5 investments serious freelance copywriters should make in their career
Many people dream of writing professionally, and even take a stab at it for a while. However, if you are truly serious about freelance copywriting as a career and you intend to earn a comfortable living writing, more is required than simply putting pen to paper and capturing whatever ideas are floating around in your head at the moment. Successful freelance copywriters must make significant career investments.
Here, then, are some essential investments for a career in freelance copywriting:
1. Continuing Education that Hones Your Skill Set
Most people have heard success stories about writers with little formal education, and some of those stories are true. Generally, however, education is an essential investment that pays for itself many times over for a freelance copywriter.
Not all education must take place in a classroom, of course. Today’s educational environment includes online courses, many of which are self-paced. Self-paced learning opportunities may work well for you, since setting your own schedule enables you to work around deadlines and client projects more easily.
Other educational opportunities for freelance copywriters involve writing workshops, seminars, and conferences. A little online research can reveal abundant opportunities to make an investment in your writing career in this way. For instance, you might check out workshop and seminar listings at ShawGuides.com, NewPages.com, and Writersonlineworkshops.com.
While most seminars, workshops, and conferences require an investment of time and money, you may find that your return on investment is positive, as you hone your writing skills and you become a more valuable commodity to your clients.
2. Essential Tools that Support the Writing Trade
Every profession requires a set of tools, and freelance copywriting is no exception. It is possible to limp along with less than the best in the way of computer equipment, but typically, the more you can invest in a decent computer system, the smoother your workday will be.
The same goes for internet connectivity. High-speed internet saves a tremendous amount of time each day for busy copywriters, so it is best to invest in the best equipment for connectivity that you can find.
A robust word processor and writing and editing software are both good investments for the freelance writer. Common grammar checkers preferred by many English freelance copywriters are: Grammarly, WhiteSmoke, and WordPerfect. The Hemingway App is also a low-cost option for editing that flags such problem spots as overly wordy sentences and uses of passive voice.
Such tools should not be considered the ultimate authority on proper grammar or word choice, but they are useful in helping you see potential problems in your work that might otherwise slip past you in the self-editing process.
3. Time-Saving Research Aids that Keep You Informed
Good quality research tools are also a great investment. Buzzsumo is especially helpful for giving you a quick overview of top content shared on topics that you cover for your clients. HubSpot’s “Ultimate List of Free Content Creation Tools and Resources” gives some great pointers on freemium versions of research tools that you can test out. If you need more functionality than freemium versions offer, you can invest in paid versions that offer much more for the serious freelancer.
Regarding research tools, it is also important to invest time in discovering and following important information sources in your particular niche. Invest in subscriptions to trade publications, national and international news outlets, and industry-specific media channels. Doing so requires both money and time, but you will likely find a treasure trove of source material that will make your writing more authoritative and, more importantly, more valuable to your clients.
You might also consider investing some time in learning the ins and outs of popular news aggregators like Feedly, Pocket, and SmartNews. Setting up and personalizing such news aggregators enables you to quickly see important news items and posts related to your specific fields of interest. In addition to staying up-to-date on current events, scanning through the feeds can give you great ideas for future client pitches.
4. Personal Development that Feeds Your Creative Spirit
As a freelance copywriter, you may find that deadlines and major projects keep you constantly working with little time for yourself. However, it is important to invest time in personal development if you want to have a successful career in freelancing.
The article “Your Best Investment as a Freelance Copywriter” offers this important reminder: “You are your most important asset. You are what clients “buy.” So make a commitment this year to invest a reasonable percentage of your income in your personal and professional development.”
Personal development includes your body, mind, and soul. Nurturing yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally will help keep your creative juices flowing and enrich your writing skills in the process. So, invest time in reading for pleasure, exercising, socializing and networking with people, enjoying a hobby, or volunteering for a local charity. These activities will give you that all-important and ever-elusive prize known as work/life balance.
5. Business Tools that Keep You on Track
In addition to the tools specific to copywriters, you must also make an investment in the business end of your business. Since your work day is largely determined by deadlines, you might find it helpful to invest in good time management tools.
As your client list grows, client relationship software may help you stay organized and on top of client communication. Additionally, every freelancer needs a good accounting system to help avoid financial management mishaps that can derail your business and cost you both time and money.
You may also find it helpful to invest in marketing tools such as a professionally-designed website, email automation software to help you reach out to all your clients quickly and easily, and software such as Hootsuite to help you manage your social media marketing.
As a freelancer, you also need to invest in a reliable payment processing platform. Payoneer’s global platform ensures that your payment processing needs are met no matter where your payment originates. You can check out our seamless payment solution for freelancers here.