7 Ways to Make Yourself Irreplaceable as a Freelance Writer

In order to keep your current freelance writing clients or attract new ones, convince and show them you’re a valuable freelance writer who benefits their companies in many ways.

For example, don’t settle for the status quo. Step up your game by continuing your writing education by enrolling in classes and workshops.

Attend writers’ conferences and read the latest book on freelance writing, owning a business, social media, marketing, and anything else that will benefit you and your clients.

Don’t be afraid to change and grow as a freelance writer. Get out of your writing comfort zone learn how to write white papers, eBooks, press releases, or whatever it is you’ve been avoiding.

Here are my seven tips to help you become the most valuable freelance writer your clients ever hired:

7 Ways to Make Yourself Irreplaceable as a Freelance Writer


clients (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Don’t take shortcuts and produce mediocre writing.

Taking shortcuts is a good way to have your integrity questioned.

If a client expects you to interview three experts via phone, don’t conduct email interviews. Do what you have to do to get the interviews completed.

You may not feel like writing, but you have a signed contract that says you must produce “X” amount of blog posts or articles for a client.

Get er’ done! Do whatever you have to do to get out of your ‘writing funk’ and complete writing projects on time.

Be adaptable and flexible.

“Be like bamboo” is a popular a Zen philosophy which means that one should be deeply rooted, yet flexible. If you don’t bend, you’ll break in half.

Clinging to the ‘good ol’ days’ of journalism or freelancing won’t move your ‘current’ freelance writing career forward.

“There are three constants in life… change, choice and principles.” Stephen Covey

Instead of holding onto old ideals or habits, embrace or at least entertain the thought of trying something new.

For example, technologies rapidly change overnight. Instead of avoiding social media, why not try at least one social media network? I recommend Twitter because it’s one of the easiest ones to use.

Once you’re comfortable with Twitter, create a profile on LinkedIn. It’s professional and you can make good connections.

Life coach Debbie Ford, says, “What you resist persists.” She’s right. Be like bamboo and don’t be afraid to change. Sure, it could be scary, but think of it as an adventure.

Get over being a perfectionist.

Personally, I know this can be a tough one because I’ve struggled with it since I was kid. My father served in the U.S. Army and was a perfectionist.

He always said to me, “If it’s not perfect, it’s not right.” Another favorite of his was, “Do things right the first time, and you won’t have to redo them.” Yeah, he meant well.

Being a perfectionist is exhausting (I know). Don’t be a perfectionist because it stifles your creativity and writing.

Perhaps, you just began your freelance writing career. You may be tempted to ‘wait’ until you have “X-amount” of clips in your portfolio before you actively market your services.

You’re trying to guarantee your writing success. You won’t get anywhere if you do this. Waiting for the perfect time is a waste of time. Drop your perfectionism, create a marketing plan, and get busy with sales and marketing.

Have a service oriented mindset.

Most people have a difficult time with being of service because they’ve been ‘of service’ since they were kids. If this is you, you’re not alone.

The good news is that you’re now an adult and can do things for others because you want to do so.

Your parents, teachers, religious leaders, etc. can no longer telling you that “you have to do something for so and so.” It’s up to you to decide.

Your clients trust that you have their best interests at heart. It’s important to have a “we-centered” attitude instead of a “me-centered” attitude.

Don’t think about how much you’re going to earn from a white paper or eBook. Think about how many people your writing will reach. Think about how many people your writing will help and in turn help your client.

Focus on purpose and not goals.

What is your purpose as a freelance writer?

Is it to make as much money as you can?

Is it to provide the best freelance writing services you can?

Is to add value to your freelance writing clients?

Or, are you more focused on goals such as meeting deadlines, finding interviewees, and landing the ‘next’ big client?

Focus on purpose rather than goals. Strive to go above and beyond instead of focusing on the ‘next thing’ on your “To Do List.” Otherwise, your “To Do List” will stress you out and you won’t complete any writing projects.

Be a confident freelance writer.

Have confidence in your writing ability. Don’t believe the negative tape that’s playing your head or what your family and friends say. It’s your life. If you want to be a freelance writer, be one. Who cares what others says?

Don’t be afraid to speak up if a client is trying to get out of paying you.

After all, cell phone carriers, credit card companies, etc. wouldn’t let people off the hook that easy. If a client balks at you rate, there’s no need to get upset.

Thank them for contacting you and wish them luck finding a freelance writer who’s a better fit for them. Don’t lower your rates just to get a client. It’s not worth it.

Stand tall and be proud to be a freelance writer!

Don’t take things personally and forgive clients who didn’t pay you.

What happens if a client doesn’t pay you? You have two options. You can either remain angry about it or forgive and release them. The latter is sometimes easier said than done.

Forgiving others doesn’t mean you condone their actions. It means you release the ‘energy’ around the situation. Holding onto anger can wreak havoc on your life and health. It’s not worth it.

Stuff happens and communication breakdowns happen. Don’t stuff your feelings — get it all of your system by journaling your feelings or mediating. Then, pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and move forward without looking back.

Show clients that you’re an indispensable freelance writer by keeping up with industry’s trends. Keep up with the ever changing world of Google, SEO, and social media. Be adaptable and flexible. The bottom line is you either take the initiative to learn and grow or become obsolete.

What are you doing to make yourself irreplaceable as a freelance writer? Share.

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