According to a recent study by the University of Phoenix, nearly 63% of people in their 20’s wish to start their own business. Out of all the other industries, freelance writing is the one that’s gaining huge popularity throughout the world. After all, working from home full-time has the potential to improve productivity by 13%.
Nearly 30 million freelancers are long-term oriented. Your business ideas and setup has to be perfect so that it stands out of the rest. Here are the 9 essential steps for starting your own freelance writing business successfully.
1. Set out your business goals
Effective, measurable goals will help you figure out where you want to go with your freelancing business. It is only when you know what your goals are, that you will be able to come up with a business plan.
Questions to ask:
- Do I want to establish this business to earn an extra income besides my daily job?
- Is freelancing just the stepping stone to achieving a different goal entirely?
- Am I willing to become a full-time freelancer and enjoy the benefits of being my own boss?
Let’s say your goal is to become a full-time entrepreneur in the freelancing industry. So, your short-term goals would be setting your own hours, deciding who you want to work with earning quality leads daily.
2. Plan your business
Consider the plan as the map that will guide you towards the success of your business. It will also help you identify the specifics of your business and discover some unknowns.
Here’s what to consider while planning your business:
- Budget– Freelance writing mainly requires a computer and a high-speed WiFi connection. Purchasing a new computer costs around $1,500. Internet connection costs nearly $50/month.
- Expenses– The expenses mainly depend on your business goals. If you plan to be a full-time entrepreneur, you may have to hire other writers and pay them on a monthly or bi-weekly basis. Certain platforms may ask for registration fees to let you get access to clients.
- Target market– Every writer chooses a specific genre in the freelancing industry. Let’s say your genre is technical writing. So, your target market would be the clients who are looking for technical writers.
You can plan your business easily once you get all these elements right. A business plan helps you understand what resources you need to achieve your business goals.
3. Create your own website
You must let the world know if you are planning to establish your freelance writing business. And setting up a blog is the best way to do so. It may be easier for you to attract clients if you have a relevant, SEO-friendly and brilliant website.
Benefits of having your own website:
- Having a website makes it easier for your target audience to find you on the search engines. A well-optimised one can attract their attention amid your competitors.
- Building a website takes nearly $120 and it paves the way for huge quality traffic every day. This is quite cost-effective as compared to the online platforms that may charge $100 in exchange for 1-2 clients.
- Let’s say you write ‘web-based SEO content.’ So, your target clients would want to see your expertise in this field in your own website. Thus, your website can help you showcase your skills as a writer to your potential clients.
Creating a website can take a toll on your overall budget for your freelancing business. But, there’s still a way if you want to build a website keeping your costs to a minimum. WordPress.com or Wix can help you build a website for free.
4. Get all your best samples together
Would you find it reliable to hire a painter without seeing his/her work first? It’s the same thing with your freelance writing business. Your target clients may not find you trustworthy if you do not show them your best work.
3 reasons to show writing samples to your potential clients:
- Free samples are an amazing advertising technique for your freelance writing business. It can also raise awareness about your brand.
- Samples show your confidence in the work you do. Your target clients are most likely to choose you if you prove yourself to be a confident writer.
- It also encourages your potential clients to opt for your services. 81% of consumers had confirmed that they prefer to opt for a service if they liked the sample.
Make sure the samples reflect your quality as a writer. If you are a fresher, write some blogs related to your industry and publish them on your website. Upload them on your portfolio if you want to attract clients on multiple freelancing platforms.
5. Determine charges for your work
Determining the rate of your writing services can either make or break your business. You should always set an hourly rate for the freelance writing industry. The rates should meet your expense levels and income goals.
Here are the factors to consider while determining charges for your work:
- Determine the charges on the basis of the quality you deliver and not on the basis of what your competitors are charging.
- Make sure your prices aren’t too high or too low. Do your homework in deciding what your clients need and come up with a price they can justify.
- Know your worth before you decide on a charge. Your service charges should be worth your value as a professional writer.
Think about the time you may take to complete an article. Say it takes an hour to complete a 500-word article and your rate is $0.10 per word. So you’ll earn $50 for the work.
6. Look for potential clients.
Now that you have a website and your best samples, start looking for clients who are looking for the kind of work you deliver. You can use a wide slew of job boards to target the right clients for your business.
Here are some effective job boards freelance writers should try out:
- Freelance writing gigs
- Blogging Pro
The best option to get hold of potential clients is your website. But, you may need some time to make the most of your website. Till then, try out the online job boards and entry-level jobs.
7. Build a solid social media network
Create a business page on social media showcasing your work and telling the world about your business. Share some samples on the profile so that your potential clients understand the type of work you’re familiar with.
Benefits of social media networking
- Boosts your online presence thereby increasing your visibility chances to a wider group of audience
- Makes it easier and reliable for your potential clients to get in touch with you as per their convenience.
- Increases your chances of connecting with your target clients personally.
You can also let your clients opt for your services at discounts during special occasions on social media. Ask your friends to share your samples or website link on their social media profiles.
8. Mention your potential clients in your content
This feature will come in handy, especially if you are looking forward to writing product reviews for clients. Try to mention the brands or companies that are relevant to your target audience in the contents you write for your website.
How to mention your potential clients in your content?
- You can mention the name in your blogs that you publish on your website regularly. Keep your tone positive whenever you are talking about the company you want to work with.
- Send email templates addressing your potential clients and tell them the benefits of opting for your services.
- Share the individual or company’s social media channel all over the Internet.
Connecting with potential companies and individuals are important if you want to make it big in this industry. Let’s say you want to work with a renowned assignment help provider. So, include the company’s name in the topic ‘Top 5 companies to get academic help from.’
9. Pitch yourself the right way
At the end of the day, freelancing is about converting your website visitors into paying clients. Figure out your professional strengths and highlight those to attract your potential clients. Make a freelance proposal that your clients just can’t deny.
How to craft a perfect freelance proposal for your writing business?
- Sell your strengths.
- Send emails that show that you have done your homework about the organisation or individual.
- Make a list of the questions that your target clients may have regarding your services. Be ready with the answers.
Remember, it all depends on how you represent your brand. Get hold of an attractive proposal template and make sure it is visually appealing. Also, do not forget to mention your past projects in the pitch to make it sound more credible.
Starting a freelance writing business is an amazing idea, especially now when millions of people are losing their jobs. Give it a shot if you have a flair for writing and want to take it up as your profession. Keep these steps in mind to establish your business and achieve success. Good Luck.
Joanne Criss is a career consultant at a reputed firm in the United Kingdom. She also provides assignment help to students at MyAssignmenthelp.co.uk. Criss loves to bake pastries in his free time.