As a career, freelance writing offers opportunities for new writers, as well as for experienced professionals. At the top levels, elite earners enjoy six-figure incomes. Even seven figures are becoming more common, especially among copywriters and self-publishers.
So what’s ahead for your writing career in 2018?
Freelance writing in 2018
For some unknown reason, client demand has been huge over the past few months. It’s not just me, every writer I’ve contacted reports receiving more enquiries, and is developing more proposals, as well as signing more clients.
I can only put the additional demand down to renewed consumer and business confidence.
Here’s a marketing tip for an outstanding 2018 — give LinkedIn advertising a try. Facebook advertising works for many writers too, even in B2B (business to business) industries.
Let’s look at some exciting freelance opportunities which exist now, and which look all set for a brilliant 2018.
1. Self-publishing author support: editing and much more
Self-publishing authors are busy, especially those publishing six to 12 or more books a year. They need author support in story development as well as in editing and proofing.
As more traditionally published authors make the switch to indie, they’re looking for publishing support too. They need help in areas like multi-platform publishing.
If you want to offer author support services, consider creating advertising and social media packages. Monitoring advertising on AMS (Amazon Marketing Services) and Facebook is a big time sink, as is social media in general.
2. Social media copywriting — write to sell
Social media is here to stay, and it’s booming. If you’re familiar with social media scheduling apps like Tailwind, Edgar and Buffer, you can use your expertise to help your clients.
You’ll be writing advertising copy, and sourcing images, as well as scheduling social media posts for your clients.
A tip: get your clients on a retainer. As you get more clients, your monthly fees for social media management tools will mount up.
Another tip: charge appropriately. $100 an hour and up is more than reasonable for this kind of work.
3. Professional blogging: get retainer clients
Make this your favorite word for 2018, retainer.
You spend a lot of time getting up to speed on your clients’ businesses, and if you’re like many freelancers, you hesitate to charge what you’re truly worth.
You may have clients hiring you for a blog post here and there, but it’s not worth it. You’re losing income. Transition to retainer-only blogging clients as soon as you can. Some 86% of B2B businesses are blogging, and many hire bloggers.
Remember the advertising tip above. Using venues like LinkedIn and Facebook advertising will boost your income, and you’ll get quality clients.
4. Create online courses, presentations and podcasts
Teaching online is hot. You can find courses on just about anything, whether it’s breeding parrots, photography, or crafts. Many online course producers hire creators for their courses. If you have an area of expertise, set up alerts for projects on the major freelance marketplaces.
Many business people hate creating presentations. If you’ve got a talent for it, you can charge high fees for a slide deck and accompanying speech: people will gladly pay you.
Good presentations are a combination of:
- Persuasion; and
Watch some TED presentations on YouTube.
Tip: learn how to do presentations. If you want to take on projects over $10,000, you’ll need to pitch, which means creating and giving presentations.
5. Social media management and advertising: social media advertising is HOT
We’ve talked about advertising, and that’s the big trend I’ve seen developing over the past year.
Online advertising has become essential in many industries, whether it’s the old standby Google AdWords, Facebook advertising, or even “influencer” advertising.
Influencer marketing utilizes the visibility of the influencer in various manners:
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest posts
Video marketing on YouTube
Live video streaming and interactivity with the crowd
Interviews and other forms of PR
Many businesses can’t afford to hire advertising agencies to manage their social media advertising, so enter you, the enterprising freelancer.
It’s worth getting your feet wet in social media management and social media advertising.
A tip: get paid up front. I’ve noticed that many freelancers are asking new clients to pay up front. It’s a sensible policy, because you don’t have leverage when someone doesn’t pay, particularly if the someone is in another country.
You can allow established clients a little leeway, but not much.
Remember these two words: unsecured creditor. Businesses can and do go belly-up, and they’re the last words you ever want to hear if you’ve extended a few thousand dollars’ worth of credit to a client.
Bonus tip: create an advertising budget
All businesses need an advertising budget. Create yours for the coming year. It’s a legitimate business expense for freelancers. Start small with page promotions on Facebook.
Facebook lets you set a small daily budget, so you can’t over-spend.
Finally, keep this in mind. As I’ve said many times: step outside your comfort zone. If you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you always get.
Most importantly, have fun. You can usually measure your success by how much fun you’re having. 🙂
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