How to start your freelance writing business with no money
You’re desperate to leave your 9–5. Trouble is you don’t have any money to give freelance writing a bash. Here’s how to start.
Get yourself on LinkedIn
Decision-makers and business professionals are all on LinkedIn, just waiting to read your posts.
I’ve found it challenging to share my thoughts and opinions on LinkedIn — but it gets easier the more you do it.
To get in front of decision-makers, you need to take that first step and start creating your LinkedIn profile.
The free version is just fine for you right now.
Headline: essential and necessary to say what you do and who you do it for.
My headline currently looks like this:
I create blog posts & thought pieces for small businesses to help them achieve industry authority | Content Strategist
It says what I do and who I aim to help. Simple. I’ve also got a keyword-focused job title in there ‘content strategist.’ It’s important to highlight what you do and what you’re ‘classed as.’
Now, onto the ‘summary’ section of your profile:
Say how you help the businesses and why they should choose to work alongside you.
Take the time to comment and like and generally engage with content and your target market on LinkedIn — this gets you noticed quicker.
This is what my summary currently says:
“Are you a Managing Director?
Do you feel your team lack the time or the resources to create engaging content for your audience?
Would you like to be seen as a thought leader in your industry?
I can help by creating expert-level authority content pieces.
Why work with me?
• I’m an experienced content marketer with over 7 years’ experience
• I’m passionate about helping you save time and drive brand awareness
• I’m CIM qualified
• I’m personable and approachable
• There are no long-term contracts
• 1–2–1 service management and delivery
You don’t have to keep everything in-house, by outsourcing this content to me means no overheads and your team can focus on what really matters — your clients!
Drop me a message on LinkedIn to discuss how I can help you.”
REMEMBER — this isn’t set in concrete. If you feel you’re not getting anywhere with your current profile, change it up. Just don’t change it too often; otherwise, you’ll never give it enough time to understand if it’s working or not.
Sign up to freelancing platforms
Now, I mostly HATE freelancing platforms. They pay very little money, and there’s always someone waiting in the wings to undercut you on price.
When I first started out two years ago, I had no savings, and I hated my job, and I needed money.
Doing these kinds of jobs helps you get some money and — most importantly — it gives you projects you can turn into case studies.
They give you PROOF. It highlights to your target audience that you can do this and you can do it well.
Then, upload these case studies to your LinkedIn profile as PDFs.
Some freelancing sites I used and got paid work from:
- People Per Hour — most money earned through this one
Still with me?
Now you’re all set up on LinkedIn, start a blog on Medium. To start a website, it’s not free — you have to pay for a domain, a hosting package, and you have to invest some serious time into creating a website for your audience.
This can come later, right now we need to get you writing some stuff — after all, that’s what you’re selling!
What better way to show you can write by writing blog posts?
Submit posts to Medium publications and write, write and then write some more.
The more relevant to your target audience, the better. You can share your posts on LinkedIn — driving traffic to your Medium blog or upload the pieces as articles on LinkedIn and BOOM — you’re getting your work out there.
Keep plugging away because you’ve got this.
When you start making a little money
You’ve got a little bit of money coming in, ace — congratulations! You should invest in a website — I don’t mean hand over thousands of pounds to a website designer, design your own drag and drop site.
It’s a lead generation website, you’re not taking any fancy payments or building an eCommerce store…yet.
I’ve built websites with Wix.com and WordPress. They’re easy to create, and they can look pretty nice.
I’d also invest in a good contract creation tool when you have the money.
This stops you getting screwed over when clients decide they don’t want to pay for work you’ve already completed for them. 🙄
I use a piece of software called PandaDoc. Professional-looking contracts and proposal templates and e-sign. This software helps you look the part and keeps your progress with client proposals clear and straightforward.
Raring to go? Go be a FREELANCER!
What’s it really like to be freelance? I spoke with ten freelancers to find out: The Honest Truth About Freelancing