My journey towards becoming a freelance writer was a happy accident, all things considered. After the relative ease with which I closed my first writing deal, I experienced a strange kind of euphoria that lasted for weeks. It doesn’t matter who you are – when you realize how much your work is truly worth to paying customers, you cannot help but feel a little more confident in what you do.
This was the case for me.
I began to understand the difference between being an employee in some organization and “doing my own thing”. In an office, we’re paid X amount of dollars and are expected to do the work whether we like it or not. In most cases, we end up shuffling around doing unimportant tasks for important people. For some people, it can be soul crushing.
As a paid writer, I know now that I had gained some level of autonomy over my income. Instead of waiting for a pay raise at work, I am now in charge of my own destiny. As clichéd as it may sound, it felt pretty darn good.
So, with no experience pitching to companies, I did everything I could to build up my client portfolio.
Below are the steps I took that helped me close three writing contracts within three months:-
1. I became a freelancer in less than 24 hrs by signing up to Freelancer.com. While it may not be the best way to get started, I was lucky enough to get a writing contract for 1.2K a month that lasted me over 6 months. The best thing about that job? They paid me in advance. My client is now my business partner. (Huzzah!)
2. I set up a blog, positioning myself as a writer for hire. I got 3 leads this way, one of whom became a client of mine. The contract was for $400 a month, writing / researching 4 articles.
3. Put up an advertisement (I put mine on GumTree, which is catered to Singaporean companies looking to hire.) I closed a copywriting contract, writing collaterals for an event for $3,000. Again, this doesn't always happen. Some may argue that it is "luck", but I call it "persistence". If being up at 7 am pitching to ten companies every morning makes me lucky, so be it.
4. Cold pitching to companies looking to hire full-time writers. This scared the heck out of me, but I was scoring at least two appointments a month by pitching daily.
These steps can hardy be called the “recipe for success”, perhaps. Still, as someone with literally no experience writing for a living, it’s definitely an accomplishment I am very proud of.
Even now, I can’t believe I was able to do half the things I did – pitching and meeting up with prospects, negotiating a contract and closing the deal. I guess it’s true what they say – if you keep working towards getting the results you want, success is inevitable.
“At first dreams seem impossible, then improbable, and eventually inevitable.” – Christopher Reeve
-- Written by Sheha Sidek
Angela Cai & Sheha Sidek