Starting anything new in your life is difficult, but not unattainable. Just imagine, the first baby steps that you took in fear, it was because of a continuous struggle, practice, and support. It was new for you and your mother, but you achieved it.
Have patience, take those baby steps to switch freelance writing and one day you will be earning a full-time livelihood out of your passion.
Ask these 5 basic questions before you plan a switch
- Are you a Risk taker? Do you like taking risks and fighting with the challenges
- Are you a self-starter? Because no boss or manager will be there to push you hard in meeting the deadlines
- Will you be able to continue nurturing creativity, motivation, productivity?Companies arrange regular seminars, training, and fresher courses, and sessions with the seniors that is a complete dose of learning. You will miss it; do you have an alternative for this?
- How will you survive if unable to grab a project for a month or two?
- Are you good at managing finances? As you will be paying from your pocket for the benefits you avail in the current job like lunch, paid leaves, medical coverage, fuel allowance, etc.
Consider these questions as an assessment test for your skills; confidence, motivation, patience, consistency, and a can-do approach. If most of the answers are yes, proceed to the following points to switch freelance writing from a full day job.
Volunteer Writing Tasks
Every organization, blog, magazine, and media houses love to have creative write-ups free of cost. But, it does not mean whatever you write will be accepted and published.
They have a comprehensive document of guidelines which serves as a scale to judge the quality of content you write.
Browse blogs of your interest, find ways to contribute them with a variety of topics, read their submission rules, and contact accordingly. Don’t give up after contact a few blogs or digital magazines.
Keep on outreaching your favorite blogs, and news and media outlets to get a break without getting money in return. It will prove your pass to an enticing career in writing.
Interact with senior authors and copywriters
Connecting with seniors in your field helps you know the deep market insights right at the start of your career that may take you years to learn on your own.
Social media networks are the most effective tools to search for mentors in your niche. Find and befriend to a productive chat.
Utilize email messages for your detailed introduction as most of the social media users are reluctant to receive connection requests from strangers. You may be an expert in your trait, but for them, you are a complete stranger.
Do not expect that they will contact as soon as they find your email. Their emails are usually flooded by a bunch of notifications which they take notice of its defined priority.
Have patience, you will get a reply if you remain consistent in interacting with more and more of your like-mind people.
Calculate Expenses to Define Income Goals
It is the expenses that may force you to put your hard effort in achieving a specific income goal. If you keep relying upon your savings, you are not going to make enough money in the initial month that can help you survive for long.
Before planning any plan, get to know the amount you need to run your house. Find it by calculating house rent, bills, grocery, loan repayment, and other petty expenses.
As a quick check, you can initially consider your current salary to be the income goal. And, move on to increase the target for the months ahead.
Improve your Business development skills
Moving to a full time freelancing may require you to be a jack of all trades, and a master of your own skill. It may demand you to be an active marketer and business developer, who is not confined to writing and editing tasks only.
Learn different ways of grabbing your clients. It can be from freelancing marketplaces like Guru, Upwork, Freelancer, or Fiverr, etc. but, if you want to build a business model of your own, you can proceed with a personal blog or website, or bring in traffic from other blogs, forums, or social media platforms.
For this, you may need a strong portfolio and communication skills to have an impressive first impression on your client. Else, the freelancing platforms don’t require building a portfolio because the rating and reviews from your existing clients become precedents of your skills and expertise for potential buyers.
Continue expanding your knowledge bank like starting from the essentials of content writing, and moving on to writing processes for advanced copy-writing, etc.
The people who stand with you and believe in you at every startup are your close friends and family members. Spread the word among them that you have started freelancing, and they will bring your referral clients who are going to stay with you for long.
Gear up to grab clients
Finding clients is full of hassle, specifically when you have to look after the existing projects and go for more in order to have a queue.
It is a painstaking job. But, if you get busy in a project and forget to pitch further clients, you will end up with a gap that may demotivate you towards the goals of becoming a full-time freelance writer.
Spare half an hour in the wee hours, if you belong to a developing country and have to interact with clients of Eastern Time. Or, put out a few hours on the weekend if your potential clients are locals. Call them or arrange a meeting. Mostly, clients are willing to meet on Saturdays.
Take the leap when ready
Move when the clients and income target is achieved. The transition from a full day job to permanent freelancing is only easy if you are consistent in pitching for new projects while retaining friendly terms with existing clients.
Plan to move, when you are sure that you can maintain the income target from at least the existing clients. Consider the existing clients as a bonus.
On a safe side, if you are quite comfortable with a full day job, talk to your boss, if he can put your on the freelance or part-time role for a month or two before you finally leave the company.
It will be a safe passage for you and the company as well. You will have multiple sources of income, while the company will avail easy recruitment and training of your replacement.
Conclusion – Switch Freelance Writing
Freelancing is a completely different concept that doing a business or working as an employee. It is something in between that gives you the freedom to select a workplace that can be a corner in your home, a community club, or a co-working space.
To some extent, you can decide your working hours as you are not bound to work between 9 to 5. You are your own boss, but stay accountable to clients for quality and deadlines.
Same are the reasons that freelancing is considered a serious business. Explore its pros and cons, and decide to move after honest self-assessment, else you may fail in freelancing and lose a promising job as well.