There’s a myth out there about corporate freelance writing jobs that I’d like to bust. Namely, that they are more difficult to find than other freelancing jobs–especially in a troubled economy.
Usually, the scarcity myth goes something like this: “Companies are laying people off. That means there will be fewer jobs for us freelancers. You know how bad the economy is…” (I can’t tell you how often I’ve heard this concern expressed in freelancing circles.)
Yet, for many companies the exact opposite is true. They’ve let people go, but they still have the work to do. Guess who gets to do that work? (If you guessed “a freelancer,” then you’re on the money. )
It’s often easier for a corporation to hire a freelancer than an employee because they are accounted for differently. An employee is usually considered to be overhead since they must be paid whether there is work, or not. (And, don’t forget about all the benefits that companies pay their permanent employees…)
A freelancer, on the other hand, is an independent contractor. Their work can be expensed directly to the specific project that they are working on. When that project is over, the freelancer is no longer paid.
Where Does the Scarcity Myth Come From?
If you think about, it’s easy to see where the scarcity myth might come from. We live in a society where we are used to getting results, and quickly.
We go through a drive-by window at our favorite fast food and restaurant and within minutes, we have a hot meal in our hands. We see an ebook online that we like, pay our money, and within seconds we can download and read the entire book. Likewise, if we want to purchase a new ringtone for our cell phone, what do we do? We pay and within a few minutes, we have what we want.
Many of us tend to look for instant gratification in our hunt for freelance writing jobs as well. We apply for a single job and then wait to see if we got it. When the job doesn’t pan out, quite naturally we are disappointed.
Well, hunting for freelancing writing gigs doesn’t usually work that way. It especially doesn’t work that way for larger clients who are willing to pay more money. You can’t just apply for a single writing project and expect to get it every time. Sometimes you are going to be rejected.
What Does Work?
While a few lucky writers may find a freelance corporate writing project on their first or second try, most of us will need to be patient and put forth a lot of effort before we see results.
A friend of mine used to say that hunting for jobs was a numbers game–the more time you spent looking the more offers you would receive. While this old adage isn’t a hundred percent accurate (it’s also important to implement a strategy), there is a grain of truth to it.
Bottom line: you won’t find a higher paying freelance writing job unless you look are looking for one.
Persistence and the Freelancer
When it comes to the job hunt, persistence pays off.
What this means for the average freelancer is simply this: don’t give up.
Do your homework and follow through on any leads that you find. Network and build relationships with those in companies and with other writers. Polish up your credentials, take a class, or join a writing society.
I know it’s a lot of hard work, but trust me–your hard work is not in vain. Typically, I get an inquiry from a prospective client just when I am getting most discouraged. You may have a similar experience.
Do you buy into the scarcity myth? Do you believe that good freelance writing jobs are harder to find than they used to be? Why, or why not?