Whenever my my mentoring clients ask me what makes a “perfect” freelancer, I always end up using a lot of “P” words to make my point.
It’s become such a common question in my sessions that I decided to make a blog post about it.
If you’ve ever wondered what elements make up a great freelancer, this is the post for you.
Here are my seven favorite “P” words to describe freelance writing success:
Success won’t come overnight. You have to be patient.
There’s a lot of waiting around involved in freelance writing success. You have to wait for editors and clients to write back to your pitches, you have to wait for clients to pay you, you have to wait to become a “big deal” blogger in the Internet.
It also pays to be patient in that you shouldn’t rush into the freelancing lifestyle. Plan things out. Get your website up, create a freebie for your audience, and know your mission statement before you begin.
Just because it pays to be patient, doesn’t mean you can sit around doing nothing! Perseverance is a HUGE part of successful freelance writing.
You have to keep sending out pitches to editors and clients. When the going gets tough, you have to make the choice to keep going.
I’ll be blunt here: Some people just don’t have the right personality type for a successful freelancing career. And that’s okay. It’s not for everyone.
A lot of people will have read my first two points about patience and perseverance and balked. They’d much rather have an “easy” normal job that guarantees a steady paycheck. I get that. I was one of those people for a long time myself.
To be a successful freelance writer, you need to have a “go getter” personality. You have to be willing to put yourself “out there” every single day, whether you’re successful that day or not. Are you willing to do that?
You’ll need to be prompt when it comes to meeting deadlines. No one likes a freelancer who’s always late on delivery.
You’ll also need to be prompt when it comes to responding to e-mails from potential clients. You don’t want to let them slip away, if they’re a good one!
Part of being prompt means putting your perfectionism behind you. There’s no room for it when it comes to successful freelance writing. For one: “perfect” doesn’t exist. Forget about it. You need to focus on getting the work done, not striving for the “perfect” written piece that will never, ever be. (Perfectionism is just another form of procrastination — and you can’t afford to dilly-dally when it comes to meeting deadlines!).
You have to love what you do. Whether you’re a freelance writer or something else, you have to be passionate about what services or products you’re selling.
If you’re bored with what you’re writing, your audience will be bored reading it. Choose a niche that you can really get behind!
It pays to be picky when you’re a freelancer. Choose clients who are worth your time and will pay you what you’re worth.
Pickiness also goes a long way when it comes to proofreading and editing. Just don’t get caught up in trying to make things “perfect” (see #4).
Even through “the public” is no longer in your face like at a retail or fast food job, this is still a customer service industry. You’ll have to deal with people.
This means being pleasant and polite with every interaction you have.
And, there you have it. My seven favorite “P” words for freelancing success!
Can you think of any other “P” words that describe freelancing that I missed? Let me know in the comments!
Lauren Spear (née Tharp) is the owner and creator of the multiple award-winning LittleZotz Writing. She’s written hundreds of bylined posts helping freelance writers to become BETTER freelance writers. Thousands if you count all the articles she’s ghostwritten (but she’s not allowed to talk about most of those).