- impeccable English
- thorough research
- being adept at linking facts to form a logical write-up
- delivering projects ahead of schedule and
- being responsive to clients via messaging/ emails
As I have stated in some previous blogs, each day, each week has been a learning experience.Without any further delay, here are my freelancing tips of the month!
Seek out variety when starting out: While this may seem obvious, even as budding writers we can get restricted to working within a niche. More likely the root cause for this is that we become adept at writing on certain topics and therefore are able to churn out more material. Avoid this trap in the initial phase. The more topics you write on, the more you will realize that what you read for one project will in fact provide valuable insight on another project, even though the two projects may seem unrelated.
Follow-up with former clients – Networking aside, checking with previous clients on availability of additional assignments is a damn good idea. I sent out a message to one such client who at first did not acknowledge my message but subsequently reached out to me with additional work that was followed by even more work and at a higher rate!
Don’t expect all clients to pay the same rate – Payments across projects for same length of articles may differ. Don’t be dissuaded from accepting a project because the project doesn’t offer as much as another assignment. Review the chance to expand your portfolio in terms of content and how involved is the client in the assignment. A client who is clear in what he or she wants but pays relatively less can be a better choice than someone who is willing to pay more but does not clearly communicate what they expect from you, which can be a nightmare when it comes to reaching a consensus on the final delivery.
Have your own blog – Many people starting out simply don’t realize the importance of being on this medium. While of course it’s a great way for you to advertise your services, having your own blog will give you valuable insight on writing content for your clients. If not a professional writing blog, start with a topic that is close to your heart. The main point – get going on your blog!
Project own brand ‘identity’ – Develop professional templates for article submissions, which may include a logo, a page number/ border, from – to and date fields. Have a business statement that represents you or your writing company. Ours for instance is ‘Customer Loyalty is Our Royalty’. Do all that a big company might, within your limited resources and time. Every little thing adds up to project a professional image of you and your company.
While freelance writing by bidding for projects available on the internet may be a well-known source of work in English-speaking countries, it is certainly a relatively new phenomenon in India. I say this basis my discussions with friends and former colleagues who seem more than a little inquisitive when I talk to them about my work as a freelancer on Elance. In fact this has sown the seeds of a potential business idea which should take shape over the next few months!