The freelance writing industry has come a long way over the past 10 to 15 years. For example, when I launched my career in 2007, I faced challenges such as:
- A lack of technology for communicating with clients and managing my business
- Sending query letters via snail mail
- Accepting the majority of payments via paper check
- Access to only one or two freelance writing job boards
Can you imagine dealing with any of the above in today’s day and age? There aren’t too many freelancers sending query letters by mail or asking for paper checks. And the thought of doing business primarily over the phone is enough to make anyone cringe.
While I distinctly remember managing all the challenges above, the first one — a lack of technology — gave me the most trouble. Remember, it wasn’t until 2007 that the first iPhone made its way to market. And even then, it was nothing like what we have access to today.
Fortunately, for myself, and every other freelancer, technology continues to evolve with each passing day. Now, the biggest challenge is deciding how to choose the right technology for your business.
Here’s what you need to do:
1. Think About What You Want and Need
This sounds simple enough, but it’s likely to change as you grow your career. For example, what you want and need today — when you only have a handful of clients — may not suit you down the road when you’re juggling 10+ projects at a time.
So, while it’s important to make a list of the technology you want and need, don’t lose sight of the fact that it’s likely to change at some point. Keep an open mind.
2. Don’t Overcomplicate Your Business With Technology
This is one of the biggest mistakes new freelance writers make. They’re 100 percent on board with the use of technology, but they end up overcomplicating their business with software and tools that add no real value.
Once you know what you want and need (see above), compare your options within each category to find the right solution. For example, there are catch-all websites — such as G2 — for comparing business software and services. There are also niche websites — such as Get VOIP — that focus on one particular type of technology.
Take your time as you research what’s available, as this allows you to implement the technology you need while avoiding anything that will complicate your career.
3. Take Advantage of Free Trials
Offering a free trial is an efficient and profitable way for companies to generate sales. Conversely, as a consumer, it’s a great way to gain familiarity before “going all in.”
You won’t always make the right decision the first time around, so a free trial is a good way to save yourself money while you search.
As you embark on your freelance writing journey, think long and hard about the technology you can use to improve each and every area of your business. You’ll soon come to find that technology positions you to work more efficiently, better communicate with clients, manage your revenue, and much more.