Want to develop a freelance writing business?
As a freelancer, everything you do works together to help you to build your brand and platform.
Freelance writing: build your brand and platform
There’s a lot of waffle around brands and platforms.
In a nutshell:
- Brand: your reputation;
- Platform: your readership.
You’ll build your brand with everything you do, so aim for reliability and professionalism, always.
Think about your readership (platform) too. A readership helps you in many ways. When you’re building your business, be aware of this. When someone chides you for “wasting time” on a blog, you can respond (loftily or smugly, your choice): “I’m investing in my business… I’m building my brand and platform.”
Let’s look at some powerful strategies you can use.
1. As much as possible, write what you enjoy
When you write what you enjoy you’ll write more. You’ll also be more creative.
Writing prolifically is essential these days; not only when you write for others, but also when you create your own projects. As much as possible, diversify your writing. Also, consider creating “write once and keep selling” projects, such as books.
When you’re just starting, you won’t know enough about yourself as a writer to know exactly what you love to write. Think about what you enjoy reading: that’s always a clue.
If you’re already established, apply the 80/ 20 rule. Spend 80 per cent of your time on what’s giving you the best results.
Spend 20 per cent of your time experimenting, because if you do what you always do, you’ll get what you always get. Get creative. Develop ideas.
2. Plan for your success: planning is essential to avoid wasting time
A plan keeps you moving forward.
Let’s say you’re focusing on your freelance writing clients. Plan to get three new clients each month. Plan to always have ten projects on which you’re currently working. Plan how you’ll get clients on retainer.
On the other hand, you may be tired of writing for others. In that case, develop a self-publishing schedule for yourself. Plan to publish something new each month.
Today, your opportunities in freelance writing are literally unlimited. You can write what you enjoy, and develop your own successful business. Also, be aware that you’re the only one who can place a ceiling on your income.
3. Think about your readers and building your platform
Your brand is you. Everything you do builds your brand.
Build your client list by creating a simple newsletter, or something which lets you contact clients at least once a month.
If you’re creating information products, promote your name, rather than specific products. You need people to recognize your name as a writer. Your name is your brand, and brand builds platform.
4. Your clients are gold: help them as much as you can
Some of my clients have been with me for the past decade. When I was still writing for magazines, I contributed to one magazine for 15 years.
The only way to keep clients is to keep them happy. As the saying goes, go beyond your brief. When your clients are successful, you’ll be successful too.
5. Get more mileage from your words
There are just 24 hours in a day.
Can you repurpose blog posts into books? Can you publish your books on Amazon, and for a web audience? Think ahead, as you write, to other options for your writing.
One proviso: remember that if you’re ghostwriting, you’re performing “work done for hire.” This means that you’re selling ALL rights in your ghostwritten words. Once your client has paid you in full, the copyright in your writing passes to him.
Start your freelance writing business today
There’s never been a better time to launch a new writing business. Remember that you’re always building your brand. When you have time, think about your platform (readership) too.
Most importantly: do what you love, and have fun.
Copywriter and marketing pro Angela Booth maintains a busy copywriting and ghostwriting practice. Fascinated by online marketing, she wrote one of the first business books for internet marketing, published by Allen & Unwin. She’s been an enthusiastic blogger since the late 1990s.