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
Top freelancing news and tips to keep your career on track in content marketing:
1. The more you know: ClearVoice’s Talent Team takes over freelancing tips!
ClearVoice’s Talent Managers are excited to take over updating your freelancer tips and resources starting this month! What are Talent Managers exactly? We are a dedicated team responsible for the representation of the ClearVoice Talent Network. The team assists with everything from scheduling and availability, industry and relevant client matching, to ongoing communication regarding content execution in the network. We are the freelancer’s right-hand men and women focused on ensuring a quality experience not just for the client, but for the freelancer as well. Learn more about our work at ClearVoice.
2. 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.
3. 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.
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)
5. 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)
6. 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)
7. 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)
8. 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)
9. 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)
10. 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)
11. Brush up with 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)
12. 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)
13. Will the remote work experiment work?
During an unprecedented time in history, more people than ever are meeting deadlines and taking meetings from their homes. While it is undoubtedly stressful for many industries, professionals and freelancers, there is also a silver lining of opportunity. How so? Today, only 4 percent of the population works remotely — but if companies start to see the value and productivity in a scattered workforce… that number could grow. Or at the very least, it could create more flexible hours and calendars in the future. Read more about why experts are calling our current time the ‘biggest work-from-home experiment’ ever on Fast Company. (April 2020)
14. Why personal development goals always matter.
When you are deep in the trenches of a busy week that turns into a hectic month, and an even crazier quarter, it’s hard to hit ‘pause.’ But if you happen to have a bit more time on your hands right now, it’s the perfect opportunity to turn back to your roots. Or more to the point: to yourself and your personal development goals. No matter what stage you are at in your career, having a pulse on where you thrive and where you struggle can guide your decisions, workstreams and more. Learn how to set these objectives at The Muse. (April 2020)
15. 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)
16. Here’s how to adapt your marketing plan during isolation.
If your clients are looking to you to come up with creative and effective solutions to reach customers and meet goals while the vast majority of the world is in isolation at home, you may be scratching your head. Unless you have mastered crisis communication in the past, it could be a new learning curve for you. Before you panic, take a deep breath, and remember you can get through this, too. Here, Search Engine Journal provides the 101 on developing a plan, ASAP. (April 2020)
17. 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)
18. 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)
19. 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)
20. 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)From up-selling current clients to optimizing your #productivity, try these tips and tricks from Learning Hub on how to add more zeros to your income as a #freelancer. Click To Tweet
21. 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)
22. 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)
23. Another brand bought a content site — what can we learn from this trend?
If you’re in this business, you know how volatile content sites can be. One day, numbers are soaring, and the next, they’re tanked. In a response to save the free press and perhaps, the internet, many brands are buying these content creators to keep them afloat. Most recently, Cards Against Humanity saw a content marketing opportunity with the satire destination, Clickhole. As companies begin to explore other ways of developing their voice and propelling their mission, take a page out of this acquisition on ways you can brainstorm with clients. The Drum reports. (January 2020)
24. 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)
25. 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)
26. Get inspired to prioritize creativity.
Especially when you have a full-time freelance business (and a full-time social life), resolutions tend to become less dreamy and more practical. But why not have both? Solopreneurs at their core are proficient on specific tasks and hone unique talents, hence why they are hired by a plethora of companies.
Creativity is one of those soft skills that sets the good freelancers apart from the great ones, and it’s worth your attention every month of the year. If you’re struggling with making aspirational goals, read through this list from Adobe’s blog from fellow creatives like you. (January 2020)
27. The future of media and entertainment is critical.
In a recent study conducted by Ernst & Young, 50 percent of media and entertainment professionals reported they no longer believe they can be successful with their traditional business models. In fact, 28 percent know their day-to-day structures need to change but they struggle with understanding what to do to get started. A whopping 34 percent admitted they weren’t sure if their companies would exist in five years.
Sure, this is negative (and scary) but there is lemonade to be made. By investing in technological skills — 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. (January 2020)
28. You’re never too old for an internship.
The last time you were an intern? Well, let’s just say you didn’t even have a Blackberry yet. Though many freelancers feel confident in their professions, all too often, we become stagnant in our skills. This is troublesome since new generations can do what we do better — and probably for cheaper.
That’s why a blog on FlexJobs encourages solopreneurs to take on an internship, even if they’re far past the traditional age. How come? It’s an opportunity to expand your knowledge and become more competitive in an ever-evolving industry. (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:
29. Project timelines take, well, time. But you can master the fine art of juggling multiple demands from your freelancing business at once with this guide from Fiverr.
30. Don’t delete old content! And we mean, never-ever! Search Engine Journal explains the power of outdated content, and how a quick refresh can make a significant impact.
31. Freelance life isn’t always rosy. And while we don’t need to tell you that, your friends may think your life is more glamorous than it is. Here, Freelancer News from the U.K. gets real about the unfiltered day-to-day of freelancers.
32. It may seem like a lifetime ago, but people are still talking about the impact of the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Here’s why we shouldn’t forget what it taught us.