People everywhere are turning to freelancing. A recent study showed that in the United States alone there are 53 million freelancers – that’s 34% of the American workforce. But with all the possibilities for employment, why would someone choose to freelance? There are a number of reasons why people choose to freelance:
To create a side income to pay those bills, or save up for that trip more quickly
For control over your salary
Being able to work when you choose to
To finally have the chance to do what you want to do
Location independent work
If you found yourself nodding at your screen and thinking, “Yeah! I want that!” you’re in luck.
Over the next few days you’ll be receiving 4 steps to launching your freelance writing career.
These steps are critical to a freelancer’s success, because they will allow you to avoid “cheap labor” status and move quickly to premium work.
Some of these steps may come easier to you than others. Don’t worry about that, we’re all talented in different ways.
The important thing is that you take the time and put in the work.
Without further ado, here’s Step #1!
Before you can start your freelance writing career, you need to have an idea of what you’re aiming for. Freelancing is one of the most flexible career modes, but that flexibility can be a detriment if you don’t plan for it.
Pull out a sheet of paper and let’s start brainstorming.
Define your “Why?”
Why do you want to freelance in the first place? As you’re thinking about this, it’s okay to start broad, but ultimately, you’ll want to be as specific as possible. The more specific and personal your why is, the more likely you’ll be able to stay motivated to succeed.
An example of a bad “Why?”:
I want to earn more money.
An example of a good “Why?”:
I want to earn an extra $1,000 per month working 10 hours per week so that I can pay off my student loans in 3 years.
By being specific, you give yourself a measurable goal that you can track your progress against.
Once you’ve figured out your “Why?”, it’s time to figure out what it will take to achieve it. For most people, that will mean answering these questions:
How much do I want to make?
How much am I willing to work?
Answering these two questions will tell you how much you’ll need to charge.
If we take our good “Why?” example, we see that $1,000 per month working 10 hours per week means that you need to make at least $25 per hour (Assuming there are 4 weeks in a month).
But don’t forget the hidden costs.
As a freelancer, you have billable hours (working on a client project) and non-billable hours (chasing leads, sharpening your skills, etc.). If we assume that for every 1 hour you spend working for a client you spend 2 non-billable hours, your rate would actually end up being around $75 per billable hour.
Don’t worry if that feels out of reach. $75 per hour is actually well within your grasp, especially if you position yourself well.
In my next email, we’ll get into some of the nitty gritty of exactly how to position yourself as a premium writer to put that $75 per hour well within your grasp.