I just wanted to take a moment to wish you all a Happy and Prosperous 2016! This is the time that I like to take a moment to evaluate my business (and life) and plan for the future. I often take the week between Christmas Eve and the day after New Year’s off to spend quality time with my family, but also to think about how my business has developed over the past year, develop a business plan for the next year, and handle any paperwork necessary for third-quarter taxes.
Start your freelance writing career off right by developing a new business plan before the New Year!
As I have mentioned in a previous post, business plans are crucial to the success of your freelance writing career. After all, if you don’t set goals and develop a plan to achieve those goals, how will you ever know whether or not you are taking your business in the right direction?
So, with that said, I would like to challenge you this week. While you’re spending quality time with your family and friends, finishing off the rest of the Christmas egg nog, and entertaining guests – take some time to put your business into perspective and develop a business plan!
Set obtainable goals, as well as some that may seem out of reach.
Strive higher with your freelance writing business in 2016!
Here are a few ideas to help you get started:
Create a Website or Blog
Every great business needs a digital footprint. As a freelance writer, you need to develop a way to promote your writing skills. One of the best ways to do this is to create a website and blog.
Blogs are a great tool to help new freelancers practice their writing skills while promoting their services to potential clients. If you haven’t built a blog or website for your freelance writing career already, take this time to create one now!
Network, Network, Network
As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, networking is one of the best ways to find clients. One thing I try to do at the end of every year, along with developing a business plan, is develop a marketing and networking plan of action.
Remember, networking and marketing are two different things!
That’s right! Networking and marketing differ slightly. So what’s the difference? Well, I’ll tell you!
You know those advertisements you see interrupting the latest episode of The Walking Dead? That’s marketing. Those infomercials on television at 3 o’clock in the morning when you’re up late at night finishing up an article so you don’t miss a deadline: that’s marketing. Even those sales flyers that you receive in your mailbox from your local grocery store: that’s marketing.
Networking, though, is different. Networking is the simple act of relationship-building. Word-of-mouth “advertising” can be considered as networking. Just remember, networking and relationship-building akes time to mature to fruition, so be patient and keep at it!
Learn a New Skill
Learning a new skill or learning new techniques and building upon your current skills can help set you apart from other writers. Establish yourself as a specialist in your field, but learn new things related to those skills that you have already developed.
Raise my Rate
We hear this all the time, no matter what blog you follow or writer you talk to. Raising your rate when you’re just starting out may seem difficult. You may even feel a little uneasy about it. Trust me, though, it’s much easier to set a decent rate early on than it is to start at a lower rate and try to raise it later.
Of course, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible! Many freelancers review their annual rate and raise them every year for various reasons, including cost of living. If you’re not happy with your current rate… raise it!
So, what are you doing to advance your freelance writing career in 2016? Share some of your business plans with me in the comments below! I’d love to hear what your amazing goals are for the New Year!