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6 Tips for Setting up a Freelance Writing Business

6 Tips for Setting up a Freelance Writing Business

We all want more freedom and more space to do the things we most enjoy in life. If you crave breaking away from the 9-5, and writing is your thing, setting up a freelance writing business could be your dream. It can offer the flexibility of working the hours that most suit you, from any location you choose. However, when you go freelance, you’re going into business – and if you hope to succeed, you need to be business-like in your approach from day one. Here are 6 tips to help you turn your freelance pipedream into reality. 1. Prepare financially Switching to a freelance career or not, everyone should know their basic cost of living, or the minimum needed to cover the bills and food each week. If you are contemplating leaving a salaried job to start freelance writing, set aside extra savings (if you can) that will cover your living expenses for a period of time once you leave your job. Alternatively, if it won’t cause issues with your employer, start your business and begin engaging in activities to build your client base before you take the leap out of employment. There are multiple avenues for finding regular writing work – we cover this topic in-depth in our freelance course, Build Your Freelance Content Writing Business. 2. Set your business up correctly so you’re ready to trade These are a few things to consider when setting up any business. If you’ve only ever worked as an employee, you’re likely to need to: Register an ABN (Australian Business Number) If you want to trade under a business name...
5 mistakes that prevent freelance writers earning enough

5 mistakes that prevent freelance writers earning enough

The idea of working from home as a freelance writer is very appealing – you get to schedule your day your way, be your own boss, spend more time with family, and so much more. Yet many try to achieve the dream and fail – and head back to the safety of full-time employment all too soon. If you’re stuck in that dilemma now, you should know that it doesn’t have to go that way! Working with freelancers for over 10 years, here’s my take on the 5 mistakes that prevent freelance writers earning enough. 1. Not business networking Nothing comes close to topping ‘word of mouth’ when it comes to getting work. If you think ‘word of mouth’ is limited to people who’ve used your service and tell others, that misperception is probably costing you a fortune. Referrals can come from anywhere, and the best way to start them rolling is by networking. Networking is all about connecting and getting to know people. The more people you connect with, the more people will be able to mention you when someone in a room (or a social media group) asks, “Hey, does anyone know a writer?” But that’s not all – enquiries that come from referrals are much more likely to convert to sales. They’re also less likely to try to haggle over your quote. 2. Under-estimating and under-quoting If you have an ideal hourly rate, under-estimating the time involved in jobs you quote will ensure you don’t earn your goal rate. If you typically charge by word-count, chances are you’re not always getting paid for extra time spent...
How to Build a Client Base for a Freelance Writing Business

How to Build a Client Base for a Freelance Writing Business

You’ve started a freelance writing business and put in the hard yards to get it running. You’ve sourced an ABN, secured a domain, developed a glowing brand, set up a website and social accounts. You’ve done everything and you’re fired up and ready to go. And then…crickets and tumbleweed. So, what next? Finding your first paid work can feel down right stressful. You’ve told everyone about your venture, and your worst fear yet is that everything will crumble. However, in startup, you have to put fear in your pocket and keep going. Sorting costs… and pricing No startup is completely predictable, but there are things you can do to prepare. If you’re leaving a stable income to start your freelance writing business, know your basic cost of living. This is the minimum required to cover the bills and the basic necessities each month. Put it all into a spreadsheet and add it up, then triple check you have enough to cover that amount for as long as you feel comfortable. Not everyone will have a cash reserve to support them through startup, and some freelancers begin when they’ve lost a regular income, and have almost nothing in reserve. While talking finance, it’s important to mention that almost everyone new to freelancing struggles with pricing, and it’s a topic we cover in detail in our online course for Aussie freelancers, Build Your Freelance Content Writing Business.  As a new kid on the block, starting at a lower price point might help you to attract new clients, get the income flowing, and gain more experience. The down side of a low price...
How to Build an Email Marketing List

How to Build an Email Marketing List

Want to know how to build an email marketing list, and why you should? Successful marketing is a mix of so many things combined, but if your email list isn’t way up there in terms of priority, you should reconsider. What is an email marketing list? An email list, or an electronic mailing list, is a database of subscribers who’ve signed up to receive email content from you. Under the Spam Act 2003, there are three rules which email marketers must stick to: Consent from the recipient to opt-in, Identification of the sender; and A clearly visible option to unsubscribe in each email. Advantages of email marketing  As Facebook’s organic reach has steadily declined, email continues to be a direct line to subscribers without the noise, or the clutter, of social media. While posts attracting comments and interaction are more likely to show up in followers’ feeds, the catch is that fewer followers seeing posts equals less visibility and interaction. The fact is, it’s more difficult for brands to reach their market on social media, which is why they shouldn’t only focus there. Asking followers to continue the conversation on email can let you control your message and its reach.  Email marketing list building strategies  These six strategies can help you build your email marketing list. Ask existing contacts to join you. Email existing contacts and explain why you want to stay in touch and what they can expect to receive from you – whether it’s industry insight, tips or personal experience. Customise every email to each recipient, and include a link to subscribe.  Make it easy subscribe. Add the...
Creating a Strong Brand: Insights from an Indian Yoga Guru

Creating a Strong Brand: Insights from an Indian Yoga Guru

What separates the brands you love from the rest? It’s a personality that you want to buy from, which is why you shouldn’t ever keep your brand all business.  In this blog, we’ll look at how small businesses can create a strong brand with heart, and why it matters. But first, I want to preface the blog with my own experience of a brand.  Brand lessons from the east I live on the Gold Coast, but have travelled to India several times.  Every time I visit India, I see the Indian guru Baba Ramdev plastered on every billboard and shop selling everything from flour to shampoo. Baba Ramdev has a mass following in India that began in yoga, and evolved into an all-encompassing consumer brand. He looks every inch the guru – wears the classic orange robe, has the long hair, is pictured in yoga poses and everything he touches turns to sales. To bolster his credentials, his brand sponsors everything from Indian news to sports events.  I found it funny at first; of course a yoga guru is the face of rice in India. Every poster of the smiling yogi next to hair care looked contrived to me. ‘Do Indians really fall for this?’ I asked. Then, faster than I realised, I started caving in to the image. It started one day when I went to buy oats. When several options were placed in front of me, I instantly picked Baba Ramdev’s brand. Who else could I trust for breakfast?  Even as a foreigner outside of Baba Ramdev’s market, where 90% of the brand message is lost in...
5 Business Tasks to Automate in (Almost) Minutes

5 Business Tasks to Automate in (Almost) Minutes

We’ve all experienced the feeling of being pulled in every direction and accomplishing what feels like zero. Being stuck in that place isn’t just uncreative and uninspiring, it’s purely reactive and incessantly exhausting. If you’re switching tasks faster than switching off the light at night, it’s time to clean up your schedule and start compartmentalising. One way to get out of this frustrating place is by dropping the tasks that aren’t crucial and prioritising the rest. Maybe it’s stepping away from a partnership that isn’t serving your core market. Or taking the focus off PR while you put essential building blocks in place (like a strategy around engaging followers). The second is outsourcing and automating so you can focus on creating the exceptional brand you set out to create. Consider tasks that repeatedly take up the most time, then figure out if you can outsource or automate them. In a saturated market, every moment spent on tasks that aren’t serving your niche or developing your brand is revenue lost. From batch tasks to de-cluttering your inbox, these automation tips can free up time – and focus! Categorise and batch tasks It takes less than two minutes to lose sight of a task when you have a million things on your plate, and a lot longer to reclaim focus when you switch from job to job. The premise of batching tasks is blocking out time for things where you need similar focus – whether it’s blog writing, strategy or design. Batch work lets you turn off distractions, create flow and complete tasks faster. Tame your inbox Don’t sweat time crafting...