If you want freelance writing to pay like a business, you have to treat it like a business. More specifically, you have to treat it like a small business, because that is exactly what it is. And there is one thing universal among small business owners; they live and breathe it. Every minute of every day.
Freelance writing is a great gig if you manage it properly. With a foundation of talent and solid work ethic, a writer can make a solid career out of freelance writing. But it does take work – especially in the beginning when you are building a client roster – with hard work and a healthy dose of properly targeted self-promotion.
To help make sure you’re covering all the bases, here’s a simple primer that lays out all the best practices for self-promotion:
Create a brand for yourself. Use that name consistently wherever – blog, social media, website, and online forum – you appear. Create a blog if you don’t have one and use it to showcase your talent. A good mix of personal writing and work examples is best.
Use social media to your advantage. Facebook, YouTube, Google+, Twitter and all the others – as many as you choose – are great platforms for building brand recognition and networking with potential clients. Use the platforms to blast messages about your latest published work.
Comment on forums to build name recognition. On sites that function as a community, this practice can be a great way to build your reputation among potential clients. Make sure that your comments are helpful to the community and exhibit your talent; otherwise, you’re spinning your wheels and – worse – you may be considered spam and ostracized or even banned.
Try to build relationships with staff writers and developers wherever you can. Start with your local newspaper or alternative publications – many hire freelancers for at least some of their content. It’s a good place to get started. Some even pay pretty well. From there you can broaden your reach as your portfolio of published work grows.
Consider enhancing your marketing toolbox with promotional keychains. With a simple creative logo that conveys your brand, these gifts are the perfect reminder of your availability. Attend special events and other activities where distribution can be made to potential clients.
A comprehensive self-promotion plan that includes all of the above elements is going to significantly increase your chances of finding success as a freelance writer. That, however, does not mean this is an all-exclusive list. Draw upon your own experiences, and do what feels right. In many cases, as long as you are consistently promoting your brand, it will be the right thing, in the end.