Article by Wendy McCance
If you looked at my last post, you know that I am going to spend a month walking writers through the beginning stages of a career as a freelance writer. One of the things that must be considered is what you can do besides taking on traditional writing assignments.
Why would I suggest adding another skill to promote? The more you have to offer (that you are skilled in) the quicker your career will take off.
When I began my career, I focused solely on writing articles, blog posts, press releases, website content and sell sheets. These are the only items I offered to a client. Clients would check out my writing samples, resume and end up looking at this blog. It occurred to some of my clients that if I had a blog, I would know something about social media and more importantly, might know how to market them.
I began to get requests to handle the management of a company’s social media platform. Clients felt that the combination of knowing how to write combined with an understanding of social media was a killer combination.
Over and over I heard that it was this combination that intrigued a company and that many freelance writers knew nothing about social media. Traditional advertising was quickly being replaced with a focus on getting their name all over the web. Being able to put in a search for a company and seeing several links to choose from to get more information on the business made an impression of being a relevant, forward-thinking company in a consumers eyes.
The fact that now customers could make comments, ask questions and get updates about the newest products and services was key to creating more success for these businesses. It also gave these companies the chance to demonstrate their values and how they cared about the people who chose to buy from them.
I am not suggesting that every freelance writer become a social media expert. What I want you to ask yourself is what other skills do you have and how can you combine abilities to package yourself as a well-rounded asset for the companies you seek out.
After seeing the interest for social media management, I adjusted my resume to reflect what I could offer as a social media consultant. To date, I have an equal amount of writing assignments as well as social media consultations and management of social media platforms.
Because taking care of Facebook pages and Twitter accounts is an ongoing project, I have a steady stream of income that comes in each month. It has created a situation where I got to a higher level of income and an increase in clients than far acceded what I had predicted I would see so soon in my career.
So, how can you add another skill that makes sense? Here are a few options to consider.
1. If you have a blog, you’re golden. You can offer classes with topics about writing queries, pitching to clients, writing a proposal and anything else your imagination can dream up.
2. Take posts that have garnered a lot of views and write an e-book off the topic. Heck, write an e-book about anything you can think of.
3. If you have written a book, offer to ghost write books for clients. I have received 4 offers to date to ghost write a book. Personally I have turned down each offer because I haven’t written a book myself and feel it’s over my head to take on that type of assignment at this time.
5. Consider your background. If you are knowledgable about any particular topic, advertise that fact. Go after clients that could use a writer that knows about real estate, accounting, finance etc…
6. Teach classes online or at the local community center on a skill you have. Maybe you would teach a class on how to begin blogging.
7. If you have a blog, you could offer a service of setting up a blog and even offer to write the blog posts.
These are just a few ideas to get you thinking about ways to increase your income more quickly. The more you can offer, the quicker your client base will become.
Before you offer a ton of additional options, make sure that the extra skill makes sense and can be combined with your writing career. Also, don’t take on anything that you aren’t really good at. You want to be thought of as a professional and if you come across as lacking knowledge, it will do more harm than good for your career.
Have you tried to combine services? How did it work out? what additional service do you offer?
To contact Wendy McCance about a writing or social media assignment, interview or speaking engagement, please email her at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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