Well, my first week as a freelance copywriter is done, and I’m not going to beat around the bush: I loved it.
Here’s me at 7:30 am on Monday morning, and I looked the same come Friday.
From getting stuck in first thing to an unexpected meeting change that cut massively into my first day, I loved every minute of it.
Losing my job and taking the decision to go full time was scary, but after just five days I never want to work for anyone again.
So, if you’re a freelance copywriter in your spare time, here are my tips if you want to go full-time.
5 tips for your first week as a Freelance Copywriter
1. Make sure you have clients when you start
Unless your partner’s wage is enough to cover the mortgage, bills and everything else, then you’ll need to make sure you have some paying clients.
Many people will tell you to jump straight into freelancing – ignore advice like this unless it’s financially viable.
We all have different circumstances. It’s not just a case of chucking in your day job and sitting at home networking in the hope that somebody will hand you a big paying job.
Save the money you earn in your day job and for the writing work you’re doing around it. It makes taking that leap much easier when you do.
To get those clients, network as much as you can before and after taking the leap. Not only will you learn a lot from full-time freelancers, but you’ll start getting noticed.
Freelance writers are incredibly helpful, and you’ll learn all the ups and downs, but most importantly they may hand work to you if they are overflowing.
It’s not always what you know, it’s who you know.
And you’ll also get noticed by potential clients.
Find what works best for you, personally I prefer LinkedIn, but if your target audience is on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or someplace else, make sure you get noticed – and not on just your favourite – on all of them.
3. Organise yourself properly
If you take the leap, organising yourself is essential. Buy a planner and note down everything you need to do every day, or use one of the many online organisers like Trello or ToDoist.
And that includes time to blog, network and eat lunch.
By having a structure, you’ll find it easier to bat away distractions such as sticking the TV on at 10 am for Homes Under The Hammer. Do what I do, record it instead and watch Martin Roberts showing you around a dilapidated hovel as you scoff down your lunch.
4. Attend local networking events during the day
Yes, I mentioned you need to network, and online that’s quite easy. However, when you’re in a full-time job, attending local events is nigh on impossible. Many take place in the morning or afternoons, and unless you’re willing to use your holidays, it’s unlikely you’ll attend any on a regular basis.
That’s what I did on the Friday morning of my first week, and I have another lined up for the Thursday of my second.
Getting out of the house and opening yourself up to meeting local entrepreneurs can land you work as well as give you the chance to forge business relationships.
It also cures you of cabin fever if you’re a sociable person.
You may not land any work for a while, but as you become a regular, the more likely somebody is to work with you.
And there are plenty of free ones, so if you’re on a tight budget to start, find some that cost nothing.
5. Make time for yourself
Yeah, that’s right.
Yes, you can work 15 hour days when you have the work, but at first, you may not have that. Use any spare time to network and blog, but also use that time to sit in the garden or go for a walk.
Freelancing is hard, but it’s also about living the lifestyle that suits you.
If that’s working for 15 hours Monday to Wednesday and not working a single day until the following Monday while hitting all your deadlines, great.
You’ll find what works for you in your own time.
Join freelance groups on Facebook. Up your engagement on LinkedIn by taking part in 30Days Social. Put effort into talking to other freelancers and marketing yourself will pay off – you just have to stick with it.
Bookmark this page so you can come back to it before and after you go full-time as a freelance copywriter or follow my blog in the page footer.
Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn – and tell me your story!