The saying, “the world is your oyster,” is the epitome of freelance writing. Before joining Ooligan Press, I did some freelance writing and editing, but there was a lot I wish I knew before jumping into the business. It can be an exciting yet daunting experience because there aren’t concrete guidelines on how to operate. The beauty of the business is that you make your own rules, but what do you do when you have clients who try to bargain with your prices? You want their business, but you also know your worth. I know I’ve had my fair share of contemplating moments! The following are self-advocacy tips to keep in mind as you begin your journey into the freelance writing world.
Do the Math and Stick To It
Whatever kind of freelance work you decide to do, you are in charge of your own prices. But how do you set them? Do your research! Factor in your experience, education, and how long it will take you to complete the project, and then roll with it. Don’t forget to factor in the time you’ll spend pitching, negotiating, and following up with your clients too! All of these elements come with a price tag.
Know When to Walk Away
Since freelance work is unpredictable, when a client comes your way it can be difficult to say no. But taking on a project you’re not comfortable with or agreeing to a lower price can hurt your business and your mental state as a professional. Be open to saying no. Your confidence and self-respect are priceless. Know when to walk away if your time and talent are being jeopardized.
Your greatest resource is other freelancers. If you have any concerns or doubts about your freelance work, network your butt off and ask those questions! Social media platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook allow you to join groups and forums that can connect you to professionals in similar fields. It’s always nice to have a place to turn to when you have questions or want some insider tips. Your self-advocacy starts with being in a supportive environment with people who can help you learn and grow in your business.
Communicate Your Needs
You are the maker of your own business. Know what you need and communicate it to your clients. At some point in your freelance writing career, you’re bound to encounter a few difficult clients. While it’s important to remain calm and respectful, you also need to let them know what you need from the situation. Either way, if they do something that bothers you, don’t be passive about it or they’ll think they can do what they want.
No matter what kind of freelance work you get into, you have to be firm and confident in yourself. You are your own hype-person, and no one will be a better advocate for you than yourself.