Building a successful freelance writing business isn’t hard. You only need to put certain things in place to achieve your goal.
If you’re a young and upcoming freelance writer, it’s certain that you’ll make lots of mistakes. The time freedom you enjoy could often be to your detriment if not properly managed.
As online entrepreneurs, we often get caught in the web of idleness when we’re not handling client jobs.
Especially when we work from home.
How’s that possible?
Now, look at this scenario.
You just got paid for a task you recently completed for a client.
Your mind tells you it’s time to relax a bit. But you resist that urge and try to continue in your workaholic spirit.
Unfortunately, the next job won’t come so quickly and everything seems to have dried up.
While you wait for your next client to award a new project, you start occupying your free time with pastimes and unproductive activities.
By now, you’ve become so convinced it’s time to catch some fun on social media.
So, you grab your phone and start checking your social media handles one after the other.
You want to know what’s currently trending. At this point, you’re so excited and start following your favorite threads and commenting on posts.
Before you know it, you’ve spent over 3 hours messing around on social media.
Still, no client has responded to your email.
Then you think that maybe it’s time to turn on the TV or spend some time enjoying Netflix.
You sit there, glued to your screen until you’re bored. Now, you’re more than justified that there’s no more work for the day.
Then you go hang out with your friends (who equally do not have a lot of things going on for them) for the rest of the day.
So it’s zero achievements for the day.
The circle continues like this for a few more days until another client comes calling.
Haaa… Thank goodness!
It’s time to work…
Sounds familiar, right?
If this is how you’ve been working, then I’m sorry; it won’t be long till you get kicked out of business.
5 helpful tips to help you succeed in your freelance writing business
Instead of folding your arms waiting for your next client to come by, you could make good use of your time with productive activities.
That’s the only way to grow your craft and build a successful freelance writing business.
Here are the 5 helpful things to do when you’re not handling any client work.
1. Develop your craft
You could take a course, listen to a podcast, or read a book.
You could also learn new things from the online communities you belong to.
I’m not talking about social media groups were junk posts are the order of the day.
I’m talking about phenomenal groups where people share useful insights and motivate one another to achieve greatness.
Investing your time to build your capacity is the best investment you could ever make.
Lastly, you shouldn’t fail to network with forward-thinking individuals.
You have a lot to learn from them.
2. Start a project
What better way to spend your free time than working on your own project?
Come to think of it; you’ve been working selflessly to bring the best out of your clients.
You’ve helped them achieve great results.
Well, it’s time to channel that energy into your personal project.
Start a blog.
Create a YouTube channel.
Launch your podcast.
Start building a community on Facebook.
Write a book.
There are many more examples.
Just start something.
The idea is to do something for yourself and leave a good legacy behind.
Something you can be proud to associate with.
3. Look for new clients
Every day, you must make it a duty to send at least one pitch to a prospective client. This way, you increase your chance of getting continuous jobs.
One of the most common mistakes among freelance writers is not prospecting. I made it too when I first started.
I’d spend hours on social media especially during those times I had no pending tasks.
Little did I know that I was hurting my business.
I did this for many months until things began to dry up, paving way for famine. It was at that moment I realized my mistake.
It became clear that the famine I was going through left so many signals which I discarded, thinking everything was fine.
Then I asked myself…
How did I get all the clients I had worked with in the past? The answers began to trickle in.
I wrote guest posts.
I asked for referrals.
But because I was having consistent demand for my services, I gradually became lazy.
I began to lose focus.
I held back a bit and waited for new clients to come.
But they stopped coming.
I stopped making money like I used to.
Until I piled up huge debts and almost went bankrupt.
After I had learned my lesson, I slowly picked myself up and went back to what used to work for me. And things began to pick up again.
As an entrepreneur, you must always be hungry for success. Complacency should be eliminated from your dictionary. Never make friends with laziness.
More importantly, you must continue to position yourself to gain new clients.
Avoid falling into the same hole twice.
4. Acquire a new skill
The world is evolving with new breakthrough discoveries.
The future of work has changed.
Old things have passed away.
If you fail to upgrade your skillset in this fast-paced digital world, it won’t be long before you get fazed out.
Have you ever wondered why a big brand like Nokia failed? They failed because they overestimated their brand and were too to keep up with the pace of the smartphone industry.
The lesson here is that you need to notice the changes around you and move with time.
You need to start learning new skills that would complement what you currently do.
Don’t wait till you’re edged out before you start upgrading your skillset.
Do you know how to write blog posts? Why not learn ‘copywriting’ too?
Have you mastered how to design a converting landing page? Why not learn how to build a sales funnel too?
That’s the way an entrepreneur who wants to create a dent in the world should think.
Look around you.
Things are changing fast. Brace up yourself.
But don’t get me wrong… I’m not in any way suggesting that you should kill yourself with work.
There’s time for everything.
A time to work and a time to rest.
And a little time to catch some fun, too.
But whatever you do, “don’t stop when you’re tired, stop when you’re done.” (Manuel Tratter)
5. Lend a helping hand
One of the most productive things you can do in your spare time is to help others.
Helping others has a reciprocal effect. You rise as you lift others. It opens up massive opportunities in ways you can’t even imagine.
There are many ways to help render help.
You can do this by sharing knowledge, fixing issues for people, answering questions, giving free advice, offering a service pro bono, or making a recommendation.
I have gained many clients because of the simple favors I had done in the past.
Things I didn’t even remember doing.
Help when you can. You’ll be favored when you least expect it.
It’s a basic rule of life.
Success comes with hard work and sacrifice. If you truly want to accomplish tasks and become successful — not just as a freelancer, but in life generally, you must have self-discipline and diligence. That’s the only way you can overcome personal obstacles and stay ahead.
If not, you risk being among the 50% of businesses who fail in the first five years of starting. Don’t be like them. Put these pieces of advice to use and you’ll just be fine.
Author: Hafiz Akinde
Hafiz is a Freelance Writer and Content Marketing Strategist. He helps entrepreneurs and corporate brands to grow their businesses with content marketing strategies that work.