There are 3 things that you can do to set your freelance writing business up for success in the new year, whether you are a beginner or have a few years experience. These are the things that helped me feel like a super professional business lady, instead of just a hobbyist.
1. Raise your rates
If you’ve been working with clients for more than 4 months, it’s time to raise your rates. The new year is a great time to do this as it’s a fresh start in people’s minds.
There are a few things to consider:
- How much should you raise your rates?
- Should you raise your rates per word or per project?
- Should you raise them with your current clients or just new clients?
- How would you do any of this?
For in-depth answers, check out my post How To Raise Your Rates (Painlessly). You can also get a client email template to help you in raising your rates!
2. Schedule implementation time with new training
If you are buying any courses or programs, you definitely need to schedule time to take the training and practice your new skills. Otherwise, your investment will go to waste.
For audio-only material in your course, you could listen on a walk, in the car, or while you’re cooking. But if it’s video or text, you need to take notes, or you have to practice, you need to schedule butt-in-seat time. So, take any courses you already have (and still want to learn from!) and mark time in your calendar for training and implementation. It does make a difference.
For my course Clips Camp, a good break-down of your scheduled implementation time would be 50% spent working on your portfolio and 50% spent on finding clients. For other courses, you might want to use a different ratio.
3. Know your conversion rate
Knowing your conversion rate is fancy marketer talk for how many pitches you have to send out to get one “yes.” For example, you might send out 10 pitches, but only get 1 “yes.”
Depending on the industry that you’re pitching to, your conversion rate may be even more challenging. When I was writing for start-ups, I was sending out 20 pitches for every “yes” that I got. But they were fun clients!
You should track your pitches so that you can see your rate of conversion. I just used a simple spreadsheet. You’ll need the categories (job boards, press release sites, podcast hosts, start-ups, etc.), how many posts you send in a day or week in each category, and then how many “yes” responses you get in a day or week from each category. It’s okay to start with just one category.
Once you know your approximate conversion rate, you can begin to predict how much pitching you need to do to get to a certain amount of work. For example, if I had to send 20 emails to get one “yes,” and I needed five clients, then I knew I needed to send a hundred emails.
That’s what knowing your conversion rate does for you. It’s incredibly powerful to know how much outreach you need to do to get a “yes” and how many “yeses” you need. Then you have a target and a plan.
Let’s hang out as you build your writing business
Come hang out with a community of other writers who are also building their own freelance writing business. I invite you to come into my free Facebook group, The Ink Well Guild.
You can find us on Facebook by searching for The Ink Well Guild with Ashley Gainer. Or you can go to theinkwellguild.com and that will take you straight to the group. Answer the questions, we’ll let you in, and we can start hanging out.