getting started

How to Sell Yourself as a Freelancer

freelancer

When you’re a freelancer, you really need to sell yourself in order reap the rewards. Having a great portfolio helps too but knowing how to really sell yourself to potential clients can make the difference between getting that great job opportunity or going back to searching for projects. If you’re pitching a proposal or putting your CV forward, ask yourself these questions;

1. What are your strengths?

Think about the service that you’re selling. What is it you do well? What are your key areas of knowledge? For example, if you’re a freelance writer, what niches can you write for? do you have seo experience? can you write for varying audiences?

2. Show what you’re worth

There will be many people offering their services for less but what do you have that they don’t. It may be that you have a great standard of English, lots of experience, you’re good at researching, have qualifications in a particular field. Don’t be afraid to pitch for a higher rate than other clients if you can show what you can do!

3. Don’t mention what you can’t do

Forget mentioning what you can’t do to clients – concentrate on what you can do. If you need to mention to a client that you don’t have experience in a certain area, turn it into a positive, such as ‘my area of expertise is academic writing only’.

4. Offer a sample of your work

Always offer a sample of your work in a job proposal or pitch. It’s a good idea to create a portfolio of your work (I’ll have some steps to show you how you can easily achieve this next week). If you don’t have a portfolio, do you have links to work published online? Alternatively, can you upload a sample to include with your pitch?

5. Tailor yourself to the job

How can you tackle the job that’s on offer? Look at the job description and tailor your pitch to the specification. Mention why you can meet the skills required. For instance, if the job is writing a blog post then mention other blogs you’ve written for, the types of genres you’ve written for and any other details that makes you the right candidate for the job. This may include your experience of platforms, such as WordPress, the use social media or search engine optimisation.

 

How To Make Your First 1k Freelancing

So, you’ve started freelancing or you’re thinking of transitioning to freelance work. You’re going to want to know how to make money right? Of course, doing something you’re incredibly passionate about is great but unfortunately that’s not going to pay the bills.

Having set myself up as a freelancer with very little guidance – and it really has been me just jumping in at the deep end, I feel I can share my wisdom with you.

Earning you’re first 1k as a freelancer really isn’t that difficult. That hard part is getting started freelancing. Once you’ve cracked that, you’re on your way.

However, there’s a few things that are going to help you…

Price yourself fairly when freelancing

When you start out, you need to know what are you going to charge per hour or project. The best way to do this is to consider how much work you can do in an hour. If that’s say writing a 500 word article then that’s going to be your base price i.e if you’re looking to charge £10 to write 500 words then that’s your hourly rate. Some clients may pay in dollars, so it handy to know the current exchange rate. I always use this site to calculate the difference.

Don’t overprice yourself but increase your fees as your experience grows

You don’t wanna undersell yourself either but if you start charging too much for your services when you start then you’re not going to find much work coming your way. Keep it reasonable but remember that when you become more experienced in a certain area to increase your hourly rate.

Sell yourself

This is your main target as a freelancer. If you don’t believe in your own skills then no-one else will. Obviously you can fake confidence but you need to demonstrate to potential clients that you’re the best person for the job.

Look at different income streams/clients

Ever heard the saying, don’t put your eggs in one basket. I gained a monthly writing gig pretty quick – 5 days per week at decent (ish) money. Two days into the project the gig got cancelled and it was back to the drawing board. A lesson I learnt quick is not to rely on one type of income. I always try to have more than one project going at the same time and I’m always looking for the next one to take on. Be proactive and don’t just stick to one source of income.

Get looking

Actively look for work and don’t wait for opportunities to come to you. Search freelance sites, indeed, gumtree and other sites like the ones listed here.

Consider things you wouldn’t normally do

Can you work in other areas? Write about topics you may not normally consider? It could open up opportunities to other avenues.

Learn new skills

Part of the reason I set up this blog was down to the fact that I needed experience of WordPress. Many potential clients were asking for WordPress experience, so it made sense for me to go and get it. There are loads of free courses on the internet (see said post here) that can teach you new skills and help you to find work in other areas.

Have a personal website or blog to showcase your skills

It doesn’t need to be a source of income in itself but it can help you to open up to potential readers and clients.

Review yourself

Take into consideration your goals. What can you do better? What can you change? I recently found myself at a crossroads and I’m starting to work in a different direction than I previously did. At the end of every month, take stock of what you’ve achieved and ask yourself if you’re doing enough to achieve your goals.

Accept constructive criticism

Receiving criticism is tough but when it comes to your work, you can use it constructively to achieve better results. Learning what you can improve on will help you to grow. If this is something you struggle with then try asking a friend or relative for unbiased feedback first and ask for their suggestions in how you can improve.

Be realistic

Gaining work is always good when you’re self employed but be realistic with what you can achieve. Don’t take on projects that are too big or demanding if you can’t deliver. Think carefully before accepting a project to ensure that you can finish it on time.

If you want to learn more about getting started then read my post on making the leap into freelancing

 

 

Ways To Get Writing Experience

writing experience

If you want to become a freelance writer and not sure how then this post is for you. I always used to wonder how I could make the jump into writing. Though I’d worked in a media environment (advertising) before, I’d never worked ‘officially’ as a writer. I have a degree which has helped but it wasnt until I decided to just go for it and try online writing as a source of income that I realised it was completely possible to make my dream as a freelance writer a possibility.

I’ve already shared a few places you can look for for gaining employment in this post. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be covering freelance sites, CV writing and creating a portfolio in more detail. I’m no expert in this field but this blog is a way for me to share my personal experiences with you, the challenges I’ve faced and how you can realistically earn money and develop your skills online.

If you want to gain freelance writing work then you’re going to need some form of experience. This doesnt have to be in a formal setting but here are a few things I suggest.

*College/Uni magazine

Working on a college or university magazine is a great way to get some writing experience and a reference for future work. You’ll be able to get some guidance from an editor and gain experience of both working in a team and on your own. If you’re unsure if your college or university has a magazine then try searching your institutions website or asking an advisor.

*Create your own blog/website

Creating your own blog or site allows you to produce the content you want. Writing my own blog for three years led me to gaining jobs from a range of clients. I would suggest sticking to one niche, rather than covering lots of topics. Consider what you’re passionate about and what your strengths are. You can use these to your advantage and the work you produce can be used as part of your portfolio and job applications. It’s super easy to set up your own blog – I’ll be covering it in detail in an upcoming post!

*Internships

Internships are a way of gaining experience in both a formal and/or at home setting. I would definitely consider each internship with caution as some are full time with just your travel costs reimbursed. It might be better to try and find a freelance placement in which you can work from home. You can find several internships via indeed and the usual jobsites.

*Guest posting

If you dont want to set up your own blog then you could approach other bloggers and ask if you could write an article for their blog. I would suggest writing a polite email to approach them. Many bloggers may not accept guest posts, so dont be too disheartened if they say no.