Friday, August 24, 2012

Ten Things to Do to Achieve Freelance Success

Anyone who plays the ponies knows that in order to boost your odds you need to know and do all you can. Guessing won’t get you the big money. And neither will closing your eyes and pointing to just any horse in the race. So it is with freelancing. To become a success, you have to make it happen. To do so requires you to honestly look at yourself and your business operation for weak areas that need to be improved upon or eliminated.

To get started on the right track, ask yourself the following 10 questions:

    1. Have you learned all you need to know to present yourself in the most professional manner? Look at related areas that might help. Tap any and all sources, including this blog, to learn all you can about the writing business.

    2. Have you kept current with the changes in your industry? What problems do other independent business owners—commercial artists, printers, bookstore owners, consultants, etc.—face every day?

    3. Have you studied your competition as much as possible? By noticing how other writers accomplish what they do, you may be able to pick up some of their techniques to improve  your business practices.

    4. Have you paid attention to current legislation that's bound to affect future business decisions in the industry? To do so you must read online news from Web sites in the industry and subscribe to their E-mail newsletters to be kept up to date, as well as  maintain open lines to important contacts who know about or may be able to influence that legislation (editors, elected officials, influential business persons, etc.).

    5. Have you joined any writing and/or business associations that may offer connections with fellow writers and markets? Have you participated in seminars given by experts in your field?

    6. Have you observed outstanding people in other fields and attempted to discover by what means they leaped forward in their careers?  Did they make bold changes of direction, timely innovations, or conceive creative promotional campaigns? Take time to lunch with friends in other businesses or fellow writers and quiz them intelligently.

    7. Have you set performance goals for yourself and stayed with them? Goals are a great way to motivate yourself.

    8. Have you honestly evaluated the work you've done? Take a hard look at what you’re producing and perhaps seek the opinions of others in the writing field.

    9. Have you trained yourself to troubleshoot problems? Solve problems as they arise rather than put them off until later.

    10: Have you learned to delegate and practiced motivating others to cooperate with you? You can’t do it all by yourself. Try outsourcing some smaller tasks of your business to allow yourself more time to write. When your business reaches a point where you can afford to hire help, and you need it, do so.

You’ll want to return to these pump-priming techniques repeatedly throughout your hopefully long and happy freelance career. You can't afford not to.

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