Freelancing as a writer is a completely valid way of working and can make a fulfilling lifelong career, especially for those who don’t like the constraints of more traditional setups. However, there’s no doubt that freelancers face some resistance from clients who might otherwise jump at their services. The trick might be to frame yourself as a professional business, rather than a professional individual.
Brand Like a Pro
The first thing to do is to make sure that no part of your branding says anything about you besides "professional." When you’re working on all your marketing content by yourself, for instance, it’s easy for typos and errors to worm their way in there. You have to be thorough, using tools like Grammarly to double-check absolutely everything you put out. For the site, you should ensure that you’re using a professional designer if you’re not fully proficient enough to create your own page.
But branding is about the message as much as it’s about how it’s presented. To create a great brand, think through the client’s eyes first and foremost. What do they want to see from you?
Be Upfront with Your Proof
Sometimes, the people who know best what your clients want to see are the clients that you’ve worked for in the past. There’s no better way to get that than to ask them for testimonials. Testimonials aren’t just kind words to give yourself an ego boost. They’re proof positive that your work has worked for others in the past, often highlighting the points that potential clients will care about the most.
Don’t Give the Game Up
Sometimes, the issue a potential client has is the size of your operation and nothing more. To do away with that, brand yourself as a business, not a person.
For instance, instead of using a home address, you can use a mail forwarding service to give yourself a truly professional address. Besides that, when you talk to clients, don’t immediately introduce yourself as the CEO or owner. Don’t outright lie to clients, but let them believe what they want about your setup.
Work Outside Your Work
Building your brand and the brand of the business outside your writing services might do a lot to show that you’re the real deal as well. For instance, running your own blog, your own podcast and your own social media community can show that you’re a well-respected and often listened to voice in the field (providing that you are). If you work on other projects like speaking appearances, getting in respectable online and print publications, and even writing your own eBook, can highlight you as an industry expert. There are few things better for the brand.
The stigma against freelancers is something of a silly prejudice for a lot of clients, but it’s one that you can work your way around. You just have to make sure you go the extra mile to emphasize the professionalism of your setup.