At first glance, it may seem like the only skill you need to succeed as a freelance writer is the skill of writing well. However, the fact is that freelance writing is just like any other business where you would act as an independent contractor. You have clients that you work for, and so you need some business acumen if you want to maintain relationships with existing clients, earn business from new clients, and hopefully get some new business referred to you as well. Here are few ways that some basic business savvy can take you far as a freelance writer:
Approach Clients From a Business Standpoint. With many businesses, a new independent contractor will take the projects he or she can get and be happy with any small nibble of business as he or she starts off in a business. Often an independent contractor may even lower the price of services to get a foot in the door. However, as the independent contractor gains some clout in the industry, he can begin to demand a more competitive price. Before long, the independent contractor may be turning business away because there simply are not enough hours in the door to complete all of the project coming his or her way.
When this happens to you, you will find that you have the option of replacing some of those lower paying gigs with higher paying ones. You can even demand more for new projects. However, you may also find that you enjoy working with some clients or on some projects more than others, and will want to keep a long-term business relationship regardless of the pay.
Ask For More. With any type of business, the fact is that the cost of running your business does increase each year just as the cost of living increases. Most businesses will raise their prices on a regular basis to account for this, and this should not be any different from you. However, anytime prices are raised, and especially with a large increase in prices, the client or customer may decide to shop around. He or she also is looking at your services from a business standpoint and doesn’t want to pay more than necessary. Don’t let the possibility of losing a client keeping you from raising prices when you need to. This is simply one aspect of business. However, it is always a good idea to make your price adjustments in moderation. You may also want to test the waters, so to speak, with your new prices by looking for new business at those prices first. The last thing you want to do, from a business standpoint, is to lose all of your clients from a huge price increase only to find out that you have priced yourself right out of the market.
Be Aware of Word of Mouth. Whether you are working with clients on web-based projects or in the more traditional forms of print media, the fact is that people talk. They will talk about their great experiences working with you and they will talk about their poor experiences working with you. With the ability to post comments on the internet, the truth is that just about everyone can find out what kind of experiences your past clients have had with you simply by doing a search. Word of mouth is a powerful force, and you can use it to work in your favor or it can work against you. With this in mind, you want to make sure each of your clients has the best experience possible with you. There is no telling which clients will write or say something about you, good or bad, so you want to make sure they only have good things to say.
When you approach your freelance writing job from a business standpoint with a service-oriented mindset, you will find that you can maximize your paycheck by applying some of these strategies to your business.