It takes more than good writing to be successful at freelancing. While writing is important to produce your product, you’ll have to be professional in conducting your business. And neither does getting paid for your work make you a professional. That status comes by following these 10 important points:
1. Be polite. Relax with some small talk first. Get to know your editors and other clients. Doing so will help you to develop solid professional relationships.
2. Be confident. Learn the fine line between cockiness and confidence and observe it at all times. Have confidence in your work. Know that it’s the best you can do.
3. Be competent. Show samples of your best work. Deliver on time or earlier.
4. Be realistic. Don't overbook assignments when you find you're starting to get them regularly. Plan ahead what you can and cannot take on. Know how much work you can accomplish in a specified time. And if you run into problems, let your editor know as soon as possible.
5. Be truthful. If it's not your type of work, admit it. If you already have too much to do, tell the client. Don’t pretend you can do a certain type of work if you have no experience.
6. Be available. Help the client out of a crisis if you can. Be flexible. Helping an editor or a client out of a jam may help you later on.
7. Be cheerful and optimistic. Life is traumatic and publishing is a business fraught with problems. Your attitude can be a helpful tool everyone will appreciate. Maintain a positive attitude.
8. Be aggressive. There are many competitors out there. You'll be forgotten if you don't remind clients now and then that you're still in business. Know where you stand with your competition.
9. Be a hard worker. All the above attributes won't help you if you aren't willing to work incredibly hard without constant reminders.
10. Be patient. No one starts at the top. Slow and persistent wins the race.