Friday, February 17, 2017

Breaking into the Freelance Business


Freelancing can be a gift. Truly, it can. However, for far too many writers (especially newbies) it can be tough.

Let's face it, it can be hard to find those long-term paying clients.

I should know, it took me 6 months to find mine, and to this day, it can still be tough to find more long-term paying clients.

Breaking into the freelance business shouldn't have to be tough. There are ways to make freelancing fun, and even enjoyable all the meanwhile trying to make that FIRST paycheck!

Here are some things that I learned (I'm still learning), and have gotten me through some tough times.

1. There WILL be slow times.

First things first. I think it's safe to say that freelancers will go through tough times. There will be moments of doubt, pain, sleep deprivation and even failure. Freelancing is funny that way. While the thought of FINALLY being your own boss is exhilarating and contagious, it can also have its "seasons".

By seasons, I mean days, weeks or MONTHS of little to no business. I've had those. They are not fun. Too many people go into freelancing for the money. Not for the passion. It's something that I often wish people would reflect on when the hard times hit. Think about it, if you are not willing to stick it out through the slow months, even though you LOVE writing, freelancing may not be for you.

Few of the writers I've had the pleasure of meeting and talking to have often told me that if writing/blogging wasn't their passion, they would have given up a LONG time ago. I can't tell you just how honest that is.

And, it's true.

If writing/ blogging wasn't my passion, I would have gone into another career a long time ago, also. But it is. There is not a morning that I don't wake up looking to get my hands on my computer and start typing right away. This is also why I'm thankful for my freelance schedule (which I'll get to in a moment)/

So, think about that.

2. Not every client will pay you, your worth.. At first.

When I first started networking and marketing my "freelance business" and I say that loosely because now that I look back at it, it was basically this very blog with ONE page, and my contact information; I had to work hard, and I do mean HARD to get people to trust me with their work.

My very first job was less than $100, for over 20 articles *cringe!*
yup, I did not think I could charge more. Saddest part, I did not think I could raise my prices.

When I finally decided to raise my prices, I felt good. I was determined, I was ready and I took the plunge...

HAHA.. Can you guess what happened next?

If you guessed that I LOST a few clients, you would be correct! I lost 3 out of 5! YUP! That HURT!

People were so accustomed to paying me what THEY thought the work was worth, that they weren't think about what I was worth. So, I knew I had to change that, and quick!

I raised my prices, hit the payment HARD and found new clients, and right away, set my prices and STUCK to my decision. Out of 3 new clients that I had connected with ONE of them stayed long-term. At MY price!

It felt good.

There will always be clients who wont agree with your prices/ terms. However, when you know what you want to charge, and you work on your business seriously, the right clients WILL find you.

3. Set a Flexible Schedule that will Fit your Routine

As I explained earlier in the post about my freelance schedule, you should have one!
Setting a freelance schedule will basically help you tackle upfront a lot of headaches and pain.
It can be a bit hard starting a freelance business at first. I had trouble adjusting because I knew I no longer had a 9-5 schedule, but that also meant I had to worry about ALL of the other hours in the day..

Its true. If you are working with locals (people in your own town/ city/ state), it will be A LOT easier for you to stick to a schedule. But let me tell you, that schedule becomes a LOT harder to maintain when you start working with people outside of your state. People that have a different time zone.

My schedule basically revolves around two main things; my son, and school.

I'm pretty lucky that my son and I have the same school schedule the majority of the week.

When I set my freelance schedule, I made SURE to put that I work on Pacific time. This means, my clients can expect my work to be delivered in MY time zone.

Setting a specific time to work on your business can save you a lot of time and frustration in the near future.

While working around the clock seems like a great idea, or marketing your business because "the more you get out there, the more clients you can grab" is in fact a possibility, remember you are self-employed. You have to take care of yourself.

When I started working I worked 12-16 hour days, trying to do everything in a single day. I knew I HAD to make this work. I didn't have any other source of income other than two short-term clients, and I have a family to think about.

I knew I had to make money. But I didn't know I could break up all of the small tasks I had to do and work during the week. That though actually never crossed my mind.

In the beginning it may seem like time is going REALLY slow. You may need to really market your services in social networks, websites and in-person meetings. But remember, you don't necessarily have to do everything in one day. Don't be afraid to spread your work over a week, and give yourself a break.

While we get paid as much as we work, It will also do us no good, if we get sick and cant work.

I honestly didn't expect this post to be so long.. Because well, I didn't think that I would have so much to say... So, I'll leave this post like this, and post a Part-2 later.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

What 2016 has in Stored for Me

Hello there!

I know its been a while since I visited this blog, and wrote a new post. Since I am revamping all of my blogs, breathing life into my freelance career, and ultimately hoping to grow as a freelance writer this year, I thought that now would be the perfect time to re-visit this blog and get some writing done and out of the way.

What i've been up to...

This past year has been nothing short of a whirlwind for me.

To begin, I have officially finished with school, and I have completed a degree/ certification that I have long awaited. Today, as I write this, I am officially a Certified Clinical Medical Assistant, and I am quite proud of myself.

I even got a certificate and everything!

Not only have I been able to achieve this goal in a super short amount of time (less than a year), but now i'm really finding out what it takes to balance my freelance career along with my "school" career.

Its been a struggle, like I said I have been gone for quite a while, but I also know that this is something that I have been wanting to achieve for a long-time now, and I am SUPER glad that I am finally done!!!!

Changes so far...

So far there really hasn't been much of a change when it comes to my freelance career, and working outside of the home, really. In fact, it has not been exactly the same in terms of time and money, BUT I do have more wiggle room to focus on other adventures in my career such as: projects, collaborations and I have even been working on a few book ideas..

The one thing I am particularly looking forward to is really diving into my new career, and writing all about it!

Freelancing and more... 

This year I am planning on taking on more work than last year, and I am also planning on getting more work done. Not only online, but in printing too.

I am planning on being smarter about my business, and taking things further by making this business a household name!

I am very much looking forward to this year (seeing as how it is already February), and everything that it has to offer!

If you guys are looking for a freelance writer, like I said- I'm available!

So, check out my services and contact me ASAP!


Thursday, August 14, 2014

How to Start a Freelance Business When You are Broke




I have been waiting for the perfect time to write this post, because I wanted to do as much research as I possibly could about this subject. 

Everyone knows that if you want to start your own business, you need money. 

There is no going around that. The problem that I see many people having is that they start their own business because they want to create an income, but they have very little income to start off with.

Basically, you need money to make money.

When I started working as a writer, I made just enough money to cover my expenses, and a few of my bills. It was not easy, and I had to learn everything the hard way. I was spending money cautiously to get my name "out there", and hoping that my marketing efforts paid off "soon". 

Later on, I started to learn a lot of small tricks in order to make money as a writer, without having to spend a lot of money building my own business. As I slowly built my freelance business, I began to spend money on small things that will slowly set me apart in a crowd. But it took a while to do it. 


So, let me tell you how I did it!

How to Start your Own Business When You are Broke.
Well, that is something that every writer wants to know, and I'm going to tell you what I did when I started my freelance business on a very strict budget. 

As I explained to you before, when I started my freelance business, I was making just enough to make ends meet. I had no long-term clients, just a lot of clients that were paying me peanuts for my work.

I did not have enough money to invest towards my business. I was working in my living room, from my parents computer, and I did not have all of the "technology" you might say that I needed to create a great business. 

Although we need to money to start a business, for things such as:
  • Purchasing a domain name
  • Buying business cards
  • if you are feeling "generous" you can invest in Ads. 
You can also do the majority of marketing on your own, and save money in the process.

If you want to be taken seriously in your business, you have to set up a website, and buy your own domain. Right away. 

It's a MUST!

Blogging Platforms

There are a number of blogging platforms that you can use to start your own business. The two most popular platforms are WordPress and Blogger. I use Blogger because it gives me more flexibility with my work, however, you can also use WordPress if you want to expand your work in the future. 

You can create a free blog in Blogger, and build your website there. This is a simple, and effective way of marketing your brand and services to anyone who stops by your blog. 

The next step will be to purchase your own domain. 

Hosting selection

Buying your own domain, guarantees that when people search for freelance writers, your name, or something close to it, YOUR website will pop up in search engines. 

Buying your own domain will also give you a professional look, and it will help you land more clients in the process.

Today, you don't have to spend an arm and a leg when you purchase your own domain. Bluehost is an affordable, reliable, and simple hosting service to use. It has an amazing customer service. You can add, transfer or purchase a domain and set up your website within minutes. 

You also wont get stuck with surprise chargers in the process, and its quite clear on how to use it. You cant go wrong with this service. 

This is perhaps the part that every blogger hesitates because they want to see some results from their investment. Bottom line is, If you cant invest in this one thing, you probably wont see the results you want. 

Marketing.





I have tried my fair share of marketing techniques. Some with a lot of results, others with not as many results as I wanted. 

One of my Go To techniques when I want to increase my traffic or sales from my blog is simple.

Ready for it? Here it is: I share my work on social networks. 

How do you like it?

Its crazy simple, and it doesn't cost me a dime!

I know bloggers are probably reading this and wondering whats so different about this technique.

The only difference about my technique is that I never stop sharing my work. I "like" my own work on Facebook, I share my work everywhere I can, and I do it through out the entire day. 

This is something that you can do for free, have fun doing and invite others to share your work with your. Simple, effective and guaranteed success.

The way I see it, more than one person is willing to like my work when they see that other people do it too. 

And it WORKS! 

You dont have to spend money on marketing services when you can learn how to do it on your own. 

If you want to build your own blog with amazing results, I HIGHLY recommend 31 days to build a better blog . Its an amazing book, that every blogger must read!

Once you have your blog set up, start working on it. Post often and make sure you interact with your audience. Some of my clients have come straight from people who have followed my blog, and likes what they have read. 

You never know who is reading your work, and who might hire you on the spot. 

If you are a new blogger, I recommend you blog daily. Once your traffic starts to improve, it can be safe to blog two or three times a week.

It all depends on your schedule.

Landing Jobs

Landing jobs does not have to be a headache. There are plenty of places where new freelancers can go to search for jobs, and LAND them. 

There are Job boards, freelance websites, bidding sites and private websites where freelancers have to pay a small fee each month to be able to search for high-paying clients.

Although I am not a big fan of bidding sites, I personally go to Freelancer.com. This site has been around for a while, and I started working as a writer from this site. I have personally landed a lot of high-paying clients and a handful of long-term clients from this very site. 

Its quick and easy and completely free to use. 

This website has been getting better each year, and I know of a lot of people that have landed a lot of clients from this website. 

This is my Go To Website when I want to search for new clients. Check it out here. 

Now that you have your own website, domain and know where to get jobs, start growing your business!

To your success! 

Sharing is Caring! 

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