of what they can offer, it is very important to make a name for yourself, and writers can do that by doing the obvious - creating and maintaining a blog. Since you are trying to find potential clients, make sure that you diversify the content that you present on that blog.
Socialise with fellow freelancers
One efficient way of making yourself visible is by networking. Do not think of fellow freelancers as competitors, but as part of a larger community, one that you are a member of. Building a good rapport with them is the key takeaway here, because when you come in contact with people working in your own field, you can learn from them in real-time. A good way of doing this is by using social networking sites, the best being LinkedIn. So, when potential clients google you, make sure that a complete and concrete profile turns up in their searches.
Network with potential clients
This is a no-brainer; common sense dictates that, in order to find work, you need to be around work. It is absolutely ludicrous for any fresher to assume that work is going to come their way without them making any effort. Remember, it’s all about selling yourself, and hence, identifying and building a good rapport with the kind of people that you want to work with is important.
With that, we seek to address the second problem, that of how to pitch.
Once you have identified your potential client or find the interest, sending the same old email with a link to your portfolio or blog is so boring; it shows the sloppiness. Learn to do your homework before you go in for a pitch. However, one has to do this while being mindful of the fact that too much practice can make you sound a little sales-y, making your customer lose interest.
Pique their interest by sending pitches that are content-specific. This will make you visible among the other potential seekers who are doing the exact same thing.
With drastic changes occurring on the job scene, more and more people see the appeal in working part time or on a contractual basis, leaving the realm of traditional 9-to-5 jobs behind, and the emergence of the internet has only developed this trait by leaps and bounds in recent years.