25 May 2012
Feedback from our Live Editorial Freelancing Q&A session - Part One
On Thursday, 24 May 2012 we hosted the first live Q&A session in our forum, focusing on the issues surrounding Editorial Freelancing. Lots of you logged in and joined the conversation as our panel of eight industry experts answered your questions and dished out valuable advice. There were so many great tips that we couldn’t possibly do them justice in one blog post, so we have divided them into a series of bite-sized chunks which should be easier for you to digest.
One of the first topics that cropped up was self-confidence and self-promotion. It is hard to approach potential clients if you are not confident and you don’t want that affecting your chances of getting work. The panellists agreed that training, like our Distance Learning courses are the key to boosting self-confidence and approaching problems with the correct knowledge. It was also suggested that, when possible, you should try and get feedback from your clients so you can work to improve your techniques for future opportunities.
You can boost your self-confidence by tapping into your specialities and approaching relevant areas of the industry. If, for example, you have a degree in pharmacology, why not approach a pharmaceutical company and offer to proofread promotional materials for them? This will not only boost your confidence but you can add them to your portfolio and use them as a reference for future clients. You must be true to yourself as a professional and be honest when talking to a client, don’t try to impress them just to get the job, really think about the project and see if it suits you and if you can do the client justice.
The discussion then moved onto selling strategies, and the best methods for finding work. The top selling strategies suggested were:
- Be friendly and approachable and make personal contacts in the trade
- Develop your portfolio and experience to enhance your CV
- Send email shots to publishers and potential clients
- Create a website and ensure that it ranks highly on a Google search
- Create Facebook and Twitter accounts to develop your own online voice.
These were chosen as the best methods of tackling sales pitches by both our panellists and forum members. However, the experts did stress that, although making contacts in the trade is important, it is absolutely essential that you approach new companies and individuals in order to broaden your scope for work. You should also create a business website as this is an important and effective way of drawing clients in. It is worth looking into various free platforms such as Weebly and WordPress who can help to get you started. Remember your website has to stand out from your competitors and it has to represent both yourself and your business, so do some research and find out how other proofreaders and copy-editors are presenting themselves online.