Friday, February 20, 2009
The Seven Ps of Freelance Writing
1. Performance – Performance in this case is not missing the deadline, writing your best and giving the customer what they asked for, and are willing to make any edits the client may ask for in a timely manner. If you want your brand to stand out, or be talked about in a positive light, doing what you said you would on time and the best work you can do will be your brand, and allow you to gradually negotiate for more money.
2. Presentation – Presentation is the overall look of the work done for your client. By that, means no typos, spelling errors, grammar errors, not following through with the guidelines set by the client. If you have any doubt as to what the client wants, ask before you start to make sure that you and the client or on the same page of the same book.
3. Professionalism – Professionalism is simple yet hard. Freelance writing is a job, just like working for someone. You must approach your client as your boss, because they are. The client offers you an assignment; you have to treat it as through your boss in a 9-5 job asked you to perform some task. You can do nothing less than your best effort to complete the assignment on time and to the client’s satisfaction.
4. Polish – Polish is not an easy task. Polish means to write and edit your piece of writing for grammar, typos, punctuation, or spelling errors and correct them. You need to do this within the time constraints, and guidelines given to you or negotiated with the client. When you take on a client’s assignment, polishing the piece has to be part of your time assessment when you tell the client how long it will take to complete the assignment.
5. Personal Contact – Personal contact is keeping the client informed how the assignment is coming along, if something came up, you need more time for research on a specific chart, technology, or whatever it is the assignment needs for completion. If say, you or a family member becomes ill and is taken to the hospital, this could cause a delay. Let the client know and ask for time or tell the client you will be unable to complete the assignment because of it. DO NOT leave your client hanging wondering where you and the piece are.
6. Persistence – When first starting out, your writing assignments may be few and far in between. If you give up easily, choose another profession. You have to keep writing and keep applying for jobs. Take this down time to update your resume, work on cover letters, read, write. Practice your chosen profession. Never let a day go by that you don’t write something or try to make a contact looking for writing jobs.
7. Patience – Patience is not the long suit of many. If you expect to make a ton of money from the start of your freelance writing career, you will be greatly disappointed. All of the hype that overnight you can become a great copywriter, or sell all kinds of eBooks, is just that, hype. It takes time to brand and market yourself. Like wines, it will happen when the time is right, and not before. There are places where you can write for free, like the church newsletter, something for the PTA, or your social club. These are good places to hone your skills, improve your writing, while giving you exposure to different types of writing, and people that may you’re your writing. You cannot be in a hurry with either your writing, or your writing career.
R J Medak is a freelance writer with 300 articles written. He has over 40 book reviews written and posted to Amazon and Barnes and Noble. He maintains a blog at http://rjmedak.wordpress.com/about/.