Coming across as a professional in the freelancing world can be a struggle for beginners. A lot of this comes from self-doubt that you may feel when you are marketing yourself to potential clients.
At the end of the day, clients don’t want to hire someone who doesn’t believe in themselves. They want to hire a professional that knows their worth. Here are some common mistakes that you may be making that make you look like an amateur when reaching out to writing clients.
1. You Don’t Have a Niche
Possibly the most common mistake that freelance writers make is not “niching down.” This is something that the majority of us do since being a general writer makes it easier to get a variety of jobs.
It is very possible to make a good living as a general freelance writer but there are downsides to this. Unless you specialize in a specific niche, you aren’t going to be able to land those high-paying freelance writing jobs.
The reality is that there is a lot of competition because there are thousands of freelance writers applying for the same jobs. The only way to set yourself apart is to be a professional in that area.
2. You Don’t Have Set Rates
If you are trying to land those desirable jobs, you may be tempted to not provide set rates for your work. It is easy to fall into this habit since we all want to land our dream writing job, and have a reliable income each month.
You may be afraid that your rates are too high and that potential clients will not be willing to hire you. This can lead to you not being firm in the rates that you offer, making you come across as an amateur who doesn’t believe in yourself.
It is normal to have different rates for different kinds of work. This often depends on how much research is necessary, as well as whether you charge hourly or by word count.
The most important thing is that you know your rates, and you make them very clear when reaching out to potential clients.
3. You Aren’t Communicating
Nothing comes across as unprofessional as not knowing how to communicate with people. When you are freelance writing, you most likely have to keep in touch with your clients on a daily or weekly basis.
This can include communicating by email, text messages, chat rooms, or phone calls. No matter how you are communicating, you want to make sure you come across as professional and polite.
You should be easy to contact and you should always respond courteously, even if you are having issues with a client. It is usually a good idea to not be too chatty or familiar with clients, but to instead maintain a professional relationship with them.
You also need to make sure that you are checking any written communication for spelling or punctuation errors. As a writer, everything you write should be of the highest standards because even your correspondence showcases your skills.
4. You Aren’t Charging for Quality
Another common issue that freelance writers make is not charging enough. It is difficult to start to charge more for your work because this is a scary transition that is going to push away a group of potential clients.
There are thousands of clients out there who want to pay pennies for the work that you provide. If you don’t charge much, you are guaranteed to have a surplus of work, but you will be working all the time for very little.
Not charging enough shows potential clients that you don’t value the work that you are providing. A high-quality client is going to look at this as someone who either doesn’t write their own articles, or does not believe in their abilities.
As you gain experience, you should raise your rates to showcase this because you are providing a valuable service.
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