This is a guest post from Laura-Jane Koers. She’s been writing a series on becoming a freelance writer.
Finding Bigger and Better Contracts
With a number of freelance writing gigs under my belt, I was on a quest to land bigger and better contracts.
I applied for a number of projects, and the learning curve was steep.
What Works and What Doesn’t
I quickly learned what works and what doesn’t. For me, honesty is key. I don’t pretend that I’m something that I’m not. I’m relatively new to this business, and I’m not afraid to admit it. In fact, I highlight the benefits by bringing clients’ attention to my fresh ideas and enthusiasm.
I’ve also realized that freelance writing can be a competitive business. I’m competing with thousands of people from around the globe! So If I’m not qualified or well-suited for an advertised position, I move on. I focus my time and efforts on jobs that I know I’ll be great at. I’ve learned that I have desirable skills that people will pay for. I know where my skills lie, and I seek out clients that are looking for these skills.
I achieve the best results when applying for jobs that truly interest me. And if a client advertises for a funny and creative writer, I do my best to be funny and creative in my response. I take risks that don’t always pay off–but when they do, the success is that much sweeter.
I also seek out like-minded clients. When I’m reading a blog or online magazine for fun in my free time, I often come across businesses that could benefit from my skills. I’ve been using using 21st-century cold-calling techniques: cold-emailing. I’ve been amazed at the positive responses I’ve had. I’ve discovered that often business-owners are desperately looking for help but they don’t know where to start.
I started out with a few small writing jobs that came from connections in my social network. Since then, I’ve landed the majority of my positions through online job postings. These days, I’m focusing on my existing contracts and on seeking out clients that I really want to work with.
Now that I’ve got my foot in the contracting door, I’ve had businesses come to me for advice. I’ve had phone calls where I’ve been asked point blank, “How much would you charge for this project?” and I’ve had to scramble to come up with the right number. I’ve got a lot of projects on the go. And, come to think of it, I’ve achieved my goal of becoming a freelance writer. Excuse me while I have my very own wow moment…
There’s still room to grow. But for now I’m happy to bask in the fact that I took a risk to follow my dream of writing for a living, and the risk has paid off.
Laura-Jane Koers is a writer currently living on Prince Edward Island, in Canada. Since writing this article, she has gone on to become co-founder of Brightflock Consulting.