Freelance writing is one of the businesses people can start with little to no start up costs. All you need is a computer, Internet connection, a phone and the writing talent with which you were born. This is one of the reasons why freelance writing is such an attractive career for so many. The danger is a simple start can lead to technological complacency. Day four’s tip is update your technology.
There are a variety of helpful techno gear and software that will save you time and increase your access to clients thereby increasing profits and success. The key is to realize you need them. Many writers don’t see a use for social networking sites like Facebook or microblogging tools like Twitter, but the truth is not utilizing these tools will cause you to miss out on a variety of clients and opportunity.
Let’s take a look at Twitter. The microblogging site is a great way to connect with readers, other writers, editors and publications. You can pass on your article links, discover new sources for articles and develop relationships with people who can point you toward gigs and new clients. When you increase your Twitter following, things you’re interested in become things your followers are interested in and that can be a great boost to a client whose release you’ve published links to or publications who you’ve written an article for and posted a link. If you have a blog, Twitter is essential to boosting your readers.
Many writers don’t see why they should promote their work, but when you get people interested in your articles it boosts your writing credibility and publications are always tracking which articles, departments, etc. get the most hits/readers. You can bet a client for whom you’ve written a release is going to appreciate the spike in clicks because you tweeted about it.
Facebook acts as another way to connect with others in you field. Creating a fan page for your site/company is a great way to boost its profile. Friending editors, clients, etc., is a way to keep your relationship moving in the right direction – as long as you use caution with posting. I suggest if you are worried about your Facebook posting and your clients’ reactions you might want to have one page for business and one for personal. Just remember everything you put on the web is likely to be there forever. Oh, and don’t poke clients a lot or brown nose, it’s annoying and transparent. Keep your relationship as professional and sincere as it would be if you saw each other often throughout the week.
Writers tend to get into a routine and are often the last ones to move on to the next great thing. Some of you clung tearfully to your typewriters and saw no problem with hanging onto dial-up Internet, after all it was cheaper right? It is vital to be flexible and indispensable to be a successful freelance writer during this season of downsizing or closing publications.
If your Internet goes down you may have to resort to typing out an article on your smart phone. Billing, invoice tracking and other business matters may have to take the next step beyond a stamp and word document. And that laptop you finally splurged and got six years ago – it’s probably time for an upgrade. Clients don’t understand why you can’t keep up with their technology and are usually very grateful when you can succinctly and knowledgeably hip them to the latest that will connect them to their audience or save them money like that Skype business.
Keeping up with technology isn’t about following trends and the latest fly-by-night whowhatsit, it’s about discovering what technology is changing business as it happens everyday, learning it and adopting it successfully to your own business.