Posts tagged freelance writing career
All businesses look at solving a problem through a solution. So why should freelancers be any different? If you’re in business for yourself or want to be, you need to think about what kind of solution you’re offering. If you’re solving a problem, that’s a good start. If you’re just “doing stuff,” you may need to rethink. If you are a freelancer, it is important to look at yourself as a solution provider.
“As a freelancer, you should do the same – offer a solution. Of course, you need to promote your services so that clients can find you to offer them a solution. You can offer solutions, but there are many different problems, so it is difficult to say that you solve them all. You can pick one (or three or four) and say, “I can help you do XX,” says David Gargaro, Consulting Editor.
Offer a solution through your service
It is important to understand a basic difference here. As a freelancer, you might be offering a service to your customer. But through that service you need to address a need or solve the problem of your customer.
“My business coach would say this is the difference between the features of a business and the benefits. I’ve conditioned myself to think that I offer solutions – through my services. I think it does bring a different perspective, seeing my company through customers’ eyes as opposed to my own,” says Diane Hall, Virtual Right-Hand Woman.
Understanding customer needs is the first step
“Freelancers are engineers and artists who use words to create strategic masterpieces that speak. Bearing this in mind, we freelancers are responsible for understanding the client’s need and strategizing a path forward that helps the client sell their product/service, maintain and keep happy clients/customers,” says Nazareen Ebrahim, Owner at Naz Consulting.
Keeping this in mind, as a freelancer it is important to understand what you customer wants. This holds true for any profession. If you are in the business of offering a solution then you have to know what the problem is or what the need is. Engaging with your customer in understanding, strategizing and then offering the solution is the core of a freelancer’s job.
Solution centric approach means more ‘moolah’
“I think that if your services are offered in anyway in exchange for dollars for hours – get a different business model. By offering solutions you can vary the delivery channels – increasing your income streams: info products, classes, tutorials, coaching, etc. This way, you’re in the drivers’ seat instead of the client meaning you make money whether they decide to hire you or not,” opines Barbara S., Creative Director, Publisher at IASECP Magazine.
Relook at the way you are freelancing. Offering a solution not only increases your credibility in the market, it also helps you interact more with the client. The result is: regular work and greater client confidence. The client starts taking you more seriously and values you time and effort more than before. Also a solution centric approach helps you look at your business from the eyes of the customer instead of just yours.
Use your experience to offer a solution
“I deliver seminars on starting your own small business as well as how to write your book proposal and sell it through the traditional route – are our expertise and lessons learned, which we are sharing. I used to give my time away for free – but people take it all much more seriously if they commit, and our clients’ hard earned money is a great incentive to do something with their gained knowledge,” says Tanya F., Mentor Helping Transform Your Ideas Into Publication at Book Proposal Mentor.
Helping customers with online seminars on starting your own small business or how to write your book proposal are just some examples of how you can help your customer address a need. You can effectively use your experience and expertise to solve your customer’s problems and also get paid for it.
To conclude: All customers out there are hungry for solutions and someone who can help ‘fix things’. A Businessweek article argues the case of freelancers as solution provider in the best possible way. It says “Service providers come and go, but solution providers stick around.”
All advice given to prospective writers of web-content should be viewed with extreme caution.
Because, writing is a personal act and personal acts cannot be taught; they must be learned. Learning, inarguably, is even more personal than writing.
Here are some paths that you, a prospective content writer, may want to consider in your journey towards the big bucks of net content authorship.
The first suggestion, is not even our own, but since J.D. Salinger, wordsmith extra-ordinary, is the one who made it, we feel secure in passing it on. “Be a reader,” he said. Then he stopped. What he meant by that is the writer needs to learn to read for structure, writing styles, and language.
In writing content, by all means – Do Your Homework
Fortunately, for you, doing homework is not nearly as onerous as it used to be. Light speed connectivity makes the task of getting information on any subject an easy task. Punch the assignment title into your favorite search engine, and see what WWW has to say about it. Then use your actively disliked search engine and get another point of view. In fact:
Get as many points of view as is feasible
From those diverse opinions, form your own. Allow yourself to be influenced by those opinions that help you shape your own into the requirements of your assignment. But, and this cannot be stated too strongly:
Do not plagiarize
Once again, do not plagiarize. Aside from the legal implications of a venal act, we worry about the state of your soul. Using, without recompense, the thoughts of another makes a lie out of the implied “I Think” that is the genesis of the written word. If the “I think” is a lie, what, we ask, does that do to the “…therefore I Am”? No. the soul depleting consequences of such thinking are too horrible to contemplate. We strongly recommend against it.
Use colloquial expressions, trite phrases and other such linguistic short-cuts sparingly
Commonly used expressions when used in face-to-face communication can be augmented by body language and other visual clues to bring specificity to the expressed thought. This luxury is not available to the written thought. Generally understood expressions that make up the bulk of the written message leave the reader with a bland vaguely understood concept, rapidly fading from memory. We are talking about net surfers here, folks. As a group, they are not known for the length of their attention spans. Come to the point quickly and write in simple, straightforward and clear language.
Do not worry
As long as you have an understanding of the language, a reasonably strong ego, (see-plagiarism), some fairly rapid researching skills, and opinions, writing web-content is a snap.
So, turns out you need a job and your only marketable skill is a certain facility with language. What to do?
Quite simple, become a freelance web content writer.
Armed with the sharp edge of language and armored with a good thesaurus, you step into the picture, so to speak. A bit of research into the topic, a few deft sentences, some well-chosen similes, a dash or two of hard facts, a click on the “send” button, and the next thing you know –money in the bank.
What does it take to be a web content writer?
The qualifications for web content writing are as follows:
- Language – the writer of web content must understand that written language needs to make up for the deficiencies of remote contact.
- Research – you would need great online research skills. You have got to be a good “googler.”
- Art – you must be able to represent your content in a way that it is easy-to-read on the web. It must contain formatting elements, illustration and pictures to state your point.
- Social skills – the freelance web content writer doesn’t need any. By its very nature writing content for the web means that all contact between the writer and the buyer is by way of the internet. If you can fake sincerity with the written word, you have it made in the shade.
What can you write?
You can start by writing articles, comments, blogs, and product reviews on the net to create an online published portfolio. Try to cover as many topics in this as possible to display your width of writing styles. If you want, create a free blog and keep posting informative content on it. Once you have an online portfolio, you will find that more people will select you quickly.
How can you make people find you?
Advertise your availability in websites like Craiglist, Kijiji, Yellow pages and other local list sites in your country/locality. Give links to your portfolio in those little text ads. Tell all your friends and acquaintances about your new profession. You may also bid for projects on freelance sites, but it will cost to become a member.
So, kick-start that personal computer of yours, hook-up to the web, and get yourself signed up with a web-marketing agencies and freelance websites and head out on that road to fortune.
With the increasing demand for writers in the Web 2.0 world, many people are getting enticed to join this field. If you have your way with words then writing can be a highly lucrative profession for you. But working as a freelance writer has its own set of challenges.
The first step: Do a regular job
If you are a new writer, then you must get into a regular content writing job. Try your luck in a company where there’s a team of writers and managers. This will give you exposure to different writing styles and also an opportunity for your work to get reviewed by experienced people. There are many fine points to writing that only a professional can point out. If you get those things right from the very beginning then you won’t face problems in future. You may switch a few jobs to learn writing for different mediums. Remember that this is the training you are going through to become successful.
Step two: Build a portfolio
You must have a powerful portfolio to show to your prospective clients in future. Showing is better than telling. You would be able to convince clients in a better way with real links and samples. Build a portfolio by creating your own website or blog and posting your articles there. An online presence is extremely important. Create a folder on your computer and categorize samples of brochures, articles, websites, press releases, advertisements, presentations, or anything else that you have written. If you do not have a laptop to carry with you during meetings, take colored print-outs of the good work that you’ve done. Take testimonials from whoever you work for and don’t forget to show then to your clients.
Step three: Create a network
Jumping into freelance writing without having a network of people who can give you work is quite risky; no matter how good you are. When you leave your regular job, make sure that there are at least two or three people willing to offer freelance writing assignments to you. Slowly build your network by asking for referrals, joining online business networks, being present on freelance writing sites, etc.
Step four: Market your services
Even if you have a few assignments in the beginning, you would need to market your services to the right people. Good friends of freelance writers are web development companies; send emails to them about yourself and your services. If you are good at travel writing, make a list of all travel websites and send emails about your services and writing samples. You can do the same for any field. Post your services on all freelance portals or websites.
Take freelance writing as a business
You must take freelance writing seriously. It requires dedication and self-education. Once you become a freelancer, you will find very few people who can actually review your work in the right way, so you have to learn and grow on your own. Learn client servicing and managing finances. Be absolutely professional in your approach or people will take you for granted. Most importantly, do not miss out on any of the steps given above.