Hey friends, it's Homer the Freelance Cat here! I wanted to take some time out of my beautiful, tropical Saturday to share some freelance business tips that have helped me find success. I hope they can help you, too!
Apply, Apply, Apply! Don't be shy about it. Create a strong writer's resume, put together a good portfolio and apply to every relevant freelance writing job that you can. Sheer volume is your friend at this point, believe me.
Don't let Criticism Hurt You! This business can be tough, and you need to develop a thick skin, and thick fur - like me - to get through the negativity and come out on top. It can be difficult to push away the natural, negative emotions that surface after a rejection. I've shed a few salty kitty tears myself, when my home recipes were critiqued harshly by publishers. You know what? It doesn't matter! Here I am, a successful freelance food writer, living the life in the Caribbean. You can do it too! Stay confident.
Set Goals. This is a big one. My human roommate has been saying for years that she wants to be a novelist. You know where a lack of planning got her? Nowhere, and without even a manuscript to show for herself. Finally, after setting specific goals for herself, she completed the first draft in just 4 weeks. Goals! No business can work without them. Set important goals for each day, week and month. For example, set the goal of querying 5 potential clients per day; earning $500 per week; building a better portfolio within the month.
Use all the Free Resources you Can. Without free tools, we'd all be eating store-brand cat food for the first 6 months of our freelance careers. Wait, what do poor humans eat? Anyway. Look through my list of favourite free tools, and let me know if you find any other awesome free resources out there!
Network. Ah, networking. The dreaded socialization that frightens every house-bound, people-phobic freelancer into a dark corner to await starvation or a heart attack; whichever comes first. Well, I've been there, friends. Thanks to the internet age, however, I've survived and only suffered a handful of panic attacks during online socialization! Seriously, hook yourself up to the people that can help you. Try LinkedIn. Figure out Twitter. Add employers and colleagues to your networks and make sure they know why you're there. Even the smallest well-made network can lead to referrals and more work.
Rest your Brain. When you're starting out and really determined to make your freelance business work, it's easy to go overboard. Here's the thing - working 15-hour days for weeks on end isn't going to help you in the long run. I'm not saying there won't be times when it's productive to work all day and night, I'm just saying that you can't make this a habit. Get some sleep. Only a well-rested brain can produce quality writing and brilliant marketing ideas. Why do you think us cats are so wise? I sleep at least 15 hours a day.