Not even gonna humblebrag… From blogging to website copy, ghostwriting to press releases… I’m really good at being a freelance writer.
I started freelancing as a writer in 2015 and have never looked back. During that time I have had several former colleagues decide to do the same, only to struggle to make the money they had hoped for. Being a successful freelancer is about more than the particular skill you offer. It is a juggling act requiring good time management, excellent communication and a few other behind-the-scenes abilities. Here’s my secret recipe for winning at freelancing:
A strong professional background
I studied broadcast journalism and began my career as a current affairs radio producer. For six years, I worked with big name announcers including Perth’s (now infamous) Howard Sattler and Sydney’s Mike Carlton.
Talk about trial by fire! I worked the phones, built up my contacts and developed a very thick skin. I learned to track people down and convince them to speak on air before throwing together a script for the announcer at the speed of light. Producing radio made me so stressed I would literally vomit before I left for work but I’m grateful for every moment in the trenches.
My next career move took me to the online realm. In 2006 hardly anybody had digital experience and I got a job at Yahoo! by simply knocking on the door. I never had aspirations to become a Senior Product Manager but eight years later that’s where I ended up.
After being initially hired as an editor and producer I took ownership of the day to day running of the 7News and West Australian websites. Over an eight year period I learned so much about the ins and outs of running online destinations and web-based project management. I’ve been able to combine my digital knowledge with my skills as a writer and researcher. Both skills really come in handy in this tech-driven world.
While working in radio I learned to get a quick handle on almost any subject. Over the course of a three hour show I would have to find out as much as I could about anything from dog training to US politics. We covered international events, endlessly talked sport and interviewed world-famous celebrities (some of whom I had never heard of). My job was to make the announcer appear well informed so I had to take in a lot of information and master the art of only spitting back out what was relevant to the story we were covering.
As a freelance writer, especially when blogging and ghostwriting for clients, I’m able to fall back on these skills. I am a researcher by nature and love to learn as much as I can about any subject so this makes me happy as a pig in mud. Recently I wrote a video script on the subject of photocatalysis, which has nothing to do with photos or cats! With the help of my client I was able to create content as though I was an expert.
The real secret to success as a freelance writer – reliability
There are plenty of people who have the knack for putting words together, even without formal training. What sets me apart as a freelance writer is that I deliver, and almost always on time. So many of my clients tell me they have briefed work to other writers, only to have them disappear, or faff around and miss the promised deadline.
I take pride in being contactable and responding quickly to emails and phone calls. When I started writing I learned very quickly to stay a few days ahead on my to-do list as much as possible. Not leaving things to the last minute means I’m able to deliver on time. It would seem this skill isn’t all that common in the world of business!
How do these things benefit you?
I’m proud to be able to say my clients can rely on me to send the copy I have promised, on brief and on time. If they have feedback it is usually a matter of a quick polish before sign-off.
My adaptability means I am able to quickly understand my customers’ brand, their message and their tone. Being a fast, focused worker means I can hit the tight deadlines. I can often charge for three or four hours where another writer may need five or six.
Over the past couple of years, I’ve steadily built up a client base, mostly from referrals. This job and this lifestyle suit me to a tee and I love nothing more than knowing I’ve helped my clients to reach their own business goals.
So, how can I help you? Give me a shout on 0420 372 532.