Jumpstart Your Freelance Writing Career: Five Things You Should Know Before Starting a Freelance Writing Career
Thinking about starting a freelance writing career, but not sure where to start or worried that it won’t work? Here is a list of five things you should know and do before venturing out on your own. Just remember that the most important thing is to think of yourself as a creative entrepreneur and not just someone waiting for the next gig.
1. You’re going to need some start-up capital
Sure, you’re going to have to spend for the usual: laptop, printer (get the multi-purpose one so you save space and money), business cards and so on, but like any business you’re going to need some start-up capital.
Your start-up capital will cover the operating expenses of you starting out, getting assignments, building a network and waiting to get paid.
Have at least six months to cover your monthly expenses of rent, transportation and communication and groceries. This start-up capital will also serve one very important purpose: it will prevent you from resenting the initial stages of writing where the jobs and the pay come in trickles.
2. Expect ROI after a minimum of 2 years
Rome wasn’t built in a day. So don’t expect your freelance writing career to be any different. Like any business, give yourself two to three years to break even before you throw in the towel or say that a freelance writing career is not sustainable.
3. You need to make a business plan
You are not simply a freelance writer, you are a creative corporation and your byline is the brand that you want to be known for. Make a business plan for market and expand this brand. Try dividing the business plan into the different departments in a company and don’t limit yourself to a Word or Excel document. You are a creative enterprise so make your own rules and go ahead and make abusiness plan out of a dream board, a collage or a mind map.
-Key strategy to achieve that vision
Sales and Marketing
-Services and products you can sell or produce
-Investment of future income
-Conferences and networking activities
– Pro-bono work
-Lecturing or speaking at a university or school organization
4. Set monthly sales targets
Set a monthly target for yourself and the work backwards. What will it take for you to meet your target? Having this goal will help you price services and prioritize projects.
Always keep track of how far off you are from your target and monitor cash flow by tracking the projects that are in progress and when you expect payment.
5. Protect your main asset: Yourself
One of the main trade-offs of freelancing is if you don’t work, you don’t get paid. (Until you can set up a passive income revenue stream, that is). Your main revenue-generating asset is yourself. Protect and cover yourself with necessary insurance: medical insurance and car insurance at the minimum. If you get sick for whatever reason or get into a car accident, you won’t have to worry about the unexpected expense throwing a monkey wrench into your budget.
Writer’s Block Philippines will be holding a one-day writing workshop entitled, “Jumpstart Your Freelance Writing Career” on 19 July, Saturday at Fully Booked Bonifacio Global City. Reserve a slot by calling 0917.397. 9927 or by logging on to www.writersblockphilippines.