Truth be told, there is so much work for freelance writers … yet so little time to get it all done. When you’re first starting out as a freelance writer, it’s hard to imagine ever being in a position where you have the power to say “no” to clients.
But ultimately, after reading this article, the challenge will no longer be finding new clients, but rather figuring out how to make even more money by saying “yes” to the clients you already have, without adding more time to your workday.
How can you achieve this? By becoming more efficient.
No matter how productive I am, I’m always striving to get better. And it’s helped me improve my output over the years, as well as my income.
By doing things faster, you’ll have the ability to take on more projects. Or, you’ll be able to free up some time in your day while making the same amount of money — ultimately allowing you to enjoy this freelance writer’s life that much more.
Here are few tips I picked up from a master copywriter over the years, which are different from the normal “productivity tips” you’ve probably read about over and over again.
First, find the best time of day where you are the most focused and creative, then protect that time and leverage it at all costs.
Over the years I’ve learned to develop the successful qualities of self-discipline and self-motivation.
I say that because instead of trying to single out a certain time during the day, I make myself focused and creative any time during the day when I sit down at my writing desk.
For some it’s first thing in the morning, for others, it could be late in the evening.
Now, I may still be pretty young, but I can certainly feel age catching up to me. Nevertheless, I still have a pretty active and lively imagination. In fact, the majority of the time the ideas I have are constantly swimming around in the deep oceans of my subconscious mind throughout the day.
Now, with all that said, I understand that not all writers in this industry may have my lively and active mind, or a strong essence of self-discipline, so for some, the slightest distraction (shiny things on Facebook) can drive them away from their goal.
That is why it important to locate that block of time where you are most focused and creative, and then protect it at all cost.
Second, find smart clients who know what they want, and become the writer who can provide it.
This way you can launch yourself into writing assignments without having to ask for more information, or having to wait for approval from the client to proceed with extra writing services that may come up.
The best clients to work with are the ones who know what they want and believe that you are the only one who can provide it at the quality and value only you can deliver.
Not only will you make more as a writer, but you’ll also spend less time being hassled by clients who keep requesting revisions after revisions — simply because they aren’t sure what their goal is, and don’t know how to work with professional writers.
You can also accomplish this by developing an “intake process” or an interview-type meeting with the client.
Your goal is to get everything you need from the client in this meeting in order for you to do (and finish) the job with a Spirit of Excellence.
Not only will you be able to work faster, but your client will also appreciate how much you appear to value his or her time!
And, finally, find out what kind of work you do best, and do it with speed and excellence.
It’s an easy mistake to say “yes” to everything and anything that comes your way. And, while it can be a learning experience at the beginning …
As you discover what projects you do enjoy and are good at, you’ll ultimately want to avoid projects that are outside of your core skill set, or what I refer to as your strength zone, (unless, of course, you’re purposely trying to increase your skillset) because those types of projects always take more time to write.
Now keep in mind, this last tip is about becoming efficient and more productive as you find that you may be running out of time, or hitting close to that deadline.
With that said, when you’re starting out, it’s perfectly understandable to accept projects simply to try them out. How else will you know what you enjoy or don’t enjoy?
I also invite you to share your own efficiency and productivity tips with me in the comments below. Like I said, no matter how productive I am, I’m always looking to improve.
Regardless of what writing path you are on, I want to invite you to share your writer’s life story with me in the comments below.
And if you are looking to finally start earning what your writing is really worth? Allow me to be your Writing Coach, and let’s take this journey together.
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William Ballard is one of the most sought-after business and leadership coaches in the world. As founder and CEO of William Ballard Enterprise, his core business development and leadership programs are designed to be a catalyst for entrepreneurs and leaders who want to enhance performance and make a meaningful difference in their business, their lives, and the world. To learn more about how to get back to your first love as a writer, subscribe to the “Living The Writer’s Dream Blog”.