Do You Mean Business?

by Catherine L. Tully

Are you in this field because you want to make a living?

If so, you need to treat it like a business, not a hobby.

Catherine L. Tully
Catherine L. Tully

I have recently seen a bunch of articles on this subject, and I have to say, it’s true. A lot of freelance writers simply throw up their hands and lament the fact that they don’t have business skills, rather than taking the time to get qualified. I read a great post on this subject at Redhead Ranting (Warning: if you are offended by strong language/swearing, skip it. If not, you’ll enjoy this very much!) that let freelancers have it for their lack of business savvy.

Here are a few tips for thinking like a pro:

+ Learn how to keep books. If you don’t know how, check out a community college and enroll in a class. It’s important to know how to manage your money and keep track of spending. Very important.

+ Cultivate your professional image. Assume everyone can see everything you write on the web. Always be professional when dealing with difficult people. Watch what you say to others in the field. Image is a big part of your business, and you never know if something you say will come back to haunt you. Act accordingly.

+ Set aside time for networking. If you are like me–one of the many reasons you got into this field is because you can work alone. From home. But…you still need to develop a professional network of contacts. This may be beyond your comfort zone, but so what. Do it anyway.

+ Be visible. If you want work, have an online presence. Take advantage of free visibility, such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and WordPress. You want people to be able to find you. Easily.

These are just a few tips for doing things the pro way. Don’t settle for less if you want to make some money as a freelancer. You can do it–but you have to build your business. Take the time.

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