Guest Post: Why You Can’t Find Higher Paying Work

Amen for friends. As I was busy dealing with my daughter’s illness, a note came in from Samar Owais. She and I had talked about her writing a guest post for a while, and there it was when I needed it most. Thank you, Samar. Your timing is excellent.
I swear I didn’t ask Samar to promote my ebooks or newsletter and was surprised to see it. Thanks, Samar. I’m glad you liked both ebooks. And I’m so happy you have provides such great advice to this blog’s readers. Give her some comment and Twitter love, guys.

5 Reasons You Can’t Find Higher Paying Writing Gigs
By Samar Owais
For many freelancers, finding higher paying
writing gigs is a dream. One, that is unlikely to come true any time soon simply
because they go about it all wrong.
If you’re a freelance writer who is struggling
to find higher paying writing gigs, it might be because:
      1.   You undervalue yourself
Undervaluing themselves is an epidemic
among freelancers. If it weren’t, there would be a need for Writers Worth Week
here at Words on a Page.
Undervaluing myself was one of the biggest
reasons I was unable to land higher paying gigs for a long time. I wouldn’t
apply to jobs that came from bigger companies thinking I didn’t have enough
experience.
Instead I kept going to the same kind of
companies and clients that were hiring me. As a result, I kept getting the same
low pay.
If that sounds like you, please download
the free ebook Lori gives away in her newsletter and read every word of it.
You need to value yourself as a freelance
writer before clients can begin to value you.
      
      2.   You don’t spread the word
Do you only look for work when you lose a
client or need to make more money? If yes, then you’re only setting yourself up
for low-paying work. If you need to make money or replace a client fast, you
won’t be looking for higher paying clients. You’ll be looking for work that
would compensate the amount you’d be losing.
You’ll probably end up accepting the first
writing gig that pays as much as you need to make.
Make it a habit to routinely spread word
about your freelancing. Spend 15 minutes a day marketing your business if you
want to be in a position to find higher paying gigs. Here are a few things you
can do:

Social
Media:
Use social media to spread the word about
your freelance business. Select any three social networks and edit your profile
so that it clearly states you’re a freelancer. Include your website, blog and
email to begin with and regularly update your status on them.

Send
out regular updates:
Email monthly updates to your
personal, professional and social networks about your work. You can either
divide them in three groups of personal, professional and social or send them
all one big newsletter-ish email with updates happening in your business.

Contact
prospective clients
– I hate cold calling so I will
be the last person to tell you to do that—although it does work. Try email
prospecting instead. Email an introduction to your prospective clients and ask
them if they work with freelancers. List your experience, and relevant links
and let the prospect take it from theme. Do this regularly because you won’t
always get a positive response – or a response at all.
For more ideas, pick up Lori excellent
marketing book: Marketing
365: Daily Strategies for Entrepreneurs and Small Business.
You’re guaranteed to find a few ideas that
you can start implementing today.
      
      3.   You’re looking in the
wrong places
If you’re trolling job boards, bidding
sites and forums for high paying writing gigs, you’ll never find them. They’re
hot bed for the kind of low-paying work you’re getting now.
Start by searching for companies in your
niche. Contact them, introduce yourself and offer your writing services to
them. Do this often enough and someone’s sure to hire you.
Here’s what freelancers don’t realize.
Every company needs writers to write their marketing copy. So don’t shy away
from contacting companies. More often than not, they’ll be glad to hear from
you even if they don’t have work for you.
      
     4.   You’re not looking at all
Are you writing for a few regular clients
and hoping new ones will come knocking on your door? While it’s been known to
happen, it simply doesn’t happen often enough to sustain a business.
If you’re not looking because you don’t
know how to, the tips above will give you a good start.
Here’s another tip I like to give: Pick up
your local classifieds and search for ads by companies that list their web
addresses. Research them, contact them and offer them your writing services.
How’s that for a starting point?
     
      5.  
You don’t believe you’ll get better rates
For the longest time, I didn’t believe
there were better paying jobs out there. Or if there were, they all went to
rock star freelancers who were well connected.
I had trouble finding low-paying work, who
would pay me the big bucks to write for them?
It was one of the stupidest things I have
ever let myself believe. If you value your work and are confident of your
abilities, there’s no reason you shouldn’t be paid more. Unless of course,
you’re crappy to work with, miss deadlines, and turn in sub standard work.
At the end of the day, the question really
is: How badly do you want higher paying writing jobs? And do your actions
reflect that level of want?

Author Bio: Samar (pronounced summer) Owais is a freelance writer
and blogger who offers rock solid tips for freelance writing success at
The Writing Base. She’s
passionate about traveling, her kid and helping freelancers
break free from low paying writing gigs and
earn more
through her ecourse.

About the author

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Comments

  • Cathy Miller August 17, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    I love stories about the journey, Samar, and this one shows that you have what I think all freelancers need – a bit of the bulldog. 🙂 We don't give up.

    James Joyce said, Mistakes are the portals of discovery. I've done a lot of discovery. 🙂 Nicely done, Samar.

    Reply
  • Devon Ellington August 17, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    Good stuff.

    My only addition, as the ultimate Anti-Niche, is to look BEYOND your niche. Find a company whose work intrigues and excites you and convince them they can't live without you! I like to create jobs at companies that interest me, rather than waiting until they think they've got a slot open.

    Reply
  • Kimberly Ben August 17, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    Great tips, Samar. You're right about some freelance writers not believing that there are companies out their willing to pay better rates. I was conversing by email with another writer last week about a webinar she was hosting, and she mentioned that a lot of freelancers actually accuse her of lying about the reality of better paying jobs. This belief continues to be an obstacle for some.

    Reply
  • Lori August 17, 2012 at 1:35 pm

    Thanks again for the post, Samar! I think #5 is the toughest one to overcome. How many times do we hear "There's nothing out there!" or "Freelancing is dead!" I heard it three times last week. It's an easy speed bump that people who aren't sure of themselves build. "I can't get past this! What, are you nuts?"

    It's all about wanting it. Then you can go for it.

    Reply
  • Samar August 17, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    Cathy – Thanks Cathy! Bulldog is right. The second you start thinking about not being good enough or blaming the state of freelancing etc. you're setting yourself up for failure. I made it by putting my head down and working through every obstacle that came up – both the real ones and those put up by me.

    Devon – That's a brilliant approach Devon. I always feel that when you contact companies on your own, you have the upper hand. You get to direct the conversation and steer them in the direction you want to go in. Case in point the clients I convince that they need content plans for their blogs.

    Kimberly – I keep hearing that too and it never fails to amaze me. I think the reason I broke free from low paying work was because I always believed that there were higher paying gigs out there. I just had to find them and deal with the mistakes and issues I mention in the post above. Thanks for commenting!

    Lori – Thankyou for letting me guest post Lori! Hope your daughter is doing better now.

    Thankfully it didn't take me long to realize that I was my biggest road block. It's all about taking responsibility for yourself, your work and your business. Oh and freelancing is definitely NOT dead and will never be simply because it's a business. It either fails or succeeds. The model doesn't die.

    Reply
  • Paula August 17, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    Nice post, Samar (and now I know the right way to pronounce your name).

    My problem is undervaluing myself. I do value my skills in my main niche, but am (slowly) building confidence in other areas. It's helped that a big client of my sister's graphic design firm has twice requested my editing services in the last month or so.

    Reply
  • Samar August 17, 2012 at 8:57 pm

    Paula – Thanks, Paula. It wasn't until I did a few audio interviews that I realized people pronounced my name wrong 🙂

    Twice in a month is a very good sign! Ask them for a testimonial.

    Also, whenever you want to gain experience in a new skill, do it for a lower rate or for no pay. This way, you'll find more people willing to hire you. Get them to give you honest feedback and testimonials. Once you've gotten a few clients under your belt, you can raise your rates – substantially.

    Good luck!

    Reply
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