Guest Post by Akanksha Sinha
When I started my journey as a freelance writer many years ago, I was unsure and concerned about how far I could really go in this field and whether I would get to do the kind of work I was craving for. After all, the only things I had at the beginning of this journey were an honest & conscientious heart, and my conversational writing style.
I still remember my very first writing assignment and how overwhelmed I was as I completed the document and clicked on the SEND button, anxiously waiting for the client’s feedback. As soon as I read positive words from the client, I found myself transformed into a little happy child who had just been given a pat on her back!
I won’t deny it; even today, getting positive feedback from clients makes me beam with joy and adds tremendously to my confidence levels. However, getting here wasn’t child’s play. It required a great degree of discipline & dedication and I am happy to have given my hundred percent.
Back in the days when I was taking baby steps into the exciting world of content writing, outsourcing was not all that popular and freelance writers were looked upon with much suspicion. It was difficult for employers to believe that an independent writer could deliver as much or greater value than their full-time employees. People considered us unreliable, inexperienced and untrustworthy; they were reluctant to hire us as we seemed like too much of a risk.
The task at hand was to break out of these preconceptions.
I repeated it to myself then & I’ll say it again now (& you can consider this to be my best advice to fledgling writers.)
“Always display the highest level of professionalism in everything that you do as a freelance writer if you want to be taken seriously. Do this and you will surely experience the sweet taste of success.”
Here’s how -
- DELIVER HIGH VALUE CONSISTENTLY
Your clients hire you to do an exceptional job for them. They expect nothing but the best and it is your responsibility to deliver nothing less. Irrespective of what you’re writing about, approach the task at hand with complete sincerity.
Write with true heart and soul, making the topic your own and lending it your own unique voice.
If a client likes what you deliver, they will probably want to hire you again and even recommend you to others!
- ASK RELEVANT QUESTIONS
Each writing job is unique in its scope and objectives. A professional writer appreciates these dissimilarities and asks relevant questions before beginning the writing process.
More often than not, clients will approach you with a very sketchy outline of their project requirements. However, it is your responsibility as a writer to understand what is expected of you by seeking answers to your queries and gathering useful information about the product / service / company you’re writing about.
Doing so will help you deliver high quality content in line with the client’s requirements, thus reducing chances of rework & future edits.
- BE TRUE TO YOUR WORD
To hold your own in the competitive world of writing, and to portray yourself as a thorough professional, always meet deadlines.
When you take on a writing assignment and commit to delivering it within a certain timeframe, make sure to keep your word. Your document must reach the client on or
even before the due date. Believe me, people love it when they get something earlier than they expected!
Missing deadlines and behaving irresponsibly can very well put an end to your hopes of making it big in the freelance writing world.
- HAVE A PROFESSIONAL APPROACH:
Running a successful freelance writing business calls for much discipline, planning and focus. If you’re still in the early stages of your journey as a writer, now is the time to take necessary action to design your freelance contract and work out your terms of service. Be clear about your policies on rewrites, advance payments and writing charges, etc.
Knowing your stand on various issues will enable you to send out a detailed & timely proposal to your prospective clients and assist you in your negotiations, thereafter.
- GET YOURSELF ORGANIZED:
As you move up the career ladder and more work comes your way, you’ll have quite a few mundane yet essential tasks to take care of in your day-to-day work life such as invoices, contracts, & pending payments, etc. Organise your daily activities with the help of a folder or the humble Excel Sheet to keep a track of all your freelance activities.
The more organised you are, the better equipped you will be to take care of every little detail in a timely and efficient manner. Your clients will appreciate your promptness and responsiveness.
Freelance writing can be a highly satisfying career choice if you are prepared to sail through its highs & lows with a smile on your face & the zeal to outdo yourself with every new writing opportunity. Remember to do your very best and you’ll be alright.
Here’s to realising our dreams!
Akanksha Sinha is a freelance web content writer, based in India. She writes engaging, search engine friendly website content, persuasive copy, blog posts, product descriptions & articles for businesses, across the globe. A music enthusiast & a first-generation entrepreneur, she runs a content writing services website. She has a knack for connecting with her readers through her simple yet impactful writing style.
Her print articles have been published extensively in a Mumbai based Wellness Magazine (Complete Wellbeing). She has also written for a Dubai Magazine (TII) & an Indian Newspaper.
To contact Wendy McCance about a writing or social media assignment, interview or speaking engagement, please email her at: [email protected]
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