I wasn’t always a freelance writer. In fact, I used to be a brainy corporate accountant who made a six-figure income. But I wanted out in a bad way. And I made up my mind that I could earn a decent living by booking well-paying freelance writing jobs.
Here’s how it all went down. I raided my 401(k), a very un-CPA-like thing to do, bought a townhouse, renovated it and flipped it. Pretty smart, right? But I still needed freelance writing jobs lined up before I could quit my day job. And not the content-mill kind.
So I joined the Freelance Writers Den and went through the bootcamp, “Learn to Write White Papers,” by Steve Slaunwhite. That was my light-bulb moment. Writing white papers was the perfect match for my skills and goals to get freelance writing jobs that paid pro rates. Without hesitation, I named my new business and launched my site, “Savvy White Papers.”
With that done I busted my butt until I had a $250/hr contract in my hand and a check in the bank. Want to know how to land freelance writing jobs that pay top dollar? Here’s how I did it:
Why do so many writers have a hard time with self-promotion? Think about it for a second. You know you should promote your writing to grow your freelancing business.
But if you’re totally honest, fear, doubt, or shyness sometimes gets in the way. Sound familiar?
That was one of my biggest stumbling blocks when I first started writing for a living. Fortunately, I learned to change my way of thinking to overcome marketing shyness. And so can you.
My own journey as a freelance writer and career coach helped me figure out how to help others overcome fear, develop confidence, and learn effective marketing skills.
Being an introvert, too humble, or having no confidence in your skills are a few factors that can impede your efforts to promote your writing, land more gigs, and earn well as a freelancer. Too many writers think the whole idea of self-promotion is arrogant and boastful. When I was starting out, I had somehow convinced myself that tooting my own horn was breaking some sacred social law. And that’s not the case at all.
Want to learn how to overcome marketing shyness to land better clients and earn more?
Need to find prospects that can turn into well-paying clients? Don’t we all. But too often, writers hit all the wrong places hoping to land a gig. You’re not likely to find good clients on job boards, content mills, Craigslist, and bidding sites. But that doesn’t mean they’re not out there.
In fact, if you use the right strategy, you can tap into a massive list of potential prospects in your niche using LinkedIn Premium. (Is LinkedIn Premium worth it? I’ll explain.) But I didn’t know that when I got serious about freelancing. I used to troll job boards and send LOIs to people I wasn’t always sure were the decision makers. I had some success with this approach. But I struggled to find the right clients. Sound familiar?
I needed a better way to zero-in on my niche (FinTech), find the right people to pitch and land better-paying clients. But how? I stumbled across the answer when I signed up for Lynda.com. And by chance, I scored a one-year subscription to LinkedIn Premium along with it (LinkedIn Premium now costs $29.99 to $79.99 a month).
I had heard plenty of buzz about LinkedIn Premium. But I was on the fence. I had the same question as a lot of freelancers, is LinkedIn Premium worth it? With a free subscription, I decided to jump in and see what I could do with it to grow my freelancing business. It didn’t take long to get results. I found a $1/word client and developed a strategy to use LinkedIn to move up and earn more. Here’s how I did it:
Want to know what a crazy writer schedule looks like? I’ve got three little kids. I have a day job as a health and wellness writer. I’ve got a solid line-up of freelance clients in the same niche and a bunch of looming blog post deadlines. Sometimes, it’s tough to get stuff done.
It’s always busy. There are a million things demanding my attention. And that doesn’t even include TV, movies, hours on social media, video games, hanging out with the guys, or sleeping in. Do people really do that anymore?
The hot 40-something woman I’ve been married to for 18 years is in grad school (future teacher). She volunteers where our kids go to school. She works part-time at a gym. And the kids have dance, Cub Scouts, homework, and probably some other activities going on that she-who-will-not-be-named will be texting me about shortly.
Then there’s my passion (some call it a sickness) for running. And I’m not talking about a 30-minute jog around the block. I ran a 100-mile race at the end of September. When the heck is there time to train for that?
Crazy. Every. Damn. Day.
How do I get it all done, and keep my freelance writing career moving forward? I don’t use any complicated planning tools to get stuff done (maybe I should), but I do follow a few basic rules to stay productive.
I quit my corporate job in February 2015 with $300 in the bank. I had no idea what I wanted to do besides make a living writing. I was 25 years old, and a total newbie in the writing world. There wasn’t a lot of demand for young writers, I thought.
The extent of my experience was winning a third-grade writing contest and getting a book published for my school library. I was motivated, but didn’t exactly have a plan or success mindset to build a profitable freelance business.
I didn’t have a degree, any experience, or, if I’m being completely honest, any idea how to get someone to pay me to write. Call it crazy. Call it youthful enthusiasm. Because it was.
I wanted to build a successful freelance writing business, but I wasn’t sure how to make it happen. Sound familiar?
After a rocky start, I realized that when you approach freelancing with a success mindset, it can have a big impact on growing your business and your income.
Fast forward two years, and I’m making over $100 an hour. And I’m constantly booked out two months in advance.
Here’s how I made that happen…
You’re on deadline. You must finish your article on time. That’s when your creative thinking decides to take a leave of absence. And it does so with no notice.
You’re stuck. You have to write, but you just stare at the computer screen and your fingers do not move.
Every writer has been in this situation. But knowing you aren’t alone won’t help you finish your piece and turn it in on schedule.
These seven creativity hacks will, though.