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Articles on Freelance Writing Success
- Bob Bly
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- Nick Usborne
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by Nick Usborne
There are two ways for a freelancer to make more money.
1. Get more clients
2. Make more money from the clients you get
For a lot of freelancers a “client” is a company from which they get a particular job.
Maybe it’s a $500 job. Maybe it’s a $5,000 job.
But after the job is completed, the relationship ends and the freelancer goes looking for another client.
That’s a tough and inefficient way to work.
It means you, as a freelancer, are spending many unbillable hours just looking for new work all the time.
While it is always necessary to spend some time looking for new work, you are better off spending most of your time developing the clients you already have.
Because you don’t have to climb up a new learning curve every time you start work. You know the client. You know the products and services. So you can jump right into the next task and start writing…instead of researching.
Make more money from every assignment
The first thing I ask myself when I land a new assignment is, “How can I make this job bigger?”
If I have been asked to write a web page – for example - there are a number of ways I can try to expand the scope of the project.
- Do they need any search engine optimization work on this page?
- Do they want to test two or three versions of the page?
- If the page is part of a sales sequence of several pages, do they need the other pages worked on too?
- If it’s a landing page and they are using Pay Per Click ads to drive traffic there, do they need me to write some new ad copy?
- If it’s a new version of an existing page, would they like me to write a review of the existing page first?
You get the idea. Whatever kind of writing you do, each job that comes your way provides an opportunity to expand the original scope of the assignment.
The client won’t always say yes. Indeed, there may not always be an opportunity to expand the job. But you should certainly keep your eyes open. And if you do see some ways to make the job bigger and more profitable, you should jump at the chance.
You have already invested plenty of time in landing the assignment, so be sure to get as high a return on that investment as possible.
Make more money from every new client
Never look at a new client simply as a company that is going to give you one job.
That’s a waste of your time. Again, why invest all that time in landing the client if you are only going to do one job for them?
So while a company may come to you first of all with just one assignment in mind, don’t just leave it at that.
Think hard about the other ways you can help the company. Think of ways to deepen the relationship.
Above all, think of ways to make the relationship last longer.
For instance, if you think a company is likely to need copywriting services on a regular basis, suggest something like this:
"If you are happy with my performance on this first assignment, let’s talk about an ongoing relationship, maybe with a monthly retainer, so I’ll always be available to you when you need new work done."
That kind of relationship works for both parties, so don’t be shy about asking.
The broader your own skill set, the greater the opportunities
When you start thinking in terms of making every new assignment bigger, and every new relationship longer-lasting, it’s time to expand your range of skills and services.
For instance, I have a client for which the central assignment is to rewrite some web pages.
But now, in addition to writing the pages, I’m also:
- giving a webinar
- attending an on site meeting
- providing regular phone consultations
The job got bigger, my fees increased and the timeline got longer.
But I couldn’t have done that unless I could demonstrate that I had the skills not only to write the copy, but also to give the webinar and provide consultation services.
Many freelancer run themselves ragged by searching hard for new assignments, completing them and then moving on to find another one.
It’s hard to make six figures a year that way, because so much of your time is spend on searching for work instead of billing for work.
So with every job you get, always ask yourself, "How can I make this job bigger?" And, "How can I make this relationship last longer?"
Related learning materials:
The demand for print and direct mail copywriters is static, to say the least. The real demand right now is for copywriters who have the skills to write effective copy for the web. This is a professional-grade course that will make you a specialist in online copywriting. This is where the future for copywriters lies! More about this online copywriting course...
Improve your copywriting skills and enter the very lucrative market for direct marketing copywriters. This is a comprehensive course and my #1 recommendation for anyone who wants to learn how to write copy that drives results. Read my in-depth review
Get your copy of Writing For the Web #1 - 7 Challenges every Writer and Copywriter faces when writing for the Web.
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