How To Get Started As A Freelance
Writer: A Complete Guide!
A 7–step walkthrough guide to kickstart your freelance career RIGHT NOW! Make sure you follow them all consistently :)
Work from home has become a new trend, and it took a whole pandemic to make us realize that “that important meeting could be an email too!”… WFH is here to stay, and as a direct after-effect, freelance industry is booming (and would explode further). We’re expected to see a huge boom in the gig economy and independent workers A.K.A. the solopreneurs — freelancers.
And now, freelancing is not just seen as a side gig but considered as a full-time career. This new wave of WFH has suddenly amplified this desire. More and more people are trying freelancing. But, “how to get started” is the question.
We can’t just sit there in front of the laptops and start getting work, can we? If only, it were that easy… But, it isn’t that hard either. Here are 7 amazing workable-actionable-easy steps, that would help you kick off your freelance career.
Step 1 — Read. Research.
As with anything, you have to know what you’re getting into. The internet is full of information related to freelancing. Surf through and touch the waters of freelance life. (I guess that’s the reason you landed up here too! 😉)
So, read. And read all that you can. Squeeze out all the information from every post and every article you can get your hands on. And follow other freelancers too. Talk to them about their experiences, struggles, successes.
Step 2 — Showcase your write-ups.
To start as a writer, you have to start writing. LinkedIn, Medium, Wordpress — there are a number of options. Get your writing out there. Showcase your skills. Let your word do the work.
This also doubles up as your portfolio to showcase ‘samples’ of your work to the prospects who approach you for work and as samples or previous work.
Step 3 — Network (like crazy).
People have to know that you’re open to work so you can get works assignments. So, start growing your network. Show that you exist. Increase your visibility. Connect with businesses and companies who need your services right now or would need them in the future. Network.
Which brings us to the next step…
Step 4 — Update your Social Media Profiles.
Start taking social media seriously. It is not just a platform for whiling away time. If used correctly, it can act as an amazing networking tool.
Update your social media handles — Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn. Make them relevant to suit your profile. Talk about what you do, your skills, services you offer. Post your blog links here to generate traffic, talk to people, build your community.
Step 5 — Guest post. Reach out to publishers.
You have started writing, building a social media presence. But, you still need some big names to add weightage to your portfolio, right? Start guest-posting on other websites with your byline. Have an idea for an amazing article? Pitch to e-magazines that publish articles in a similar niche.
Having a published article with your by-line adds trust and builds your credibility as a writer, and more so, as a freelancer.
Step 6 — Cold-email. Pitch your services.
Now, let’s address the elephant in the room. Clients. When clients don’t approach you for work, you approach them with your services and skills. But, you don’t act like a creepy salesperson.
The best way to do it is — write WHY their business needs a writer, or why you’re the best fit, and HOW you can add on to their company. Add a couple of links to your best writings, your social media handles, and wait patiently. If your mail catches their attention, you just scored a client.
P.S. — More on Cold Pitching techniques in the coming articles.
Step 7 — Persevere.
Every pitch might not turn into an article. Every mail won’t land you a client. But, doing it every day, persistently would all add up. Just keep trying. Persevere. Success is nearer than you think.
Note: Some articles would advise you to join websites that provide freelance projects (called freelance marketplaces — like Upwork, Freelancer, PeoplePerHour, etc). During my initial days, I did join these websites — 3 months into it, I didn’t find a single ‘worthy’ project there. They didn’t work for me. Plus, I had my security and financial concerns too. Which is why I haven’t advised it here. You can, of course, try and see whether it works for you.
What works for someone might not work for you. But, what might not work for someone might work wonders for you! So, keep trying.
And that was it. These 7 steps are all you need to get started. Follow them — “consistently” — and get started with your freelance business.