First Greenback to Six Figures

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You’ve in all probability already heard that you would be able to make six figures as a contract author, however this may sound like a fantasy if you happen to’re simply beginning your profession. 

Whether or not you’ve been rejected from a couple of low-paying jobs on Upwork otherwise you’re struggling to make quite a lot of hundred {dollars} monthly, the prospect of creating six figures as a contract author can sound like a fantasy.

Whereas these setbacks are discouraging, the important thing to changing into a six-figure freelancer is implementing a confirmed course of, bettering your writing expertise, and persevering by means of any challenges.

Fortuitously, loads of full-time freelance writers have achieved this success.

Constructing a profitable freelance writing enterprise that pays six figures isn’t easy, however if you happen to comply with a confirmed methodology and are keen to place within the work to stage up your writing expertise, it’s actually doable.

So beneath, we’ll define a confirmed step-by-step information that actual six determine copywriters have used to construct profitable freelance writing careers.

Step 1: Choose a Area of interest

Many new freelance writers promote that they will write for any area of interest as a result of they concern deciding on a selected writing area of interest will restrict their record of potential purchasers.

Nonetheless, employers wish to rent consultants, and promoting your self as a generalist will really repel potential purchasers. 

For instance, if an actual property firm is trying to rent a weblog submit author, they’ll search for somebody specializing in writing for actual property. So between the 2 writers beneath, the one promoting himself as an actual property specialist will certainly stand out to the hiring supervisor:

A specialized writer
An unspecialized writer's profile

Whereas good writers can often create high-quality content material for a number of niches, it’s nonetheless finest to place your self as an skilled in a selected area of interest. An added good thing about specializing in a selected area of interest is that you just’ll develop a community of purchasers quicker.   

So what’s a distinct segment, and the way do you choose one?

There are three essential classes of niches: 

  • Content material Kind: Some examples of various kinds of content material embrace emails, weblog posts, ebooks, ghostwriting (for books), social media content material, touchdown/gross sales pages, and video scripts.
  • Enterprise Sort: Some examples of enterprise sorts embrace SaaS corporations, ecommerce corporations, on-line programs, bloggers, and native companies.
  • Trade: Some examples of industries embrace pets, cryptocurrency, finance, actual property, digital advertising, journey, and healthcare.

So choose one specialty from every of the three classes above. Listed here are a couple of examples:

  • E mail copywriter for on-line course creators within the finance business
  • Weblog submit copywriter for SaaS corporations within the healthcare business
  • Social media content material author for bloggers within the journey business 

Whereas niching down shrinks your goal market (record of potential purchasers), it additionally shrinks the sphere of competitors and means that you can cost extra as you’ll be able to place your self as a specialised skilled. 

In case you take a look at the examples above, the true property specialist prices double what the generalist prices.

Digital Commerce Partners

Step 2: Create a Few High quality Writing Samples

Most hiring managers don’t have time to have a look at greater than two to a few items of content material, so that you solely want a couple of items of top quality content material related to your area of interest to win your first freelance writing gig. 

In case you presently don’t have any writing samples that match the area of interest you chose, listed below are two wonderful strategies to create writing samples:

  • Write a free pattern for somebody in your excellent goal market
  • Create your personal weblog/e-newsletter/social media web page

We’ll focus on methods to execute each of those beneath.

Write a free pattern for an influencer in your excellent goal market.

Writing free samples for an influencer in your area of interest is a superb technique as a result of it helps you create optimistic relationships with potential purchasers whereas concurrently constructing your portfolio. 

The important thing to correctly executing this technique is to put in writing the content material without cost after which ship the accomplished model to the potential shopper. 

Most newbie freelancers make the error of reaching out and asking if they will work without cost with out offering a accomplished pattern. 

These emails are literally annoying for busy influencers which are well-established within the business. 

Nonetheless, if you happen to ship the potential shopper a accomplished piece of content material, they’ll in all probability reply. Right here’s an ideal electronic mail template you should utilize:

Outreach to provide free samples

Even when they don’t publish the content material, you’ll be able to nonetheless add that pattern to your portfolio.

It’s additionally value noting that if you happen to’re going to do work without cost, intention excessive and attain out to well-established manufacturers/influencers in that business. If the model does publish your content material, it’ll considerably enhance your credibility!  

The truth is, even when you have already got loads of pattern writing items, doing free work for high-profile purchasers is a good way to construct business credibility and create relationships with well-connected people which may flip into wonderful referral sources.

Creating your personal content material

One other choice to construct your portfolio is to create your personal content material. 

For instance, if you wish to be a finance weblog author for SaaS corporations, you can begin your personal finance weblog. Whilst you may not be promoting SaaS merchandise, you’ll be able to nonetheless goal the identical key phrases {that a} SaaS firm would possibly goal.

This technique is great for constructing your portfolio since you’ll learn to write nice weblog posts and methods to develop a finance weblog. As SaaS corporations wish to rent a author that may produce outcomes – not simply phrases – it will make you stand out towards different candidates. 

The truth is, you would possibly discover that writing your personal finance weblog is extra worthwhile than being a contract author for different finance corporations.

Sadly, this technique isn’t all the time possible. For instance, this technique may not be reasonable if you wish to be a social media content material creator for native companies however don’t personal an area enterprise. Nonetheless, you may as an alternative use the primary technique and provide to create free content material for an area enterprise.

Notice: I purposefully don’t focus on methods to construct a writing portfolio web site, as a result of within the subsequent step, you’ll see that the technique you’ll use to shut your first paying shopper doesn’t contain making use of to any job boards or submitting a portfolio. The truth is, spending time designing a portfolio is usually a distraction from doing the onerous work of getting your first paying shopper. So as an alternative, we’ll focus solely on methods to create nice writing samples, and you then’ll ship these samples as hyperlinks or Google Doc attachments in your electronic mail pitch.

Step 3: Shut Your First Paying Shopper

In case you’re simply getting began and have minimal writing expertise, you would possibly really feel uncomfortable pitching purchasers, however one of the best ways to turn into a greater freelance author is to only do the job. 

As well as, many consumers are completely satisfied to pay beneficiant costs for freelancers who produce first rate work, comply with directions, and cling to deadlines. 

So upon getting three to 5 first rate pattern items, search out your first paying shopper. You’ll additionally really feel extra motivated to persevere upon getting your first paying shopper. We’ll focus on two strategies to get your first paying shopper:

  • Ask for referrals
  • Ship personalised chilly pitches (with a twist)

Asking For Referrals

To search out your first paying shopper, begin by asking for referrals from the purchasers you labored with without cost whereas constructing your writing samples. 

Assuming you probably did job, these purchasers will doubtless be more than pleased to refer you to pals.

In case you really feel awkward asking, right here’s a precise script you should utilize:

Script to ask your clients for referrals

It’s also possible to ask if that individual would think about mentioning you in Slack teams and different communities they’re a member of to unfold the phrase.

Once more, this is the reason working without cost for well-established business influencers with massive networks is far more helpful than working without cost for any random firm.

Ship a Customized Chilly Pitch (With a Twist)

Chilly pitches can work, however most freelancers don’t know methods to make a compelling provide.

Potential purchasers typically obtain tons of of generic pitches from writers every month, so most emails are instantly deleted.

Listed here are two killer methods to make your chilly pitch stand out:

  1. Ship them a free piece of content material they will publish, and inform them you’ll be able to create extra content material prefer it constantly if they’re keen to rent you.
  1. Pitch the potential shopper that you just’ll work with a selected content material advertising skilled on a platform like Readability or Intro and execute all the things the skilled recommends. This can be a win-win technique since you turn into a greater author and may justify charging a excessive value whereas the shopper will get a world-class skilled to look over the execution of their advertising course of.      

It’s additionally crucial to ship your pitch to the suitable individual on the right electronic mail tackle. In case you’re reaching out to a big SaaS or ecommerce firm, search for the content material advertising supervisor or (if there isn’t a content material supervisor) head/director of selling.

You possibly can simply search “advertising” or “content material” on the corporate’s LinkedIn profile to search out the suitable individual, and Hunter.io and Verifalia are wonderful assets to search out electronic mail addresses.

In case you can’t discover the individual’s electronic mail tackle, you can too contact them instantly on a social media platform like LinkedIn or Twitter. 

Whereas it could appear easy, these two methods are typically the simplest for getting your first paid freelance writing job.

Many more recent (and even some extra established) freelance writers struggling to shut purchasers make the error of mass making use of to author positions on job boards. 

Mass making use of isn’t a good suggestion as a result of swamped hiring managers often instantly delete any purposes that lack personalization. For instance, you’ll be able to see that the job submit beneath has over 200 candidates.

As well as, making use of to jobs locations you in direct competitors with different purposes, and lots of hiring managers received’t even see your software.

So as an alternative, refer again to your area of interest and attain out to corporations that aren’t promoting that they’re actively hiring for a contract writing place. Whereas this recommendation could appear counterintuitive, it’s extremely efficient since you aren’t competing with different candidates.  

The truth is, many corporations are actively hiring new writers, however don’t actively promote the place exactly as a result of most job boards generate too many candidates.  

One other frequent challenge that causes many writers to surrender earlier than getting their first shopper is spending an excessive amount of time creating a flowery web site or enterprise playing cards. 

Most purchasers don’t care about these items – they only need somebody that’s dependable and may do the job. So your time is healthier spent sending compelling emails with hyperlinks to wonderful writing samples.  

Step 4: Search Suggestions and Actively Make investments In Bettering Your Talent Set

As you’re employed with extra purchasers, you’ll discover that every one has barely completely different requests, so a key facet of an ideal author is searching for preliminary suggestions and adjusting to your shopper’s needs (inside cause).  

It’s vital to be decisive and personal your work (you don’t wish to consistently trouble purchasers and ask them in case your work is appropriate), however purchasers respect communicative freelance writers who take motion on suggestions. 

Along with gathering shopper suggestions, essentially the most profitable writers additionally search mentorship to stage up their freelance writing expertise. For instance, many freelance writers be part of content material writing programs, rent coaches, and take part in peer teams to enhance their expertise. 

In case you’re all in favour of becoming a member of a membership group that offers you direct entry to content material advertising coaches, stay interviews with business consultants, content material advertising programs, and a neighborhood of high-earning freelance writers, think about becoming a member of the Copyblogger Academy.  

It’s also possible to use a platform like Readability or Intro to schedule one-on-one teaching calls with world-class consultants.  

Lastly, think about making a aspect hustle the place you create your personal content material. For instance, if you happen to concentrate on writing emails for ecommerce websites, you may begin your personal dropshipping web site and write emails to promote these merchandise. 

We really helpful this in step two as a technique to construct your portfolio, but it surely’s value mentioning once more right here, as constructing your personal content material platform is a good way to grasp the ache factors your purchasers face with the intention to learn to ship higher outcomes

As purchasers are paying you to assist them develop their enterprise, having your personal undertaking is advantageous, as you should utilize it to run experiments and learn to enhance your expertise to drive extra gross sales. It will finally make you a greater marketer and allow you to perceive how your companies match into the bigger progress technique.

Step 5: Scale Your Profession

Getting your first few purchasers is one problem, however {most professional} writers will let you know that preserving your purchasers and producing regular earnings over a number of months is the most important problem.

If you wish to remodel your freelance writing enterprise from a aspect hustle to a full-time job, listed below are a couple of methods to enhance earnings stability. 

Be Dependable And Constant To Earn Referrals

First, all the time produce high-quality work, reply to purchasers inside 24 hours, and submit your tasks on time. Abiding by these three guidelines is crucial to each retaining purchasers and making a community of referrals.

The truth is, essentially the most profitable freelance writers take a look at every new shopper as a brand new potential referral associate moderately than a one-time income. 

After getting a number of purchasers and a few case research demonstrating your work, create a easy web site with shopper testimonials, case research, and your writing service packages.

You’ll quickly attain a ceiling the place you’ll be able to not tackle extra writing purchasers, however there are a couple of alternative ways you’ll be able to proceed to scale your earnings with out overextending your self.

Enhance Pricing

Growing pricing is the simplest progress lever, and most purchasers received’t even bat an eye fixed if you happen to enhance your costs. 

It’s also possible to type referral partnerships with lower-level companies/freelance writers and ship them purchasers that may’t afford to proceed working with you.

This can be a win-win state of affairs as you’ll be able to earn a referral associate charge and hold a high-quality shopper base.

If most of your purchasers can’t afford to pay a better value, you would possibly wish to think about shifting upmarket and concentrating on bigger companies that may afford to pay extra. 

Require Lengthy-Time period Contracts

The subsequent choice to scale your earnings is to require long-term partnership contracts. 

As churn is likely one of the crucial challenges that many freelancers face, preserving your present purchasers is a good way to extend your annual earnings.

Provide Productized Companies With Distinctive, Confirmed Processes

Lastly, essentially the most profitable freelancers spend numerous time studying extra about their shopper’s ache factors after which create distinctive methods and processes to constantly remedy these ache factors. 

In case you can present your purchasers that you’ve a selected, documented methodology to resolve the precise ache level they’ve extra effectively than the typical freelancer, you’ll have the ability to cost extra and generate extra constant demand.

For instance, if that the majority of your purchasers wrestle with “content material mill” or “me-too” model content material, incorporate skilled interviews into your writing course of and use that to show the way you’ll create distinctive content material. This alone is usually greater than sufficient to make you stand out from the group and command increased costs. 

In case you’re undecided what your shopper’s ache factors are, spend a while speaking to them or ask in Slack channels devoted to your target market.

Take Motion At present

One of many largest errors aspiring freelancers make is spending an excessive amount of time studying about methods to construct a contract enterprise moderately than simply getting began. 

This submit has all the data you want to get began, so take motion at this time, as expertise is the perfect trainer.

After you get began, search suggestions and stage up your expertise. You possibly can be part of the Copyblogger e-newsletter for extra freelance writing suggestions or be part of the Copyblogger Academy to be taught from different like-minded freelance writers.

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