|Key inventions that changed the world.
No 24: The pooper scooper.
All freelance writers have a perennial set of challenges to get their heads around:
– Writing content to order.
– Meeting deadlines.
– Revising work where requirements have changed or were less than…ahem…fully defined.
– Establishing which rights are being sold and who owns the work.
– Agreement on bylines and back links.
– Getting the client’s sign-off.
– Getting paid.
– Getting a testimonial or recommendation.
And, of course, there’s one significant challenge that freelance writers share with anyone who runs their own business – that of finding the work in the first place. The good news is that the internet has opened up the entire world for writers. And the bad news is that the internet has opened up the entire world for every other writer too.
Word-of-mouth recommendation often goes a long way, but it pays – literally – to have several sources of work and a range of pies to stick your fingers in. Yes you can trawl through Craigslist (it’s worked for me), Gumtree (not so useful for me) and a host of other sites, or you could register with sites specifically set up for copywriting and other types of writing.
Step forward Copify – my most recent signing (or that may be the other way around). I like the fact that they’re in the UK, as it’s a market I want to grow for my business. I also think their blog is pretty funny. It’s early days yet – and I’ll keep you posted, but the signs are encouraging. If any other freelance writers want to give them a go, click on the link you’ve just passed.
So what can you do about those odds?
Two words for you: over deliver.
Not, I hasten to add, in terms of the client’s must-haves. They, after all, know what they want in terms of topics, word count and tone.
Here’s where you over deliver and ‘add value’*:
1. Distinguish yourself from the competition by delivering error-free copy that hits the mark, ahead of schedule.
2. Once you have an established and successful relationship with an editor, suggest variations on their requirements for additional pieces.
3.Take a single theme from the piece and suggest something totally new from a fresh angle.
4. Offer to take on short deadline work (editors will love you) if ever there is staff sickness or unexpected problems. But only promise what you know you can deliver.
5. Offer to promote their business in comment back links on writing sites and blogs.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a client to impress!
* I know, you can take the boy out of the corporate world…and you ought to.