Typical Journey of a Freelance Writer
Now let's take a look at the typical journey of a freelance writer's career.
Freelance writers rarely come out of the gate at the top of their game. There is usually a progression.
And if you stay in freelance writing long enough, you'll start to recognize this pattern.
You see, unlike other professions, most freelance writers didn't grow up saying "I want to be a freelance writer when I grow up." In fact, most freelance writers didn't have plans to write freelance at all until they started.
It's not really an aspiration a lot of people have.
But what a lot of people do have is a passion for writing. And freelance writers have harnessed that passion and decided to go out and start getting paid for it.
But, even after making that first step, there are still a few steps most freelance writers go through before they really hit their stride.
Like I said, most of the time freelance writers don't even think about becoming freelance writers until they're already doing it. Maybe a friend asked them to help write something up. Or maybe they needed some extra cash one month and someone told them about a freelance site.
Whatever happened, most freelance writers have already been working as freelance writers before they've ever even made the decision to become professionals.
But because of this, starting up isn't always all that easy. Nor all that straight forward. Because they kind of just slipped into the profession without actually planning to enter it, most new freelance writers don't know some of the basics:
- Where to find jobs
- How much to charge
- What services to offer
- How to say no
- How to run a business
And because of this lack of knowledge and planning, new freelance writers often have erratic rates, one-off clients or projects (those clients who will hire them once and then they never hear from them again), low-paying gigs from freelancing sites, and, unfortunately, a lot of times their clients just walk all over them.
And because the world of freelance writing is still relatively unknown to them, new freelance writers tend to view any investment as a large investment.
Eventually, though, that new freelance writer will meet up with others and progress to the next step.
The Networker freelance writer has been around the block a few times. They know enough to be able to ward off bad clients and see the signs that someone might stiff them on an invoice, but they are still stuck with primarily one-off projects and semi-erratic rates.
However, because they've started building this network with other freelance writers, they're starting to pick up a few tricks to help them set up a better and more efficient workflow and marketing strategy, which is allowing them to make more money.
They're starting to learn the basics of personal branding and if they are still using those freelancing job sites, they're learning how to stand out better without having to rely on discounts or lowering rates.
They may even be starting to think about whether or not they should -- or even want to -- specialize in an area or niche.
Additionally, the Networker is starting to make smart investments in their business.
Freelance writers who reach this stage have gone through considerable mindset shifts and growth. They've successfully implemented several new strategies into their business and are constantly learning more.
Boss freelance writers have also established their identity as a professional freelance writer. They know who they are, who their ideal client is, and how to solve their clients' needs.
More than likely, they have a well-branded website up and running with smoother payment systems and a rock solid customer follow up system that allows them to work with more established (and stable) rates as well as enjoy working with returning clients more often.
Boss freelancers also spend a lot less time actively bidding on jobs and more time working on their jobs.
Last but not least, we have the Entrepreneur freelance writer.
This is the freelance writer we all strive to be.
They are the expert in their field or chosen niche.
They are sought after by major publications and high-paying clients.
And, more than likely, they have a team of people behind them. They've learned to delegate certain tasks out to other people: a virtual assistant or a social media manager, maybe even a bookkeeper or a website administrator. People who can help them keep their business going behind the scenes so they can continue working without fear of burnout or staying chained to a computer all day long.
Of course, they are still learning and investing, but their overall business and marketing strategy are solid, meaning they only need to do a bit of fine-tuning and tweaking here and there as they see a demand for it.
We are Here to Get you to Stage Three
My goal with this course is to help you jumpstart some of the mindset shifts and tools you'll need so you can get out the door a solid Boss freelance writer.
I want to help you skip, or at least minimize, your time spent navigating the freelance writing world while in the Startup or Networker stages. Not because freelance writing in those stages is bad -- it's not, it's really not. But those stages tend to be unstable in terms of finances and client growth.
I want you to finish this course feeling more confident in who you are as a writer, how to turn that passion into a real business, and how to make that business work for you.
I'm not going to promise you thousands of dollars or that you'll go out in a few days and find a new high-paying client just by snapping your fingers. And I can't make any promises regarding how much income you'll make as a freelance writer. Because the truth is I just don't know those things. As you'll learn, there are far too many factors that can affect your income when you're freelance writing, including:
- Your rates
- The types of projects you take on
- Your writing routine and schedule
- Your hours of operation
- Your invoicing
There are just too many things for me to be able to wager a guess as to what your income will actually be.
But what I can promise you is that I will help you jumpstart your freelance writing career from new freelancer to Boss. You will know who you are as a writer, the types of clients you want to help, and how to feel more comfortable asking for what you're worth.