“Be sold out to your life’s game plan. It’ll take you where you want to go.”
— Chrys-Ann Ambrose
Have you found yourself at the place you thought you’d be as a freelancer?
Good for you. Share with us in the comments the steps you’ve taken to get there.
Then this article is more for you than anyone else.
I’ve been a freelancer for at least three years. I’ve had great dreams of what I expected to accomplish. Yet I found myself having months pass without even getting halfway there.
Over the last 12 months, I decided a change was imperative. There was no way I was going to complete another year languishing on hopes and daydreams.
I can honestly say that this year — I’ve finally found a place I can work with and I’m loving it.
Looking back, I realized there were things I did that brought about changes in the direction I was going.
And I figured I’d share with you some of these steps I took to achieve freelance copywriting success:
- Have a plan. Not just any plan, but one that details precisely what you want to accomplish and how you intend to get there. Don’t make your plan too long — you’ll be too overwhelmed to start and we don’t want that. For example, if you want to make $3,000 in additional income for the next six months, you’ll need to find 2-3 companies whose budgets allow them to pay you so you make that amount.
Lesson learned: A plan or strategy is essential in any line of business. Studies have proven that a written plan is more likely to be followed and completed than one that is not.
- Create a schedule. This is important whether you have a full-time job (like me) or not. I know there are apps for practically anything these days, so choose one that helps you stick to a schedule for maximum productivity.
Lesson learned: Between client jobs, ‘helping out a friend’ jobs (you know those types, right?), family, and fun time, there just seems to be little instances for you to work on your business. Be flexible with the schedule, but ensure others around you respect it as well.
- Connect with others to learn more. You don’t know everything and even if you did, no one likes a know-it-all. Carve time to connect with your target audience everyday as well as influencers in the industry.
Lesson learned: There will always be someone smarter and more in-the-know than you. Take what they’re giving freely. There’s always something you can add to your knowledge base.
- Write on other sites. This gets your name in front of thousands of other eyeballs — places where your audience lives. I’m currently on a guest post campaign, writing on sites that cater to my target audience. It’s a sweet ride and I’m having lots of fun.
Lesson learned: If you are sincere and thorough with your plan, you’ll find lots of sites willing to accept you as a writer. Jump on those opportunities right now and use them wisely.
- Master time management. Use available free pockets of times to get things done. For example, while waiting for the soccer match to start, use your smartphone to catch up on your business’ social media updates, or while in that long line at the bank, compose an email or two for potential clients.
Lesson learned: When we say we don’t have time, it’s not actually the whole truth. Those occasions to get little tasks done add up and make an impact on how you run your business.
- Share good content. Great useful stuff (like this) is posted online every day. Learn how to harvest content whether it is yours or not and send out links regularly.
Lesson learned: Once you begin sharing content that resonates with others, they’ll begin to follow you. As you grow your follower base, you’re putting yourself in front of more prospective clients.
- Build a strong network. You’ll find as you grow that some things will be beyond your scope. Surround yourself with people who know. The B2B Writing Success Facebook page is a good place to connect with others who specialize in different areas of B2B. Or source help locally, like I do.
Lesson learned: Waiting until you need a particular skill to seek it out is a drawback. Since you know your target audience and what you’ll be selling them, take the time to identify the needs you’ll probably have in the next six months and cultivate relationships with people who can help.
- Treat your business like a business. Set schedules, working times, time for networking, and time for reaching out to clients. My most productive times are in the mornings, but with a full-time job, I don’t get the opportunity to spend a lot of time working during the day. So I hack it. I compromise. I schedule afternoons and weekends for work. Nights are completely out because I don’t function well at night. At all.
Lesson learned: Your client’s main concern is whether you can deliver or not. You’re the one who will have to make it work, therefore put in the hard work if you intend to see positive results.
- Outsource if you can. I know at times that money can be tight and you prefer to keep it for rainy days, but I’d say invest in some help. It takes a load off you when you don’t have to do the research plus writing, plus editing of your work.
Lesson learned: Faster turnaround times means getting more done much quicker so you can make more money and afford the help.
- Learn to use tools. Trust me, they make your life easier. I used to hate list posts with “100 Productivity Tools or 20 apps that … ” but in this business, the old way of doing things guarantees you’ll be left behind. No, you don’t need 100 tools; you just need enough to get the job done.
Lesson learned: Don’t be afraid to embrace what will make your journey to growth easier. Don’t become dependent on any and you’ll be fine.
What should you do with these tips?
Good question. The best choice is to use them to guide you. Whether you use them or ignore them, your future will be determined by you and by your actions.
I have created online friendships with editors, prospects, and actual clients since I started following this plan.
I probably would have been much further on if I had jumped on it sooner — that’s why I encourage you to choose the one tip that resonates most with you and implement it for the next seven days.
Then return and share your results with us in the comments section below.
To your growth and success.