Not falling into these traps can save you thousands of dollars!
As a freelance writer, you only get one shot to make an impression.
What if you get a fantastic client, and then you make some stupid mistake and all your hard work is wasted? What if your client doesn’t come back to you for more work?
Has that ever happened to you?
In this post, we’ll discuss the three most embarrassing mistakes I made in my freelance writing career. We’ll also cover all the things you need to remember, so you don’t repeat the same mistakes.
Before we proceed, if you’d like to watch a more candid version of this as a video, here’s a link-
1. No track of time!
At the start of my career, I skipped meetings.
Can you imagine how embarrassing that can be — having the client wait while you leave them on “unread” and not respond to their queries?
This happened to me at the start of my career and cost me an amazing client.
It’s something I regret even today.
While having multiple clients, the issue is that you also tend to have multiple emails. This means when you get invited for meetings or any brainstorming sessions, there’s always an invite on another calendar that’s separate from your existing Google Calendar.
And if you don’t have that new Google Calendar logged in on your device, there’s a chance you might miss the meeting notification. Thus, you might end up skipping the meeting.
If it’s a high-paying client, you don’t want to leave a wrong impression by skipping the meetings, right? Here are two things I did to make sure I never forget appointments.
1. I logged in to all my Google accounts on my phone
When you do that on Android or iOS, the Google Calendar App syncs across all your Google accounts, it accesses data from all your calendars so that no matter which accounts you’re currently logged in if you’ve added all your calendars there, you are going to get a meeting notification. You won’t miss the crucial meeting with your client.
2. I used Motion to sync my calendars
Motion is an AI-powered productivity app. You can add all your Google accounts to your Motion Calendar. Based on that data, Motion will create a single calendar for you so you can see all your meetings in one place.
Motion also has a very cool Chrome extension. So whenever there is a meeting, you’ll get notified of it, regardless of what tab you’re currently viewing.
Motion is a paid app, but it has a free trial for seven days. Check out the pricing structure here.
2. Submitting diamonds in the rough
There was a time when I turned in my work without polishing it.
Whenever I wrote something, I reread it, proofread it, did all the corrections, and submitted it.
But, when I do this, it’s only based on my judgment.
And my judgment might not be 100% accurate all the time because we as humans are subject to making mistakes. It’s quite natural.
So, how do you avoid submitting unpolished work?
There are two steps I run my articles through after completing all the editing and proofreading work:
1. I run it through the Grammarly editor.
Grammarly is a grammar correction software where you can check how accurate your sentences, spellings, and words are.
It also suggests some interesting words that you can use as an alternative to the existing ones you use. If you feel that these suggestions are better, you can accept them and make your work shine.
2. I let Hemmingway chop away the sentences
After running the article through Grammarly, I also run it through the Hemmingway Editor. It’s a free software where you can check how readable, simple, and skimmable your sentences are.
When you paste your article onto the Hemmingway Editor, you’ll see some sentences that might be too long or too hard to read. Based on these suggestions, you can change your sentences to make them better and more pleasant to read through.
Hemmingway makes the writer’s job easier, and I always wonder why I was not using this before.
3. Not gauging the target audience
When you’re writing for a client, you might assume some things about their requirements which might not always be true.
So, don’t just rely on what your client tells you. If you know which website or which platform you’re writing the articles for, do your research and understand who your target audience is.
Every writer doesn’t do this. Most writers rely on what their clients tell them.
This is what can separate a good writer from an excellent writer.
So, if you thoroughly analyze and research who will read your articles, you can set yourself apart from the crowd. Market survey is an essential step that separates my work from the rest and ensures that my clients keep coming back to me monthly.
Summing up, here are the three biggest mistakes I made as a freelance writer at the start of my career.
- I skipped meetings because of too many Google calendars to keep track of.
- I didn’t use Grammarly or Hemmingway Editor to fine-tune my article.
- I didn’t gauge my target audience and made some very silly but avoidable mistakes.
How many of these mistakes were you able to relate to? Do let me know in the comments.