In this blog post, I will be sharing 4 tips I recommend to new freelancers. Whether you want to be a freelance writer, editor, photographer, or website designer, these tips will be applicable to you.
I believe I began my freelance journey a year or so ago when I was at the end of my grade 12 year. I went straight to websites like Fiverr and Upwork and got a few gigs, but they were not exactly what I was looking for and I felt they didn’t benefit my portfolio. Since then, I have refocused my freelancing vision and have written for newsletters for local companies and the MS Society, published articles in my school’s newspaper, The Martlet, and so much more. Now, I am a freelance writer at Flanelle Magazine where every month, I pitch articles and they are published on the website. As a freelancer, I know the ups and downs of the business like the back of my hand, which is why I am dedicated to sharing my own advice.
Here are my 4 tips for new freelancers.
1. Take Advantage of FREE Resources
As a new freelancer, you will not make much money right away which is why you want to keep your expenses at a low cost. However, there are some things every freelance just needs and it differs depending what type of freelancer you are. For example, I need a laptop, I need an application to create graphics on for social media, and I need a website. Some of those things are costly, but others are not! While I cannot get a good laptop for less than $500 or a website domain for less than $100, I can get necessary and helpful tools for free!
Check out my blog post on HOW TO SAVE MONEY WHEN STARTING A BUSINESS because I include 3 helpful tips and a bunch of cheap or free resources for you to use. These resources are for everything from photo editing and design to SEO and writing related tools. I highly recommend checking it out before spending money you do not need to spend.
2. Become a Pro Networker
Your best opportunities are going to come from personal connections you have made through putting in some effort and networking. They are not going to come from websites like Upwork or Fiverr because there are so many other writers and editors and photographers that have a bit more experience than you. Instead, focus on finding people through past colleagues, family members, friends, etc and the people you meet online. LinkedIn is a great resource for this. Not only can you network with other professionals in your field who might be looking for the work you offer, but LinkedIn also offers a free 1 month trial for their LinkedIn Learning where you can develop a bunch of essential microcredentials like navigating Excel, editing, proofreading, and more!
Here are 3 tips for networking:
- Be Personable and Personal – Be friendly when you message someone and also make it a personal message. Express your interest in their company or their work and share your own story. Don’t copy and paste the same type of message to every writer or editor or photographer you find on Instagram.
- Be Active on Your Social Media – When networking, it is essential to be active on your platforms because after reaching out to people, they are going to check out your social media. You want to ensure you have recent posts and content for them to browse through and it shows you are dedicated to your work and brand.
- Have an Elevator Pitch of Yourself and Your Services – Whether you are networking to meet other likeminded creatives or find a job, you must have an elevator pitch of you and your services ready to go. Here’s an example: My name is Zoe Mathers and I am a freelance writer, editor, and social media specialist. I have been writing creatively and on my blog for over 5 years. Now, I offer copy editing, proofreading, manuscript critiques, social media content creation, and copywriting services on my freelance website.
3. Be Your Own Cheerleader
When freelancing, you do all the work. You produce the content, you market yourself and your services, and you organize interactions with clients. It is tiring and challenging, but you have to be your own cheerleader. You have to constantly shout about your services and market yourself on your social media platforms. It is especially important to be a super-star cheerleader the 7 or so days leading up to your business launch and the two weeks proceeding your launch. This can get tedious and tiring which is why I recommend scheduling posts in advance and reposting posts you have already created about your services. For some scheduling tools, check out my blog posts on HOW TO SAVE MONEY WHEN STARTING A BUSINESS.
4. Always Be Willing to Learn and Grow
Even though I have been writing and creating content for years, I am learning new things every day from the people around me and my own experiences. I also am constantly learning because I take Coursera and LinkedIn Learning courses on social media, marketing, writing, editing, and more. These are skills you can always improve and grow, and there are so many free resources you can do this through. You can also learn and grow by just creating and doing so constantly. Get experimental with the content you create and only post things you are proud of (to an extent). The freelance journey means you never know what you are doing and you are always learning. It is one of my favourite things about it!
Those are 4 tips for new freelancers from me and I hope they were helpful! If you are a freelancer and have some more advice, please leave it in the comments below. I will definitely post a part 2 to this as my last tip indicates, I am always learning and growing so I will have more to share in the future.
Don’t forget to check out my last blog post as well as my social media accounts which are all linked down below. Thanks for reading 🙂
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