Why is she successful, and I'm ? What is he doing differently?
These are questions many freelance writer asks while on their journey to business success.
While starting as a freelancer sounds like the Instagram fantasy everyone wants, it also can produce ongoing struggles such as comparing your success to others.
But, comparison aside, there isn’t one thing that separates successful freelance writers from those who are struggling to thrive. Instead, a combination of several habits can make the difference between building your dream writing business and consistently wondering why you’re not achieving your desired results.
In this article, I'm going to share 10 habits and traits of successful freelance writers.
As a personal growth exercise, use this list to reflect on your current habits.
Change isn’t always easy, but it’s the first step towards gaining the success you envision.
Successful freelance writers do the work until it works. Let's look at pitching as an example. To successfully pitch potential clients, you need to send out pitches regularly and follow up on pitches that were sent.
You can't send two pitches per month, then wonder why you're not booking more clients.
You can't send one pitch to a potential client and give up when you don't hear back immediately.
I’ve received many of my best clients after sending a pitch along with 1 or 2 follow up messages over 30-90 days.
Keep putting yourself in front of your ideal clients and following up on opportunities.
It's not a "no" until they say so.
The second powerful habit is choosing a focus for your business.
You have to balance so many things as a freelance writer - pitching, completing client work, holding discovery calls, and the list goes on and on.
It can be easy to become unfocused as you build and grow your business.
Starting with a specific niche within your market can help you focus on your business and build a lane for yourself within the writing industry.
Do you want to focus on copywriting or content marketing writing? Do you want to write in the finance industry or the medical industry?
Whatever niche you choose to focus on, stick to that niche, and invest the necessary time and effort to dominate the market.
Manage your time effectively
Next, it's crucial that you become a master of time management.
You want to be sure to strike a balance between completing client work and working on your business.
Tasks for your business might involve pitching, bookkeeping, checking your emails, and sending contracts and invoices.
On the other hand, your client’s work involves writing blog posts, emails, editing tasks, etc.
Completing your business tasks also includes focusing your efforts and energy on what your business needs to succeed.
Do you need to strategize or figure out how to send better pitches?
Are you investing time in your professional development?
While it may sound like a difficult task to manage time between your business and your clients, developing a system for doing both is critical for your success.
Prioritize and group your tasks
Learning how to prioritize your laundry list of tasks goes along with the idea of time management.
For example, this week, I wrote down every client task I needed to complete; every email, every blog post, everything.
I then prioritized each one based on their due dates to ensure I met deadlines.
Using a scale of importance helps you prioritize tasks with several close due dates.
For example, if task A has a high level of importance, and tasks B and C are a medium to a low level of importance, prioritize task A before completing B and C.
Prioritizing tasks based on due dates is a great tip to maximize efficiency, but adding on the productive habit of grouping remaining similar tasks will help skyrocket your workday task completion.
This process involves selecting and clumping small related tasks into cohesive parts.
For example, checking and replying to all of your emails simultaneously or writing two similar blog posts one after the other is less stressful for the mind to process rather than jumping from emails to blog writing and so forth.
Grouping helps your mind to navigate the workload by completing similar tasks and preventing boredom or brain fog.
Both of these habits are incredibly useful to employ because as your business grows, your responsibilities and to-do list increase. Having strategies that focus on time management and balance will decrease your stress and make your workdays far more enjoyable.