Freelancing is often seen as the first step to entrepreneurship.
But as a freelance writer you probably run a one-person business, trading time for money, while dreaming of living the laptop lifestyle, posting pictures from Mauritius and Thailand while working in your yoga pants.
How do you make that happen? How do you stand out from the thousands of others with online businesses who call themselves entrepreneurs?
Every freelancer wants to break free from the time-for-money cycle and become a successful online entrepreneur. But it’s a crowded marketplace, and for your dream to turn real, you must stand out from the competition.
So how do you separate yourself from the rest of the herd?
Here are five offbeat ways to differentiate yourself as a freelance writer.
1. Make your customer the hero
Your freelance writing business isn’t about you. It’s about your customer. No matter how brilliant or unique your product or service may be, do not blow your own horn. Do not project yourself as the hero waiting to rescue a customer in distress.
Your customer is the hero, not you.
Identify what your customers want, why your product or service will appeal to them, how it works, and in what way your customers will benefit. Make it about them. They are the hero. You’re there to assist them in their journey.
2. Have a long-term plan
Writing articles for $100 per hour is okay for paying bills. But it isn’t what is going to help you realize your dream of being an online entrepreneur.
A successful entrepreneur is someone who makes money without burning out. Doing so requires a long-term plan. Your plan could include starting a coaching program for writers or a creating a digital marketing course for small businesses.
Every freelancer finds his footing by offering services at an hourly rate, but you must have a vision to take your business higher than that.
3. Know your limits
Are you someone who takes pride in doing everything by yourself? Do you think asking for help is a sign of weakness?
If you answered yes to that, you’re far from being alone. We live in a society where being busy is a status symbol. But there’s only so much you can accomplish in 24 hours, and it’s perfectly OK to seek help managing certain parts of your business.
Outsourcing tasks helps you focus on the most important aspects of your business. A smart entrepreneur isn’t someone who doesn’t need to seek help; it’s someone who knows their limits.
4. Create brand value
Your customers make you what you are. How is your product or service making a difference in their lives?
As a freelance writer, your brand doesn’t begin and end with writing articles. You must sell promises. Remember, your customers are always looking for ways to improve their lives. They want to be less busy and more productive. They want to be less stressed and more happy. Your brand value lies in helping them achieve that.
Maybe you provide lifestyle stories and tips that inspire women to celebrate their identity. Maybe you help stay-at-home moms build their own online biz. When people identify with your brand, they buy from you because they believe in you.
Make a positive impact. Sell promises, not features or benefits.
5. Be different, not just better
There are thousands of freelance writers out there. If your focus is on being better, then you’ll never achieve that. Focus on being different instead.
In a world where everyone’s trying to be better than the other, the best way to stand out is by being different. Find out the gaps in your field that your expertise can fill in. How you place yourself in a crowded marketplace can make all the difference.
Transitioning from a freelance writer to an online entrepreneur may not be all fun and games, but it needn’t be daunting either. By carving a niche for yourself in the market, you can be a stand-out freelance writer moving steadily towards your dream lifestyle.
What steps have you followed to take your freelance writing business to the next level?