Going freelance can be a tricky decision. For one thing, there’ll be far less stability…all those ‘Hooray it’s payday!’ or ‘Hello weekend!’ social media posts can make you feel sorry for yourself when your income is far from stable and regular, and full weekends with nothing to do are a distant memory.
What makes all that worthwhile, though, is the unending potential and ability to work with and learn from a huge variety of fantastic people, with final accountability only to yourself. For me, this is a luxury and a pain in equal measure – mainly because I’m finding that I’m a much harsher boss than any of my actual bosses ever were! – but choosing who you work for is a benefit I’ve noticed a lot of freelancers can be reluctant to take advantage of.
It’s genuinely difficult to turn down work when you’ve got bills piling up…but if you’re not thinking about what sort of work you really want to do and who you really want to do it for, then you’re missing out on the real advantages of going freelance.
Does your potential client know who you are?
Why did they contact you? Did they like your work, or maybe you came recommended to them? I ask this because I’ve had meetings and e-mail exchanges with people who have had no idea about the type of work I do – and who didn’t much care.
These exchanges rarely worked out, either because I don’t write the type of work they were looking for, the style they wanted didn’t suit me, or they weren’t bothered about the style at all. Which brings me on to…
Do they care about their business?
I know – seems a strange question to ask, doesn’t it? What it really means is that you should check if you’re going to be producing work your clients will care about.
In my case as a freelance writer, I want to know that the words I write for my clients are going to be valued (and commented on/criticised accordingly!) – not something they’ve hastily delegated to me just to get it off their to-do list, with no particular opinion about its quality.
This, in my view, is the absolute best thing about being a freelancer. Life’s too short to be producing reams of high volume, low quality work in a haphazard vacuum, after all. My time and my work is valuable, and I choose to work with people who feel the same way about theirs.
This approach means I’m lucky to be working with a wonderful group of regular clients who are passionate about their companies and how they’re represented in words – the very best kind!
Do they respect your time?
As an employee, if your manager asks you to work on something urgently, you’d probably be expected to drop everything and get on with it. This is usually fine if you’re office-based and working for just the one company, but as freelancer you’ll probably have lots of different projects lined up for lots of different clients, all scheduled according to deadlines.
The best way to sidestep issues is to make sure your clients understand your turnaround timeframes right from the beginning. I send new clients a simple one-page sheet outlining what they can expect from me, and what I’d like from them in return. At the time of writing this at least! - there haven’t been any problems at all.
If you’re thinking about going freelance, rest assured that it’s a fantastic way to work and I hope these tips help you on your way. If you’d like to become a client, you’ve made a great choice and I look forward to hearing from you via phone or email!
I'm a friendly and professional writer, reviewer and editor who works with warmth, humour and flexibility.
Good listening is more than just letting people talk.Read more
How not to drown in other people's opinions.Read more
Explaining what’s blatantly obvious to you, could turn out to be advertising gold.Read more
...they were learning how to express their true feelings in words, and the results were honest, uplifting, and totally magnetic.Read more
This is a blog post unlike any other.Read more
Where's the value in empty business gurus?Read more
How do you eat yours?Read more
"The right person will help you come across as yourself, but in a prouder, more polished, 'look what I’ve achieved' kind of way"Read more
"If you like someone, you might be tempted to look for excuses to work with them, even if their particular skills aren’t what you need."Read more
Focus on telling interesting business stories that reflect your ideal customers’ lives back to them.Read more
Keep your summer content fresh and updated to be remembered all year long.Read more
How to become every freelancer's favourite client!Read more
Finding the 'what's', 'whys' and 'hows' of your business will help people connect with you.Read more
It takes time to craft compelling
November means #NaNoWriMo - so whatever you're working on, it's time to get it done!Read more
Ironically, it's when you're writing about yourself that you will sound least like you. Hiring a writer to do it for you can bring a whole host of benefits.Read more
Writing books is big business - or at least it can be, if you get it right. For starters, this means not rushing the process!Read more
Headlines are always difficult to write, so here's an easy way to craft something original for your personal and professional profiles.Read more
You don't have to be a professional writer to discover a unique writing voice that speaks to its readers. Finding your own voice is often easier than you might think, and it all starts when you write from the heart.Read more
Did you know that so-called 'job-hopping' can be an asset to your career search? Whether you prefer stability or excitement in your career, planning your next move is all about packaging your skills and making the right kind of approach.Read more
Going freelance doesn't mean you have to accept every piece of work that comes your way. Being discerning with your time and effort will help you reap the rewards of being your own boss...and you'll get to work with some great people too!Read more
Writing a CV is tough enough when you've got years of experience under your belt, but when you're just leaving education it often feels like you haven't got anything to shout about. Here's how to write a first CV that will stand out from all those bland lists of education dates and shop jobs!Read more
'Greatest Hits' countdowns are rife at this time of year - so now, here's one featuring the best CV advice. This list will give you the ultimate steer if you're looking to get your CV on track for the new year job hunt. Wishing you a very happy 2017!Read more
Are you often left with the feeling that you don't quite know enough about all the online tools you can use to promote your business? How about website analytics...shouldn't you be checking them every five minutes just like the experts say? Relax - here's how to take advantage of all the advice available online, by defining exactly what YOU want to know.Read more
BOO! Like a ripe pumpkin Hallowe'en has rolled around yet again, so what better time to extol the benefits of ghostwriting, definitely not just the province of bargain-bin bound celebrities.Read more
An encounter with a corporate headhunter made me question my career - why was I still doing something I didn't love? Here's how I formulated my corporate escape plan and found a career I truly enjoy.Read more
Are your online profiles a bit lacklustre? Don't waste a perfect opportunity to speak directly to the boss or partner of your dreams - use the power of personal copywriting to describe what makes you, you - and get ready to reap the rewards!Read more
Regular blog posts - especially if you run a business - can drastically increase your following, as well as helping you beat the competition by describing how you do things your way. Read on for a few more great reasons why you should join the blogging revolution!Read more