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Freelance Writing Is Selling – Selling Yourself as a Freelance Writer

Freelance writers need to know how to sell their skills to find work.I used to think that as long as a person has mad writing skills, he/she will not have a hard time making it as a freelance writer.  As it turns out, I was wrong.  There is more to succeeding as a freelance writer than just having excellent writing skills.

Freelance writers are, essentially, salespeople.  Just like everyone else, they are out there to sell their skills.  A freelance writer who cannot sell what he/she has effectively will not have much to pay the bills at the end of the month.

One veteran writer I met in college even compared earning a living as a writer, tongue-in-cheek, to whoring one’s self.  While we certainly don’t want to think of ourselves that way, I don’t think he’s that far off the mark.

If you want to sell your skills as a freelance writer, you need to have a portfolio.

Your portfolio is a collection of your best work so far.  They can be essays or stories you wrote for yourself, or projects you made for your previous clients.

Of course, it may be difficult for you to come up with a portfolio while you are still starting out, but you can begin by writing your own essays about things that interest you.  You can collect these essays and put them in a blog.

Selling your skills also means you have to be personable.

I admit that I’m a socially awkward person and I don’t easily get along with people.  Thankfully, if you pay attention to how you write your emails to your clients, especially your application letters and your project bids, you can create the impression that you are friendly, accommodating, and happy to do business with your clients.

Doing business with your clients means you have to put them first before yourself.

I once made the mistake of arguing with a client.  Tempers rose and flew, and before I realized what I was doing, I walked away from the contract without caring if I was going to be paid for my work or not.

Granted that the client was difficult to deal with, but I could have made it easier for both of us – for myself, especially – if I just went along with what the client wanted in the first place.  It shouldn’t matter that I thought the client’s idea was crap.

Learning how to sell is a lesson that I have to go through every single day on the job.  Just when I thought I got the hang of it, something new comes up.  Maybe it’s the same for you.

(Image: MorgueFile)

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Anna Sibal-Gonzaga is a freelance writer based in the Philippines. She likes reading books and watching movies and TV shows in the sci-fi, fantasy and historical genres. She is also a casual gamer and an all-around nerd.

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