(This blog is a little different from my usual content geared to B2B marketers. The post is a response to a question about breaking into the freelance business. As I thought about an answer, my ideas took on a life of their own and insisted they become a blog.)
Getting from Here to There
So you want to be a freelance writer? Good choice, but like anything, you gotta pay some dues. Don’t worry. This time spent learning the trade in the business world can be kind of fun and it’s absolutely necessary.
Want to Be a Freelancer? Then Get a Job.
I know you want to immediately experience the glamour of the freelance lifestyle, but when you’re a rookie, it pays to start your career at a real company. Get an entry level marketing job in a corporation or agency. Think of it as a paid internship. This will pay off because:
- You’ll learn how to work with and satisfy internal and external clients.
- If the organization uses freelancers, you can learn from them.
- You can get your employer to pay for various professional certifications
- You can build experience in a niche or specialty market, which is the way to go as a freelancer.
- You’ll make lifetime friendships. My best buds are people I met years ago at some of my first “real” jobs.
- You might decide freelancing isn’t for you, and whiz right on up the corporate ladder instead.
- You may validate your decision that freelancing is the only way to go for you.
- You can build a portfolio and make a living while you’re doing it.
- You’ll get a chance to write many types of projects, more than if you waited for them to come to you. You’ll find some suit you better than others.
- You’ll build a professional network. My first freelance clients were people I’d met in my corporate jobs.
- Your corporate or agency career move gives you the view from the other side of the fence, a good perspective to have, once you start selling to that side.
- It’s fun. If you connect with the right company, you may get to travel. Even if you pull trade show duty, it’s a chance to go to some fun places and get out of town on someone else’s nickel.
Steady, well paying clients aren’t going to hire a freelance writer right out of college or with no experience, so take a few years to learn about the real B2B world and enjoy the time you spend doing it.
maya picture / FreeDigitalPhotos.netcopywriting, marketing