I’ve often heard people say “I always wanted to be a writer but they don’t make any money so I went into sales (or banking or administration or….pick one).”
My response to that is a pretty simple one: Who says you can’t make any money as a writer? And, better yet, how do you make sure that, as a writer, you are making good money?
Good writers are always going to be in demand and although the news business is not the land of opportunity that it might have been decades ago, news people are still paid to research and write the stories that show up in our inboxes every day.
Corporate writers are paid well, and have reasonably steady employment. Writing teachers at community colleges and private schools are still in demand. And freelancers who are willing to bust out of that “Writers don’t make any money” paradigm are making a reasonable living at their craft.
So how do you escape that old paradigm? Here are my top three tips:
1. Invest in yourself.
I’ve spent well more than $100,000 in training over the past few decades and even though there have been times when I’ve had to hold my breath and sign on the dotted line, every expense has added value to what I can offer my clients. I’ve taken courses in everything from editing and neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) to creative writing and content marketing. I’ve explored many topics in spiritual awakening and I’m currently working with tutors to improve my fluency in German and Italian and I’m working and I have a whole list of other educational opportunities that I want to pursue.
Everything I learn increases my writing capability and shows my clients that I am serious about helping them express their business messages in language that appeals to their ideal clients and customers. It’s a win-win!
2. Remember that writing is a business, not a hobby.
You need to know what kind of individuals or companies you are perfectly suited to serving and what type of projects you are perfectly suited to complete. You need a business plan and a marketing plan. And, above all, you need to maintain a consistently professional approach in everything you do.
3. Trust your instincts.
If a potential client comes along and you get a less-than-perfect vibe from your initial conversation with them, don’t be afraid to take a pass. You are not perfectly suited to work with every potential client that comes along – and not every client is going to be your dream-come-true, either. That’s OK! It’s far better to save yourself the perceptive nightmare of a client-writer mismatch than leap at every business opportunity that comes your way.
I firmly believe that there is enough business out there for all of us but it is our responsibility to be very clear on who we’re here to serve and how we can best render our service.
If you are a writer who would like to know more about how I can help you fine tune your career development efforts, please get in touch – I offer consulting services for other writers and I am standing by to put the wisdom of my three-plus decades of professional and creative writing expertise to work on behalf of your hopes and dreams.
Questions? Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org