Sunday, December 8, 2013

The BRUTAL Truth About Starting a Freelance Business- The "secret" ingredient you need!

Have you ever wondered what you really NEED to start your own freelance business? 

Let me tell you, it's not that big of a "secret", but it is also the real reason why many freelancers fail at the beginning of their careers. 

Ask any writer, and they will tell you that the reason they began their writing careers is because:

  1. They love to write, and
  2. They wanted to create a income working part-time/full-time
Well, that's just it! You need Money!

No matter how you put it, there is always the question of HOW you can create a successful business, without having to spend (Too much) money! 

Well, here is some brutal truth for Yah!

You need to SPEND money, to MAKE money! There is no other way. 

Unfortunately, for the majority of freelance writers who have a hard enough time, making ends meet for themselves, spending anything "Extra" might be out of the question.

Well, this is where it gets difficult, but it really does not have to be.

On one of my previous blog posts: 

Can you achieve success during your first year as a freelance writer? I explain what it takes to create a successful business the first year, writers commit to writing for a living. 

Many writers find success in the freelance business after learning the ropes, and facing a lot of rejection, and failure. The first year can be hard, but its the first couple of months that a lot of writers face the harsh reality of what it takes to be a writer.

The brutally honest truth is that Freelance writers need to have a cushion to help them through the first couple of months (maybe longer) in order to build a profitable business.
It takes time to build a good, solid business. It can be done, but writers need to take their business seriously, if they want to be able to pay their bills on time, and also keep up with the demands as writers. 

In other words, you have to work really hard at first, and really put energy into your business in order to get real results out of it during your first month. 

We are talking about:
  • setting schedules, 
  • cold calling
  • e-mailing prospects daily
  • marketing your business like your life depends on it, etc
These are just a couple of examples of what writers need to do in order to see some results. 

So, here is what you can do TODAY, to get faster results in your business, and not feel the pinch of starting your own business. 

List your expenses, and find out how much money you need every single month.

Right down to the pennies. Trust me, it will come in handy!

This will allow you to see where every dollar that make goes, and where you can cut back, until your business is profitable enough for you to stop fretting over bills all the time. 
It can take a while for you to see thousands of dollars right away, but remember, every little job ADDS up! But you also have to remember, that you have to think about bigger bills, now that you work from home. 

Electricity is one of the most important things to remember when you start your own business. Remember, you are going to be plugged in online for quite some time, and you are also going to be working on your computer for a large chunk of time. Gas if you drive a lot, or meet new clients. Food, water, mortgage or rent and everything else that you need in order to survive. 

Once you have written down your everyday expenses, now starting adding all of the NEW expenses you have. 

For example: 
  • Electricity bill
  • internet (if you have not already)- many writers already do this
  • stamps
  • office supplies
  • work supplies (if a client needs something specific)
  • Traveling fund (photographers often add this)
  • anything else that you might need...
There are so many things that can add up, that make freelancers often wonder if they can handle all of this. But, truth be told: you can, it just takes time. 

Now that you have figured out all of your new expenses, now you have an idea of how much money you need to get started, and put away, to begin your business. 

If you are feeling a little adventurous, you can always start your business without setting up a financial safety net, and trust your business to do really, really well that first month. This would be gutsy, and you would need to know about business to make this happen. 

How to get past your first month as a freelance writer.

The first month of working as a freelance writer can be a shock to many people. First off, there is the difference in the schedule. For one, you have your own schedule, and two you have to push yourself to work. 

Then, there is the issue of your income and then your expenses. You always hope that your income is bigger than your expenses, but sometimes it comes up a bit short..

This is where your safety net (if you have one) comes in. 

If your expectations working as a freelance writer, comes up short, then you always rely on your financial safety, or you can rev up your business the following month. During your first month, it can be a little shocking to see how hard it can be to land a writing gig, or land a returning client. This is when you should make a list of everything you want to accomplish during your second month of freelancing, set clear goals and really work towards them.

It can be so easy to get discouraged when you find out what it really takes to be successful in the freelance business. During the first month, all that writers want to do is find those high paying gigs that will help them make ends meet, yet when they hit the market, they find themselves competing with others, and finding out just how hard it can be to land a descent job.

As a writer, you have to know where to find great gigs, and even if you are desperate to pay off bills, stay away from those low paying gigs. 

So, here is what you can do:
  • Call friends, family members, friends of friends and promote your services left and right! Someone is bound to need a writer, or something written down, so offer your services right away.
  • Check out job boards, freelance writing sites, Facebook and twitter for job updates. On a daily basis, thousands of jobs are offered and only a few hundred are taken. Learn how to search for jobs on these sites!
  • Update your blog regularly, and write about topics that you know. When you are working on establishing your freelance business, you need to create a presence online. The only way to do this, is to show that you are passionate about writing, and showing off your skills as a writer. Take the time to update your blog at least once a day, and promote your work online. 
  • No matter what: KEEP GOING! If you are feeling overwhelmed with setting up social media accounts, keeping up with emails, or applying to jobs, just remember why are starting your business and what you hope to accomplish.
Needles to say, once you start your business, the only way to create an income, is to work on your business DAILY. This is where many people get stuck!

Looking to start your business?

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