Friday, January 2, 2009

A Freelance Writer's Marketing Plan for Success.

2009 has to be the year for you to make money! But wishing is really not enough. What you need is a kick-ass marketing plan to sell your business. That’s right. It is a business, it’s yours and it’s not going to grow if you don’t push for this to happen.

Wanting newer clients and pitching for jobs on various job sites is not going to get you on track. It’s amazing how many freelance writers I know, give up or wonder why they are not meeting mortgage payments, or worse yet, decide to lower their rates; just to meet their monthly targets (if they’ve set any, that is). Freelance writing, just like any freelance business, is really hard if you do not set yourself goals, market your services and treat your company just as you would any other business. And just because you are freelancing, it really doesn’t mean that you work only 3-4 hours a week; at least, not if you want to see your company develop and bring in the money. Even if this is a part-time venture, you need to take it seriously and put in the time.

So, the first thing to do, is decide on a niche. And more on that in my next blog. You’ll see why. To get started, write out your Marketing Plan.

1.Give your company a name: It doesn’t matter what you want to call it, but you need to put a name to your services- It could be John Smith’s Copywriting Services or Martha McMillan’s Technical Writing services. By defining what you do, you are well on your way to selling your services to others.

2.Write out a plan: Planning for success accounts for 50% of achieving it. The rest is hard work and dedication. So put down your plan on a spreadsheet or word document or a big piece on paper, which will be taped someplace prominent.

Your plan will have some or all of the following:

Who are your clients?
What is your niche?
What are your short- mid – long term goals?
What is the object of you freelancing? (as opposed to finding a proper paying 9-5 job)
How do you plan to achieve your goals?
How do you track your goals?
How do you increase your client base?
How do you fit all of the above into your working week?
What is your advertising/promotional plan?
What is your advertising budget?- Can you divert some funds from your income towards it?

3.Tape up your plan:
You need to see this plan everyday, so make sure you have it some place prominent- on your desktop, on the wall next to your computer, in your diary- it doesn’t matter where, just as long as you can see it.

4.Remember to revise: Things change- you may be able to work longer hours and get in more clients, or maybe you’ve done a course and now feel ready to increase your fees. Your marketing plan should be able to accommodate these changes. In fact, plan to revise it at least once every 6 months.

So, go on and get started. It should take less than an hour to do, but the results from having a Marketing Plan will be obvious throughout the year.


LAILA said...

Thanks for the great tips!

Usha Krishnan Sliva said...

Thanks Laila! If you enjoy going through my posts, then do consider subscribing to my newsletter which offers you a lot of job suggestions, client tips and writing advice that you won't get on this site. And all your details are always kept private- I never share or spam.