Many of us have the goal of finding better writing clients who pay more and come back to use our services again and again, but we often sabotage our own efforts to get better gigs.
Sometimes the sabotage consists of not having enough confidence to even apply for the best writing projects. When this is the case, we’re defeated before we even start.
Other times we sabotage our own marketing efforts without even realizing it. In this post, I’ll list five ways that you might be sabotaging your freelance writing business. I’ll also explain how you can avoid self-sabotage.
Five Ways You May Be Sabotaging Your Own Freelance Writing Business
Here are some mistakes that freelance writers make when promoting their business:
- Giving the impression that business is not a priority. There’s a fine line between showing a personality on your business blog and sharing too much personal information. Sometimes, when a writer shares gets too personal online they can give a potential client the impression that they aren’t serious about business. We’ve discussed this on Freelance Writing Jobs before in this post, Is Your Wahminess Getting In The Way.
- Poorly done website or website not updated enough. If you have a website for your freelance writing business (and I really believe that you should at least have a blog), then that website needs to be the best that you can make it. You should find or invest in a professional-looking design and make an effort to update the site regularly. Make sure that there are no broken links. Check your portfolio page regularly to make sure that it includes your latest and very best work. Remember, your website may be the first contact that many clients have with you.
- Lack of contact information. It’s surprising, but many writer’s websites or blogs have no way for a reader to contact the freelance writer. Even the best website in the world won’t help you if your prospective customers have no way to get in touch with you in order to hire you. Along the same lines, somewhere on the website or blog there should be an overview of your writing business and a brief explanation of the individuals who make up that writing business.
- Not following instructions. We already know that not following a client’s instructions when applying for a job can cost a writer that job. It’s also true that not following instructions can sabotage you AFTER you get a job. This includes not meeting a client’s deadline.
- Your own past history. Sometimes, a freelance writer’s own past can catch up with them and prevent them from getting better work. If you’ve goofed up on a client’s project in the past or have a dissatisfied past employer, this background can sometimes hold you back from getting the higher paying freelance writing jobs (where they tend be very picky about who they select). That’s why it’s important to leave a client or an employer on good terms whenever possible.
What to Do If You Discover Self-Sabotage
If you discover that you are sabotaging your own freelance writing career it’s not enough to simply say that you’re going to stop doing it. You need to devise a plan for stopping and set a time frame for the completion of that plan.
Here are some possible elements you may wish to include:
- If you have been including too much personal information on your business blog or on social media, decide what information you are going to share with your clients and what information is not helpful to your business. You may even decide that some social media, perhaps Facebook, should be for friends and family only.
- If your website or blog is less than professional, take a look at it carefully and make a list of what needs to be fixed and how you are going to fix it. Work through the list to correct the problems as quickly as you can.
- If you discover that you have left your prospective clients with no real way to contact you, create an “About” page. You may wish to review the “About” pages on several popular websites or on the web pages of other freelance writers.
- Following instructions can be tricky. We’re all busy and in a hurry. But, following instructions can mean the difference between a happy client and a disgruntled client.
- Even if you’ve gotten a bad reputation with a few clients, it’s never too late to turn over a new leaf. Start today and commit to doing all future projects properly. Each time you complete a project and do well, ask that client if they would mind giving a testimonial about your work.
Have you unknowingly sabotaged your own freelance writing aspirations? Share some other mistakes that writers make that undermine their marketing efforts.
P.S. Jones says
So true. Especially about personal information. I used to have clients on my Facebook page, but I suddenly realized that I needed a place where I didn’t have to watch my words. So I made my Facebook friends and family only. I made a fan page on FB for clients.
Laura Spencer says
Hi P.S. Jones,
I know a lot of freelance writers who have decided the same thing about Facebook. 🙂