With each monthly update we’ll add several new freelancer tips to the top of the list, while letting older updates gradually fall off the list as they fade from interest.
When you’re a freelancer, there never seems to be enough time in the day. From pitching and writing to revising and invoicing — your responsibilities never seem to end. Even with the stress and the uncertainties, though, many wouldn’t trade their freedom for a standard 9-to-5 job. However, setting goals for yourself and continuously challenging yourself to dig deeper into your industry will set you apart from the competition in your field or niche.
At ClearVoice, our blog aims to be a resource for independent wordsmiths who are proactive and hoping to grow their business. We provide helpful resources, fascinating — yet effective — advice and more than anything, a reputable destination for questions, job opportunities and inspiration.
We also make the process of staying on top of news easier for you by providing need-to-know monthly updates on the latest trends and research within content marketing and development. Check back here each month for encouraging trends, thoughtful wisdom — and actionable how-to’s. We have you covered.Don't miss this month's latest and greatest #freelancing tips from the web. Click To Tweet
Updates from the ClearVoice Talent Team:
Opportunities in the ClearVoice Talent Network
Biotech is booming. If you have an education and background in biotechnology or a related field, please be sure to add relevant samples to your CV Portfolio, as the Talent Team will be sourcing a group of writers for new and upcoming opportunities.
Trending news to help you stay up to date on changes to the freelance landscape and beyond:
1. Remote work works!
The rising hashtag #RemoteWorkWorks may be the answer everyone’s been hoping for since many office workers began hunkering down in their home in order to combat the spread of Covid-19. While we’re still waiting on a definitive answer to how remote work impacts employee’s productivity and mental health, it’s clear that the gig economy is glowing and growing. According to CNBC, organizations are seeking out gig-based alternatives to more of their everyday needs, which means a broader audience and an expanding list of potential customers. It’s unclear if this will last under normal circumstances, “but now more than ever” as you’ve heard dozens of times, it’s time to seize the moment. (July 2020)
2. How to deal with uncertainty in your career
Freelancers deal with a fair share of uncertainty in their line of work. According to Forbes, it’s important to identify how you manage the stresses related to uncertainty and how you respond to them in the future. To do this, a team of psychologists at the University of Regina has created a survey to help you take stock of your ability to deal with ambiguity. Regardless of your answers, they suggest a few ways to combat these feelings; including finding a mentor or coach, working on your presentation skills, and brainstorming ways to shake up your freelancer strategy. (August 2020)
3. Advice from six-figure freelancers
Advice from six-figure freelancers should always be taken with a grain of salt because you signed up to work your way, not their way. Still, if you’re looking for success stories to motivate you or free resources to help you refine your email communications with clients, Business Insider has compiled a fantastic list to get you started. Once you start, don’t stop! Though many of the success stories convey feelings of dismay and defeat, by powering through they were able to find a win was waiting on the other side of any challenge. (August 2020)
Tips to boost your content career:
1. Ask these questions when you onboard a new SEO client.
If SEO strategy is part of your company’s services, you will likely already have a basic understanding of the skill. However, if you happen to miss one question or one piece of information from the client about their brand and their goals, it can throw off your entire SEO keyword research. That’s why Search Engine Journal suggests following this rubric the next time you snag a contract. (May 2020)
2. Here’s why an empathetic digital experience matters now more than ever.
Of all of the leadership styles, empathy is one of those innate skills that is always necessary. After all, if you can’t understand your clients and their needs and the needs of the customer, how can you be effective? This captivating read from Adobe’s blog explores how empathy matters today more than it ever has. During a shared experience like a pandemic, it’s essential to remain human above all else. (May 2020)
3. How to keep your cool as a content marketer during constant change
Since digital marketing is an ever-evolving field, it requires freelancers who are agile, flexible and eager learners. Even when you have these characteristics and the best intentions, it’s easy to feel flustered occasionally. Clients, however, expect their consultants to be calm and collected, rather than frazzled. Here, The Muse provides killer advice on adapting to an industry that changes regularly. (May 2020)
4. It’s time to update your ‘About Me’ page already.
It’s a strange truth: freelancers can write about, sell, market and illustrate their clients. But when it comes time to do the same for their own company? It feels like hitting a brick wall. Consider setting a goal this month that doesn’t feel too overwhelming: updating your ‘About Me’ page. Especially for a freelancer, clients look to this page to figure out why you are the best bet over everyone else applying for the gig. Check out Freelance News in the U.K. for their guide to writing this all-too-important section of your website. (April 2020)
5. How to explain your background as a generalist.
Though it’s important for writers to be skilled in all sorts of mediums — blogs, website copy, SEO-driven work and so on — it’s often recommended to have a niche. The only issue, of course, is that most wordsmiths will take whatever opportunity comes their way when they’re trying to build their base. As you start to narrow your topics and focus, it can be tricky to explain your background to potential clients. Find helpful tips on creating a compelling story and navigating this tricky conversation from The Muse. (February 2020)
6. The rise of the ghostwriter — and how you can tap in.
The demand for content has never been higher. And education around the value of content marketing, internet klout and social support has created a new market of opportunity for talented wordsmiths: ghostwriting. Truth be told? It’s not a new profession but it is one that’s predicted to serve up mega demand in the decade to come.
People want quality works of art under their name but they may not have the talent to execute. This post from Fiverr explores ghostwriting — and is probably something you’ll want to share with a potential lead who is on the fence. (January 2020)
7. Learn how to beat traffic numbers with a brand new — or struggling — website.
Regardless if you’re an SEO superstar, a blog-writing mastermind, or a freelance marketer who dabbles in everything, understanding how to drive traffic is essential. But that doesn’t mean it’s always an easy task. When a client has a brand new website or one that is really struggling, having a game plan for success will not only prevent them from drowning but also make it more likely your retainer will be continued. This post in Search Engine Journal gives the 101 you need to know. (January 2020)
Tips on winning work:
1. “No” can simply be the beginning of a negotiation.
If you find your client is stumped or concerned with certain aspects of your pitch, hone in on these examples and build them into your follow-up. By personalizing your proposals for each client to identify and solve their lingering fears, you can begin to explore the psychology behind their motivations. Not only will they be more likely to hire you, but you’ll be even more adept at tackling their biggest challenges. Laura Briggs, a 6-figure freelancer, details this top tip to negotiation and others at Entrepreneur. (May 2020)
2. How to use your expertise to win industry-specific work
With the freelance space becoming more competitive due to economic and unemployment woes, now, more than ever is the time to position yourself as an expert. Authority positioning, according to Forbes, is set to take hold of content marketing. This means that where and how thoughtfully you post content will either add or detract from your trustworthiness. If you’re a freelancer in the ClearVoice Talent Network, be sure to apply to industry-specific gigs at our job board to build and increase your authority in specific topics across the web. (May 2020)
3. How to stand out in a crowded space right now
As America battles the highest rate of unemployment in history, it’s normal to feel overwhelmed. While all industries are set to be more competitive than ever, there are smart and effective ways to differentiate yourself from others. In this story from Fast Company, experts share strategic ways to approach new clients or gig opportunities with an upper hand. (May 2020)
4. What you should do before you pitch to a client’s blog
When you’re hoping to add another byline to your brag list, you typically begin by sending pitches. There are many schools of thought on what works in terms of pitching and what falls short. However, there are some basic rules to follow — like reading guidelines, providing headline options, and so on — that are standard across the board. To reap the most reward from pitching, follow the advice from Fiverr’s blog. (May 2020)
Tips for managing your finances:
1. If you’re struggling, there is a relief fund for freelancers.
Life is a little weird right now — to say the least. If your business has taken a hit since social-distancing regulations have forced companies to revalue their budgets, remember you’re not alone. In fact, a Freelancers Relief Fund has been created to support solopreneurs who need a little extra hand during this difficult time. You can find everything you need to know at Fiverr’s blog. (April 2020)
2. Add more zeros to your income with this guide.
As a freelancer, you gradually grow more comfortable with periods of steady income, followed by a short-lived drought. However, there are some strategies to improve your cash flow and earn more money. From up-selling current clients to optimizing your productivity, try these tips and tricks from Learning Hub. (February 2020)
Tips to increase your productivity:
1. How to work from home like a pro.
With remote work here to stay (at least for the time being), the world of collaboration, meetings and performance reviews may feel brand new to even the most seasoned employee. It’s important to remember that working remotely during a time of global emergency is much different than working from home under normal circumstances. Still, if you find yourself wanting to become a better remote employee, Forbes provides great tips to ease the awkwardness of Zoom calls, buckle down on time-management, and overcome the hurdles that many now confront daily as the world continues its transition into working from home. (July 2020)
2. You don’t need a time machine to be more productive.
In today’s unique environment, people can find themselves divided into two camps: Having too much time on their hands or simply having no time at all. Whether you’re looking to outsource your piled plate of responsibilities or hoping to invest more time into leisure and reflection, these thoughtful questions and insights from Harvard Business Review can help you earn back time. (April 2020)
3. Here’s how to protect your computer from cyberattacks.
In the past two months, there has been an uptick in cyberattack cases. From hackers taking over Zoom conference calls to thousands of people having their Facebook information stolen, security has never been more important. If this hasn’t, well, been a priority for you in the past, now is the time to think critically about it. Luckily, Fast Company has the 101 guide to protect your private data. (April 2020)
4. Here’s how to get motivated as a graphic designer.
Every freelancer goes through periods where they run through their to-do list on warp speed — and then seasons where motivation is hard to come by. If you’re in the second camp right about now, consider trying out the SECAR method. It’s geared toward graphic designers but really could be used by any creative to stay on task, scour through deliverables and reap the rewards of productivity. Learn more on Fiverr’s blog. (February 2020)
5. Why you should be creating content daily.
As all creatives can understand, sometimes everything flows freely and easily. And other times, it’s a day-long upward battle to complete any task or assignment. For freelance writers though, it’s essential to write something every single day. Not only does this keep your vocabulary and grammar strong, but it forces you to work past mental blocks that could be creating roadblocks or hurdles. Fiverr’s blog has several ideas on content types to work into your routine. (April 2020)
Tips for your personal well-being:
1. It’s okay to take a mental health day.
As we all brave another day, week and month of the pandemic, everyone is experiencing highs and lows. Whether you’ve seen a decrease in your income or not, there may be times when you’re more productive than others. And hey, that’s okay! It’s important to take mental health days to adjust, decompress and navigate this strange time period. And if you need an extra day with the work you’ve been assigned from clients? It’s reasonable to ask for it. Here, The Muse tells you how to do this professionally and effectively. (April 2020)
2. You probably can’t kill these home office plants.
Having a private indoor jungle is trendy these days, even for those of us who don’t exactly have a green thumb. Rather than disappointing yourself and having to throw out yet another victim, consider investing in office plants that are difficult to kill. These require little-to-no effort, can survive in various sunlight conditions and don’t need water more than once a month. Start your search with this guide from Freelancer News in the UK. (February 2020)
Helpful guides and resources to increase your freelancer skillset:
1. Improve your career with your own personal branding.
As a freelancer, you run a business where you are the face of your brand. Companies hire you for your skills, your expertise, and your knowledge. Your personal brand paints a picture of who you are and acts as the first impression for those looking to hire you, often before you even have a chance to interact with them yourself. In today’s digital age, personal branding is more important than ever.
Whether you are just starting out or an established freelancer, your brand is an essential factor in the growth of your portfolio and trajectory of your career. Our personal branding guide pushes you to reflect on your skills and create a strategic vision for your life, then teaches you how to reflect your personal brand and goals when claiming your ClearVoice Portfolio. (July 2020)
2. Brush up your link building skills.
As a professional freelancer and solopreneur, it’s always important to invest in your skillset. This includes understanding the latest trends, providing the best recommendations for your clients and allowing your business model to pivot as necessary. If it’s been a while since you brushed up on the fundamentals of link building, consider this your nudge to dig in. Or, if you aren’t familiar with the best practices of SEO and how internal and external links impact your authority, this guide from Search Engine Journal will help. (April 2020)
3. Learn Photoshop with Adobe’s new resource guide.
Consider this: instead of outsourcing your Photoshop needs, what if you took them on yourself. Regardless of how little or how much you understand about graphic design, Adobe has created a resource guide to improve your skills. If you find yourself with more downtime than normal, take the opportunity to become an expert across many mediums: writing, marketing and now, imagery, too. Learn more on Adobe’s blog. (April 2020)
4. Add content auditing to your skillset with this guide.
As competition within the content and marketing freelance industry becomes even stiffer, diversifying your offerings can help you stand out from the pack. One hire nearly all companies could use is a content audit. Whether it’s double (and triple)-checking for SEO best practices or updating a linking strategy, this ultimate guide from Search Engine Journal is a must-read. (January 2020)
Top freelancing tip: Join the ClearVoice Talent Network
Want to know one of the best freelancing tips? Join the ClearVoice Talent Network! Work with growing brands who need talent like you. Writers, editors, producers, designers and more.
More notable freelancer tips and news:
1. 2020 isn’t over yet, and thinking differently about your freelance business could help you earn back lost revenue before you ring in the new year. Learning to diversify your client sources is the first step, see the rest at Fiverr.
2. Need some motivation? If you’re struggling with making aspirational goals, read through this list from Adobe’s blog from fellow creatives like you.
3. Tech skills are the way of the future. From video editing and data reporting — freelancers can become the go-to person that brands hire to remain competitive. Check out more info on The Drum.