At the end of last year, I decided that I would take my PF interest to the next level and start writing about it. I could have started my blog and then not gotten noticed for like six months, but I wasn’t really interested in that just yet. I wanted to write for blogs that people actually read. And with that, I started freelancing.
A lot of people aren’t sure how to get in the freelance business and I wasn’t sure either. But I’ll let you in on a little secret – it’s really not that difficult. If you are somewhat interesting and can string words together somewhat competently, you’re pretty much in. Now it does take a bit more skill than that to make the big bucks, but breaking into the freelancing world does not require you to be J.K. Rowling. That’s the truth.
Today I’m going to tell you how I did it and how I continue to do it. I’ve convinced several people to let me write for them, so I kinda know what I’m talking about. If you are thinking that everyone and their dog already wrote about freelancing, I promise you my post is different. Because I’m not afraid to tell you that you need to grab freelancing by the balls and do what you need to do. Preach.
Erin’s No Nonsense Guide to Getting Freelance Work
1) Start cold calling emailing. You know, like in sales? Just start freaking emailing people. As an extremely introverted (and socially awkward) person, email is like my religion. I can sell myself via email in a way that I just can’t do in person or even via Skype.
Email bloggers that you admire and that you are very familiar with. And dear god, please be yourself. Writers are creative people and you don’t need to send them cookie cutter professional emails. Be appropriate but be memorable. If the bloggers you email are not looking for writers, don’t badger them. Those connections can help you down the line if you play it right.
What I did: I literally got jobs by emailing people letting them know that I’m awesome and they need me to write for them. I snagged my first freelance job without a single writing sample, so obviously it worked.
2) Social media is your best friend. Do you know where freelance jobs are generally “advertised”? Twitter and Facebook. Make sure you are following your favorite blogs and pay attention to their posts. Don’t miss out on opportunities because you are too cool for Facebook.
What I did: I’ve gotten work from both Twitter & Facebook by paying attention to people who were hiring. You know what I didn’t do? Wait. Jump on that and email them right away. Next week (maybe even tomorrow) that position will be filled.
3) Stalk blog posts about freelancing. You know those posts that talk about freelancing and side hustles (like this one)? Go check out the comments. Guaranteed there are a few that say “I’m thinking about hiring someone soon” or “Wow, I wish I had some help on my blog”. Email those people immediately and make “soon” now and “I wish” I have.
What I did: This is how I got started in freelancing. I have picked up two ghost writing gigs this way that eventually led to bigger and better things. Pay attention, folks.
4) Join a group of freelancers. Not only will you have access to some awesome freelance opportunities that you wouldn’t have heard about otherwise, you will also make some great connections. There is always something you don’t know that seasoned freelancers can teach you. Join a club and listen.
What I did: I joined The Freelancers Club, founded by the talented and fabulous Carrie Smith of Careful Cents. I am notified about sweet freelance jobs (no joke, I just got one of these emails while writing this) and get to converse about freelancing with people who are way smarter and more experienced than me. It’s dope. Yes, I just said dope.
5) Grow a pair. I know it’s scary to put yourself out there but you have to. Saying you want to freelance and then not going for it tells me that you don’t want it enough. You will probably screw up a few times. You will DEFINITELY get rejected a few times. Life goes on.
In personal finance, everyone always says it is better to do SOMETHING only partially right than do absolutely nothing. You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take and all that other motivational crap.
Just freaking do something. Today. Right now. Go email a blogger you admire and say you want to work for them. Chances are they will say no. Then email another one. Then another. Take action or don’t – but just stop waiting for something to happen on its own because it won’t.
What I did: Obviously I did this as I have freelancing clients/bosses/bestest friends in the whole wide world. And now I get paid to write. Which is the most awesome thing ever.
If you know anyone looking to break into the freelancing world, forward this on to them! If you are looking to expand your client base even more, check out my post on being a yes woman/man in freelancing. If you are potential employer looking for an awesome freelancer to add to your team, check out my portfolio and hiring page.
Alright guys, who wants to be a freelancer? What are you going to do to get there? Did I talk about balls too much? Happy Friday!