Freelance writing is something I’ve done on the side for close to two years now.
In September of 2019, I landed my first freelance writing gig as a guest blogger on a lifestyle blog. This first experience opened doors for other opportunities and taught me a ton. I want to share what I did to land that first gig so that you can do the same!
Since I began blogging in 2018 I knew I wanted to eventually venture into the world of freelance writing. The fact that there were people out there that could do something that they were passionate about day in and day out fascinated me. I wondered what It took to do what they did, so I began watching YouTube videos and following individuals that were already in the field on social media.
I found the answer was simple after concluding my research. To become a freelance writer, I had to WRITE!
I began writing blog posts consistently, worked on sample newsletters, crafted newspaper ads, etc. Anything I could use as practice to enhance my writing and editing skills, I did it! I also started to follow other bloggers and picked up tips from them as well.
As I became more willing to learn I began to gain more confidence in my writing. Now, not to toot my own horn, but I have always been a strong writer. I have loved writing since I was a child, but I was never sure if I could get paid for my writing. That doubt held me back for a while, but writing consistently has helped me gain a TON of confidence.
It was that same confidence in myself that landed me my first freelance gig!
Freelance Pitch – Landing The Job
A huge resource for me during this freelance journey has been UpWork. This is a platform for freelancers to apply to jobs and market themselves to potential clients. UpWork is a great place for people like me who are just starting in the freelance world!
UpWork isn’t the only place you can look for freelance gigs. If you’d like a list of job boards to search through click here to join our email list. That way I can send resources directly to you.
If I were to go back and tell myself one piece of advice I’d tell myself to go after projects I’m passionate about.
In the beginning, I made the mistake of applying to every job I saw. Looking back now I see that probably wasn’t the best use of my time. If you are trying to land your first freelance writing gig you should be strategic with your approach. Identify your strong points, what you’re passionate about, and visualize your ideal project. Thinking these items out and developing an action plan will save both time and effort in the long run.
Developing your action plan is only the first step in landing your first freelance gig. Below I’ve outlined three key actions I took to land my first freelance gig.
Develop confidence in yourself and your work
When submitting proposals, resumes, and/or cover letters for a freelance job you must be concise with what you say.
Potential clients do not want to read a book about all of your experiences. Instead, they want to hear what you can do for them. So, when applying to land your first freelance gig get straight to the point.
First, highlight your experience. Make sure to tailor what you’re sharing to the position you are applying for. Don’t add in extra fluff to plead your case. Believe that you are a worthy candidate for the job even before you land it!
Second, have confidence in your words and choose them carefully. Make them believe that you are the absolute best person for the job and that hiring you would be the best thing they could do.
Trust that your confidence will speak for itself and will only grow as time goes on.
Make yourself available
Clients love to know that they are your top priority, even if they aren’t.
You have to let them know that you value them and the work that they are paying you to do for them. When communicating with a potential client it is important to respond to any questions or job offers promptly. Just think, for every one interview they are doing there could be at least three more individuals that they are interested in as well. That is why it is important to be available as much as you can.
In my experience with landing my first freelance writing gig, I received the offer, reviewed the contract, and signed it all on the same day. So, it’s true that things can move fairly quickly.
My big break taught me a lot, but it didn’t last too long. I made $5/hr for 600 words that had to be written within an hour time frame. After the fascination of earning my first freelance gig faded away it really hit me that I wasn’t even making a penny a word! I’m not saying that’s terrible, but I wasn’t comfortable making that little.
I decided to end my contract and try applying to other jobs and I ended up landing a couple. Some are even long-term clients of mine now.
Weigh the pros and cons of the freelance position
It’s important to weigh the pros and cons of any offer you are given.
I realized this after landing my first freelance gig, so I would like to give you guys this advice so that you don’t make the same mistake I did.
Please make sure you are getting paid what you are worth. Keep in mind, as a beginner, the pay in freelancing is not going to be a lot, but use discernment when it comes to the offers you’re given. Some projects you come across may be a fixed price, but if your potential client is open to negotiating, do that.
If you have a base rate established that’s even better! Open up the conversation for them to hear your rates before agreeing on payment. Remember, you are getting paid for your time and creativity, so propose what you believe you are worth and be confident in it.
Overall, I am excited to see what the future holds for myself and my writing career. Landing my first freelance writing gig has given me the confidence to go after more projects, and I’m hoping the same will happen for you!
If you are interested in freelance writing I would love to network with you! Feel free to leave a comment below.