When we were younger, you were asked what we wanted to do with your life. At such a young age, how can you answer such a question? I mean, who the hell knows! Well, I sort of knew. I have always wanted to be a writer.
But was it establishing my own freelance writing business? That was not a part of the dream or the plan.
Until one day, I realized I had let life get in my way, and others dictate how I would live.
With my own business up and running, I want to inspire others to follow their dreams.
I’m giving you a step-by-step guide to starting your own freelance business from scratch.
Oh, and did I mention you will get a free checklist when you sign up for my newsletter?
Choose your business focus.
When it comes to freelance writing, you will discover no shortage of niches or topics. From medical to tech and everything in between is an opportunity for writers.
Personally, I’m not too fond of niches; I feel it puts one into a corner, but having said that, I think you should choose a niche when you are beginning, so you have direction. When you feel confident enough, you can change the niche.
What services will you offer?
This is where you get into the planning of your business. Hashing this detail out will help you down the road from many headaches. Use your chosen niche to help guide what type of services you want to provide your clients.
Some examples of services are Blog writing, article writing, UK Copywriting, white papers, medical dictation, and much more.
Your mission statements
While it sounds easy, coming up with your mission statement is complex. But it doesn’t have to be. Your statement is why you are in business; why do you exist? What is your ultimate goal, and why are you operating?
Here are some examples of mission statements:
Patagonia: We’re in business to save our home planet.
IKEA: To create a better everyday life for the many people.
Nordstrom: To give customers the most compelling shopping experience possible.
Prezi: To reinvent how people share knowledge, tell stories, and inspire their audiences to act.
Coming up with your business name
If you look on the internet regarding advice for naming your business, you will pull out your hair. Some say you should not give your business a hard to pronounce name, and while that is sound advice, others will say not to name your business after you.
That may be a challenge if you want to sell your business later.
Honestly, I think whatever works for you, and if it’s catchy, do it.
However, keep in mind that you want to make sure that your business name hints at what you are offering.
Getting set up to open your doors
This is the exciting part of your journey and also the most strenuous. While I personally like to create my templates and client paperwork, if you are ok with taking a shortcut for these things, do it. You can find some awesome freelance writing templates online. My favorite is from katboogaard.com
I purchased her packages, and they have, served me well—everything else I created from scratch-and tears.
Set up your office
You want to get a comfortable chair and a great desk. You also want to have an excellent internet connection and other office supplies that you will need.
Please don’t go overboard with purchasing things like post-it notes or pens unless you need them. Remember, once your business takes off, you can add items to your office. This is your office, so make it as lovely as you like. Add pictures of places you love, your family or pets, and make it your space. Keep it as decluttered as possible.
Things you will need right away: computer, printer, stapler, pens/pencils, notepad.
Thankfully there are several bookkeeping software on the market. When I did my research, my choices were between Quickbooks and Freshbooks. And while they both have great features, I ultimately chose Freshbooks because it is tailored more for freelancers.
Essentially, this is where you create policies, procedures, and the blueprint of how you want to fun your business. You don’t want to have conflicting information for each client, and you want to be prepared, so you are professional.
At this point, you do want to start thinking about registering your business. Find out the costs for your state or county, and then understand what is required of you regarding taxes and filing.
Simple Marketing Plan and get that Client!
Marketing trends these days are all about storytelling and making connections with your audience.
Though making emotional questions has always been a part of the marketing process, it is even more so now. But don’t worry, marketing is less complicated than you think.
Set your launch date
Your first goal, so you know when you implement your marketing plan, is to set the day you will launch your business. This is a great time to share with your social media.
Share behind the scenes. “What are you working on?” Talk about your mistakes and the lessons you learned from others. Start excitement that you are going to be launching your freelance business.
While you’re at it, have your family and friends spread the word about your behind the scenes and upcoming business launch.
Word of mouth is the most important and holy grail of marketing.
Create a client Persona
To understand who you want to reach, you need to research them and then create a persona. Learn their fears, their strengths, what they do for a living, and challenges. (Check out our upcoming marketing packet to help you plan your business/services!) COMING SOON! Sign up for our early bird special!
Set up your LinkedIn account/profile
Setting up your LinkedIn account the right way, the professional way can be amazing for your business.
I have gotten several clients from LinkedIn, and I will tell you there is nothing better than having a client come to you! Also, networking is done on LinkedIn.
This is where your connections think of you if they need a writer or put you in touch with their connections to help you get a client.
Lastly, perfect how you want to speak to clients. Have your templates like creative briefs, client questionnaires, and client intakes ready to go so you always know what to ask your client and guide the client to provide you with the information you need to create excellent writing for them.
Establishing your own freelance writing business from scratch is much easier than you may think. While I may have boggled you down with a load of information and a checklist to help you, you can do this!
You are a dreamer; you are a planner, and you want to write. So, pick up your pens, pencils, markers, keyboards, whatever you use to write, and start building your empire!
Oh, hey, don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter and get your free download.