People think that the freelance writing lifestyle must be wonderful and it is in so many ways, but make no mistake, life as a self-employed individual is not always easy. There may be a great deal of creativity still but, there’s no mistaking the need to be business-like in every aspect of your career.
Just because you plan to write your next article while relaxing in the sun, it doesn’t mean that your words are not wonderfully sharpened or focused. You must have targeted your client, considered all that you wanted to achieve and more, developed a strategy for success.
When starting out, you need to pay special attention to your accounts. There’s no point being lazy in this aspect, even if you dread it. You have to feel confident that the work you do is paying your bills and importantly, it is worth your time taking on some projects. I know many writers who have over-looked this element of the freelance writing game, overwhelmed by the buzz of actually making a living from the written word. It’s easy to be carried away.
It’s also incredibly easy to panic and not to know where the next penny is coming from, especially if you are not so good at planning ahead.
So, even from the moment you decide to set up your freelance writing business, remember this, you must plan meticulously, set goals, consider overheads, consider outgoings and make sure incoming revenue gives you enough to fund your lifestyle. Freelancing is often seen as an attractive prospect as it has very little overheads – the cost of a good laptop and a workspace and you are ready to go, but it can be difficult to get new clients initially and, to be able to rely on them totally. The life of a freelance writer can mean juggling workloads profusely so you must be sure of your time and skill-set to do so.
Some clients will pay you late and others, are wonderful and they pay you exactly on time, returning to use your services over and over if you have provided them with high-quality material. When you start out, you will have to build in time for job applications, vying for those tempting jobs against a great many others. The time it takes to do so, should be added to your costs, it is your time after all.
As in any type of business, you must prove you are the person for the role. Your writing must be error free, your writing represents you and you must be able to develop excellent rapport with your clients – as with employers the world over, some clients will be difficult to get on with.
Just because you work from home does not mean life is easier. It’s all-too tempting to be distracted, to feel lazy or allow mental tiredness to impact your working day. You may long to pull the duvet cover over your head and go back to sleep, but your clients need their work completed on time. Deadlines must be adhered to and if you have given your word that an article will be delivered at a certain time, then you must follow through or at the very least, have a good reason as to why that is not the case.
Thinking of becoming a freelance writer? Start preparing your business plan now and start your business the right way.