How To Build A Successful Freelance Editorial Career
In the current job market, many editorial freelancers have turned to freelance work as a matter of survival. I receive many queries from applicants regarding this part of the market. Addressed here are the key building blocks necessary for a successful freelance career.
EXPERIENCE: You need a minimum of three years five is ideal, preferably as a full-time employee. Clients will feel more comfortable in your knowledge and abilities if you can demonstrate that youve performed your duties in the past, full-time, at an established institution.
Each industry has its own "lingo". Experience in an industry allows you to understand it and communicate effectively with your clients. As a proofreader, a potential client [eg, a reference book publisher] might say:
"I have 300 pages that need to be proofed. The footnotes and illos will be sent separately. Please make sure theres a hole for each illo and that all footnotes run consecutive, beginning anew with each new chapter. The chapter title is the right running head, there is no left running head. How long do you think it will take to complete this job"
With no experience in publishing, it would be difficult to begin to assess the job. Before giving an estimate, some questions you would ask are:
There may be four or five more questions that need to be asked before you can realistically assess how long it will take you to complete this job.
Experience in the industry allows you to have the necessary knowledge to ask the right questions to judge each project.
Knowledge of your industry will also enable you to decide how to charge for the job. Some jobs are billed on an hourly basis, others are billed on a project basis, and still others are billed as a page rate.
Again, if you know your industry, you will be able to effectively calculate how much time the job will take and what billing method to use.
EQUIPMENT: Working from home means you must to have all the necessary equipment. Minimally, a phone, computer and fax machine. Ideally, a [color] copier, modem, fast Internet access, scanner if your field requires it and separate work room in your home would complete the picture.
CONTACTS/REFERENCES: The most obvious place to start building your customer base is previous employers. Remember the saying, "Dont burn your bridges." It has never been more true than when trying to build a freelance career.
As companies cut back, employers like to use former employees because they already know the work, routines, and systems of the company. Therefore, very little, if any training is needed.
These same industry contacts also make great references as you continue to expand your customer base. There is no better assurance to a potential new client than an ex-employer who says: "Id hire her back if I could. She does great work for us as a freelancer. One of the reasons we use her as a freelancer is because she did such excellent work as an employee."
Wouldnt you feel confident if you were a potential client
SAVINGS: In utopia, six months expenses rent, food, cleaners, credit card bills, student loans, travel expenses, etc. will be in the bank before you embark on your freelance career. In our experience, it takes about two years to build a solid base of clients that will hopefully keep you busy.
If this is not possible, try to plan as much in advance as you can. The "fear of the first blues" [when rent is due] can be frightening if you have no income and no prospects on the horizon.
PART-TIME JOB: I suggest that instead of going from a full-time job into a freelance career, get a steady, part-time job for a while. This will allow you to: 1 transition between the two without taking the financial hit especially if you havent planned; and 2 get a feel for how to organize as a freelancer.
Freelancing usually means intense periods of work, eg, four 12-hour days, and then maybe a week with "nothing" going on. Nothing is in quotation marks because as a freelancer, just because theres no client project on your desk, does not mean that you should be idle.
During these down times is when you should be organizing your books, re-stocking supplies, prospecting for new clients, tracking advertising — in short, running your business. If you think of freelancing as a business and organize yourself accordingly from the beginning, it will make this existence infinitely easier especially at tax time.
PERSONALITY: Freelancing is an enjoyable experience for some, a painful existence for others. Do a personality check to see if you can ride the roller coaster of this up-and-down existence. Do you like working alone; can you handle economic uncertainty; are you naturally motivated; are you organized — all of these, plus other elements are key traits in successful freelancers.
If you dont take one other thing from this article, remember this: No matter how talented you are, what your background is, or how well connected you are, there will come a time when work just seems to dry up. At this point you may start to question your abilities, seriously consider a full-time jobs, and/or wonder if freelancing is for you.
If this is the existence youve decided you want, stick with it. Continue to advertise, even when it seems that no one is interested. The average consumer has to see your advertisement at least 7-28 times depending on what article you read before they will act on it. So, be confident that if you advertise consistently, when they need a service/product that you offer, you will be at the forefront, rather than the hit-and-run advertisers.
After all, the quickest way not to succeed is to quit.
Original, copyrighted material. May be reprinted only if the following is included in full: Parts of this article are excerpted from the e-book, How to Really Make a Living as an Editorial Freelancer, by Yuwanda Black. It is available for immediate download at http://www.InkwellEditorial.com/bizguides.html.
Advice From Successful Freelancers: Starting & Maintaining A Freelancer Career
For the e-book, Advice from Successful Freelancers: How They Built Their Careers & How You Can Too!, I asked ten questions of freelancers who were living their dream life. Following are some of their answers. They cover successful marketing techniques, how to get clients and more!
Declutter for Sucess
Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in, forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day, you shall begin it well and serenely..." --Ralph Waldo Emerson
How to Build A Success Freelance Career Part 2
Part 1 of this article discussed the experience you need to successfully build a freelance career. Here, I will outline other necessities.
The Best Freelance Job Boards for Writers
How many times have you checked out a job board to that either it no longer exists or that there is one or two jobs listed. Out of the hundreds of job boards on the Web today, how do you find those containing projects that you are interested in and qualified for.
The Beginners Guide to Freelance Writing
The Big Idea
Make a Living, Or Simply Get That Extra Money That You Need Working as a Freelancer
Its not important if you dont know how to programm, design, optimize sites or do similar things. You can still earn money doing things everybody knows. Start working from your home today, without any extra investments.
Tips on how to update your Writing and Marketing skillsGet Read
As an online marketer or freelance writer, you need to keep pace with new trends in your field as well as gain new knowledge and skills not only for survival but to enrich your work and gain new opportunities.
A $2.95 Road Trip, Complete With Souvenirs
"Hey, I didnt know you were a writer, I thought you were a Virtual Assistant."
Freelance Writing on the Internet
So, you’ve decided to take up a career in freelance writing. You’ve hooked up the computer, installed the printer, and learnt the nitty-gritty of your word processor. You’ve maybe even been published a couple of times. You’re all set to conquer the world of publishing. But wait. Do you know all the options available to you
Tips On Winning A Virtual Assistant Position AND Keeping It
Although still considered an uncommon profession, the Virtual Assistant role is fast becoming the best recognized choice for companies, particularly web-based companies, to pursue nowadays.
Freelance Writing: A Career From Anywhere
An island in the Mediterranean. A beach in Africa. The east coast of New Zealand. What do all these locations have in common A recent call for assistance from freelance writers elicited replies from every one of these locations. In each of these and in many other remote places, I know of writers who are freelancing with a fair degree of success. Indeed it is possible for freelance writers to work from anywhere.
Your Secret Weapon: The Web Design Directory
”How can I get more hits”, “I need leads!” These thoughts run through web designers heads all the time. How can a web designer get their services in front of people who are actually looking for web design services The answer is the web design directory.
Making Headway on a Slow Day: 9 Ways to Turn Down-Time into Productivity Time
If you work from home, you know the kind of day I mean. You made the calls. You revised those drafts. You sent out the emails. Where is everybody! As much as you used to relish a slow day when you were corporate, it’s a little different when you’re playing boss to yourself. Your mind gets to wandering. Should I head out to the park Should I hit the mall Should I... file for unemployment
Five Steps to Goal-Setting
What would you like to achieve in your lifetime
Gut Check: Quitting Your Full-time Job for Your Freelance Career
Its 6:00 p.m. Youre dead tired, but instead of an early night, you go to your "second job" — your freelance business.
The Language of Freelance Marketing
For freelancers, knowing the basic terminology “before” they begin can be a valuable lesson in earning a few extra dollars in that initial stage. When I started my freelancing career, I knew nothing of rights, simultaneous submissions, querying or varying payment rates. All I knew was-- I could write. Everything else, I learnt on the job. You will too. But just to make your stay a little less frustrating, and a lot more enjoyable, I’ve listed a few concepts that will help you immensely as you contact editors and try to make them pay you for your words.
So You Want to be a Freelancer Heres How!
Not that long ago, freelancing was something people did mainly in larger metropolitan areas where work for writers, artists, and other creative types was plentiful and easily accessible. Today, however, the freelance landscape has dramatically changed.
What Is The Difference Between A Home Based Business And A Home Based Job
As a home business entrepreneur who is primarily involved with a program wherein I sponsor Affiliates in a downline, I often find that I am the recipient of emails from new enrollees who are clearly confused on several fronts. Commonly received initial emails consist of questions such as “When do I start my assignment” and “What is my position in your company” Somehow, these individuals are under the mistaken notion that by registering for a home business program, they have been hired by a company and are embarking on some sort of non-existent home based career.
How to Build A Success Freelance Career Part 1
In the current job market, many editorial workers have turned to freelancing as a matter of survival. I receive many queries from applicants regarding how to go about freelancing.
Writer’s Web Resources
The Internet has truly revolutionized the careers of writers worldwide. Now you can work for publishers, corporations and a whole range of other clients on a truly global scale. Whether you are in the heart of a big city, or in a remote mountain village, all you need is an Internet connection to run your writing business.
|home | site map|