Honesty is the Best Policy

We’ve always been told that honest is the best policy. Simplistic as it may be, this piece of advice is often ignored, especially after years of experience in the professional setting.

Being upfront with a potential client brings the relationship to another level. Not only does it reveal your vulnerability, but it also shows your commitment to a cause, their goals and ambitions.

There are often times where a potential client, or customer, may challenge your true intentions. By being candid about your skills and abilities, you welcome questions and criticisms. You also show that you’re human, and that’s better than being a robot like many of your competitors.


Managing Time: Work Smarter, Not Harder

When you’re working for yourself, you’re the one in charge of your schedule, which, for some, can be a daunting task, depending on your ability to manage time efficiently.

Working from home presents its own challenges: turning off your favorite Netflix show, waiting for the cable guy to fix your Wi-Fi, trying to get others in your household to understand that, yes, you are actually working.

Managing your time as a freelancer isn’t about being the fastest writer. Producing quality work will bring you closer to the connections you’ll need to find ongoing work. Add value to your content and clients will find you.


Know Your Worth

When applying for gigs or sitting down with potential clients, know how much you’re worth ahead of time. There’s nothing wrong with negotiating rates, but both parties need to be reasonable about it.

Being underpaid doesn’t benefit you or your client. Don’t be afraid to push when it comes to the value you bring to the table. Not every assignment is right for you, so walk away if that’s what’s best.

Pay Attention to Detail

Paying attention to detail pertains to all aspects of freelance writing, especially before beginning a project.

Make sure you understand what a potential client needs. Set expectations, and do your homework before accepting any assignment.

There will be times when you realize you’re probably not the best candidate for a gig, even when a prospective client thinks you are. If your gut tells you something is wrong, take a step back and conduct additional research.

Ask questions, and don’t forget: It’s okay to pass.

Don’t Forget: Stay Connected

It’s now easier than ever to stay connected with your clients when you’re on the road, so take advantage of technological advancements.

At the very least, bring something larger than your cellphone. You’ll need a device you can use to get work done. A tablet with a keyboard should work for most of your needs. If possible, bring a smaller laptop (I’m typing this up on an ASUS Chromebook C300).

A cellphone can only get you so far. For example, it’s great for answering emails or searching the web, but it’s not useful if you need to make edits to a blog post.

Traveling isn’t a good excuse for slacking off on your responsibilities. Your clients will notice your lack of commitment.

Read Before You Submit

Read before submitting. This might sound simple enough, but it’s advice that’s typically not followed, especially by writers who are just starting out.

There’s nothing worse than sending an editor an article that doesn’t fit the overall image of the publication he or she is managing content for, even if your writing is praiseworthy.

Take some time out of your day to really get to know the brands you’re hoping to get something published in. Find out who the readers are and the topics editors are focusing on. It isn’t easy to nail everything down right away, but going through and familiarizing yourself with publications will make the submission process a tad bit less stressful in the long run.