Want to build a great writing career and business? You can, when you focus on tiny gigs.
Recently, one of my freelance writing students asked me to create a marketing plan for her so she could approach BIG companies and take on larger projects. I created her plan and can’t wait to see what she does with it.
My student wanted opportunities to build a six-figure writing career faster. What better way than by taking on projects which could earn a big chunk of that yearly income in a month or two?
That’s the dream. Sadly, nothing is as easy as it looks, and building a writing career on small gigs is not only easier, it’s less stressful.
My preference is for working with a mix of companies (read on to discover why), rather than focusing on large companies.
Build a writing career one small gig at a time
At various times in my career, I’ve worked for multinational companies. Here’s the reality: when a behemoth goes down, they take lots of little companies with them.
Cash flow matters. Therefore, it makes sense to accept lots of little projects because big companies have a way of ensuring that they hang onto their money as long as they can. In effect, small companies act as bankers to larger ones.
Smaller companies pay within 30 days, mostly. Big companies might pay in 90 days… Or not. It can take months of chasing a large company for money before they pay up.
Here are a couple of tips to help you to build a great writing career on tiny gigs.
1. Get paid fast, or get paid up front
When they’re working with many clients, new writers often end up chasing slow payers.
There’s a simple solution. On small jobs under $500, invoice the full amount up front. If the job’s worth more and you’ve taken a deposit, include a note in your terms that all invoices are due on receipt.
You’re a small business person; you can’t afford to carry anyone. If somebody owes you money, follow up on it swiftly. To coin a cliche, the squeaky wheel gets the grease.
Smaller companies are used to working with small and micro businesses. They expect to pay their smaller suppliers quickly.
Tip: add a note to your invoice stating that the copyright in your material remains with you, until you’re paid in full.
2. Too busy? Get help when you need it
Working on one or two big projects is appealing, especially if you find organizing your writing a challenge.
Here’s an article on relaxed productivity with useful tips:
Everything you do should have agenda, or goal. Glue a little sticky note onto your computer monitor: “Why am I doing this?”
Create another note to stick onto your car’s dashboard.
If you enjoy working on tiny gigs, you’ll complete several projects in a day. Those projects need to be invoiced and accounting takes time.
Hire help when you need it. The easiest way is to ask people you know for recommendations. For bookkeeping, you may want to hire someone local, but time zones are no barrier for a virtual assistant.
Your writing career is up to you
I’ve said many times that there’s no ceiling on your income when you create a writing career. How, where and with whom you work? It’s all up to you. 🙂
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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.