Please consider registering
January 16, 2013
Howdy all -
I've been freelancing full-time for three years now in the financial services niche and it's been great so far. Like many of you, I started out on the job bidding sites and content mills, but I've worked up to having a comfortable group of clients who send referrals my way.
However, I've hit a plateau in terms of the work I do (mostly marketing copy, whitepapers, ghostwritten articles) and I'd like to break through it. I'd like to work on getting pieces published under my own name and develop larger projects like annual reports or full-length books. I also need to stop being lazy and put a decent website up.
One of my issues is that I'm rather isolated and have no mentor or group of writers to turn to for advice/criticism. I hope to remedy that here and other places.
What I can offer:
- Advice on developing a niche;
- managing client relationships;
- Getting referrals;
- How to sell yourself to clients.
Questions I have:
- How does one meet other writers for collaboration, advice, emergencies, etc?
- How does one score a first article in the trades or a column in a small periodical?
Sounds like you've figured out exactly where you need to go in order to grow the business. Getting there isn't going to be too different from how you started.
Good questions. To your first:
You're doing it right here. Good place to learn from the best! Jenn is someone I'd follow through fire. She has the background to back up her online presence, and she's prone to giving only the best advice. When you have a singular question, you go to your group of writer friends either places like this one or in email. I get a lot of questions a week (and I ask a number, too) from people whom I consider friends. The first thing you need is trust -- trust that the person has the experience and isn't prone to bullshitting or embellishing in order to gain your business. There are a few out there who shout from the rooftops to get your attention, i.e. your money. Use your instincts, I say. For the most part, freelancers are giving people who share willingly.
Scoring that first trade article is much like scoring that first gig for a newspaper. Hit them with a killer idea that fits their needs. That means studying the publication enough to know who their advertisers are, who their main audience is, what kinds of articles they publish most, what kinds of articles they never publish (and don't think you'll change their minds, either). Look at the tone, the focus, the delivery, etc. Mind you, that doesn't mean if all articles are dry and bland that you have to be, too. No way. In fact, I "tested" for a senior editor job at a trade and won it by saying "What the hell" and applying my voice to their focus. So keep your personal style, but modify it to fit within what they're used to printing (for example, don't give them first-person chatty tone if they're printing only third-person authoritative).
That's how you start. Keep at it. You won't necessarily score right out of the gate, but the trades are usually looking for fresh voices.
Most Users Ever Online: 72
Currently Browsing this Page:
Jessica Marcarelli: 38
Luana Spinetti: 32
Guest Posters: 5
Newest Members: dp2115, Eyomatics, Yana Myles, shielah yuyama, muchek, jraver
Administrators: Jennifer Mattern (480)