Here’s a common scenario: you decided romance writing is going to get you closer to that all important work/life balance that you crave.
The writing is going amazingly well. You are hitting your daily word target, your marketing strategy is ready to go, you have a cover design mocked up in Canva.
Buuut, it takes time to get a novella written, edited, self-published and the marketing strategy tweaked enough to get the moolah rolling in.
It has happened to me! No money coming in from the books means starving artist time!
At this point, many people give up on their dream of being a full-time writer, and head back to a paid job, fearing for their mortgage. I totally get it, but it means that so many people never feel the sweet sweet joy of watching your sales numbers climb, and your bank balance fill up through doing something creatively fulfilling.
Never fear that this might happen to you – read on to discover how to be a freelance writer on the side of your romance writing project, to keep that essential cash rolling in.
Freelancing is a Growth Industry
A 2019 study by Upwork and the Freelancers Union revealed that more individuals are considering freelancing as a long-term option than ever before. It predicts that 57 million American citizens currently freelance, up by 4 million people since 2014 – not insignificant!
According to a recent Freelance Trend Study by Upwork, 86% of freelancers have noticed a shifting market in the prior three years: 77% said technology has made it simpler to locate freelance work and 71% believe that people’s perceptions of freelancing are more positive. I’m writing this from a local cafe- technology is a big bonus for us freelancers!
When it comes to freelancer earnings growth, Upwork discovered that the typical hourly rate is $20, compared to the overall median hourly rate of $18.80 for the United States.
According to the report, “skilled services” freelancers make a median of $28 per hour. This indicates that the typical skilled freelancer makes more per hour than 70% of all workers in the economy as a whole.
Look After Your Network
This is especially important to remember if you’ve worked for one firm or a person in the past. Ensure that your CV reflects all of your professional achievements, contacts, and accolades from previous employment or professional activities. Your network is the foundation on which to build future employment opportunities.
For defining your network, keep an open mind: contacts for freelance work may come from any source, including past professional coworkers, family, neighbours, and friends, both real and virtual. It includes Facebook groups and all of those people you added on Linkedin without having a clue who they were or what their mad job title meant. Agile scrum master??
While perusing your network, keep in mind that your potential ’employers’ may use social media sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and other platforms to promote their freelance jobs and look for bright sparks like you to get their jobs done.
One of your first ports of call will inevitably be sites such as Upwork, Fiverr and People Per Hour. They are fantastic places to begin your search for freelance work!
As a freelancer, you’ll be spending a lot of your time looking for work and projects. Using job sites to put your own offer out there takes some of the legwork out of your search, since the people who need you can find your offer.
Do you have skills that would be beneficial to a company or a contact down the road? Send them an email! I send out a brief updates email every few months about what I can do, my rates, my availability, and let them decide if I’m a good fit for whatever jobs they may have on their roster.
This will vary depending on what kind of work you want to pick up and the contacts you have in your little black book, but a quick – hey I’m available for x when you are ready – email is a nice little reminder for someone who might need you for an upcoming job. And be creative- that cafe you always go to write? They could need some website copy, but you won’t know if you don’t ask! Remember- this strategy is unlikely to reap an immediate reward of paid work, it’s more of a ‘sow in the spring, reap in the autumn’ approach.
Skipping the request for recommendations or testimonials – and most important, upselling and referrals – is a common mistake that many freelancers make. It may feel difficult or awkward to ask for one, try to remember they can say no or ignore the request- but if you don’t ask, you definitely won’t get the potential benefit.
It also offers a chance to show off your talents and achievements. It’s an excellent marketing tool that allows you to showcase what you’ve done in the past. Plus, it’s a great method for demonstrating your abilities and accomplishments. There is nothing more impressive than a delighted client.
One more aspect to consider is to start your own blog to advertise your freelancing services. You could also consider adding social media to your promotional strategy. Bit shaky on social media or blogging technicalities? No worries- me too! Rather than getting mired down in the technicalities, consider hiring a Virtual Assistant to help get you off the ground. Once everything is set up, a virtual assistant can be invaluable in managing your communications, your social media, and even your diary.