If your freelance writing business isn’t growing the way you had hoped, you’ll probably want to evaluate the reasons this might be the case. Like any business, you should expect to see a bigger, better client and profit base than the year before. Growing a business isn’t just writing or looking for work.
If you want your business to grow in 2010, let’s see if we can identify the reasons your business may not be doing as well as you had hoped. Nip those issues in the bud, and get motivated in time for a positive and profitable new year.
If you’re business is stagnating, it may have to do with one of these issues:
1. Lack of marketing and promotion
It’s not enough to hang out a sign, you have to let the world know you’re talented and open for business. Research the various methods to market and promote your business. What are some of the ways you can get clients to take notice? Don’t just put up a website or a blog to introduce your services, work hard to bring in traffic and business. Align yourself with designers, ad agencies and other places who work for clients who hire writers. Contact businesses and reach out to the places who hire writers. Business won’t come to you, you have to bring it in.
2. Lack of motivation
What’s keeping you going? Don’t just get by, strive to be the best. Figure out what motivates you and use that to your advantage. Doing the bare minimum is only going to get you so far. Keep your eye on the prize, identify your goals, and set a plan into place so you can achieve your goals. Writing for one or two clients each month and leaving it at that won’t ensure growth.
3. Not charging enough
It’s not enough to break even each month. You’ll have to pull in a profit. If that’s not happening, you’re not charging enough. It’s understandable how some writers will start out low in the beginning, but your paycheck has to grow if your business is going to grow. As you take on more clients and more projects, raise your rates. If you’re in demand you deserve a paycheck equal to the title. Most clients won’t balk at a reasonable rate increase and most expect it after a period of time.
4. Lack of advertising
Again, who will people know about your business? To make money you’ll have to spend money, even on advertising. Research your demographic. Where is your ideal client base likely to converge? What do they read? What blogs and websites do they visit? Find out and invest in an advertising campaign.
5. No networking
Networking is the single best way to introduce yourself – and your business to others.Whether it’s online or offline, if you’re not out there meeting people and talking about what you do, your business won’t grow. Get on the social networks, visit the forums, participate in blogs and online discussions, join writers groups, attend conferences and seminars and let everyone know about you. Build relationships. Every single person you meet is a potential client.
6. Not branching out
If you work for content sites, consider querying one magazine per month. If you only write for magazines, consider business writing. If you only write ad copy, consider writing for websites. Keeping all your eggs in one basket isn’t wise, especially in this economy. Being married to a particular form of writing means you could lose it all if that genre goes out of business.
7. Sticking to one niche
Sure, you’re very good knowledgeable about that one particular thing, but you’re starting to say the same thing over and over again and beginning to sound stale. Specializing is terrific, but it’s also good to break out of your comfort zone and add your voice to something new.
What are some of the methods you use to grow your business?