Some quick thoughts since I haven’t updated in a very long time.
- Don’t sell myself short. Sure, as a beginner, I had to start with lower rates, but I soon learned that it wasn’t economical for me. So I started to slowly increase my rates between each job I had, each article I wrote.
- Don’t sell myself short!!! Don’t reduce rates just because someone balks at the proposal. Reduce the scope of work.
- Networking and referrals are awesome. I heard this a lot when I first started off, and I hated it. I’m a beginner. Of course I can’t get referrals. And networking is all-around terrifying, especially as someone with anxiety. But referrals are like the snowball effect… the more work I did, the bigger the network I had. And referrals go two ways! I just worked with an awesome graphic designer that I think would be a good fit for a record label that I had done work for… so why not shoot them both an e-mail saying, “HEY, in case you need a graphic designer, here’s this awesome one…”
- I wish I hadn’t quit my job right away. Well… kind of. If I hadn’t quit my job when I did, I don’t think I ever would have started my freelance career, not even part-time on the side. I just didn’t have the mental or emotional energy to take on any projects, personal or otherwise. But financially, I really, really, really wish I had built up a writing portfolio BEFORE I went full-time freelancer. Then I would have started off with higher rates, more of a network, etc.
- Freelance writing is 20% writing and 80% sending off proposals, writing emails, following up, and waiting. It may even be closer to 10% writing and 90% everything else. It’s really tough. Every day I’m sending off more proposals and pitches. I’ve gone weeks without work.
- Money is really fucking tight. And of course I’m stressed about it… but I don’t think I made the wrong choice.