When I started out in freelance PR and SEO content writing, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Having always worked for major brands, it felt like a big step to go it alone, even with 15 years’ experience and numerous awards under my belt.
I wondered what it would take for someone to hire content writers online, and if there was even a market for it.
Turns out, there very much is.
The gig economy
I’d heard about the ‘gig economy’ and crowdsourcing sites such as Upwork. If you haven’t, this is a well-used platform for hiring freelance PR content writers or top freelance writers like myself. In less than eight months I became one of their ‘Top Rated’ contributors, a status that I still have three year’s later.
It’s fair to say that Upwork changed my life. It gave me the opportunity to meet new clients and forge a reputation as a credible freelancer. Whether you’re a content writer London, or in New York, it’s a great way to expand your client base and keep on top of industry trends. Plus, clients are always willing to share their insight and tips, which has really helped further my skills.
Better still, it has been highly rewarding. Just this morning an old client got in touch asking if I can help with a last-minute SEO writing job. It’s lovely to feel so valued. If you want to check out my Upwork profile, you can here >>>, you can also contact me directly here for work.
The art of Upwork freelancing PR
There’s an art to hiring freelance writers online and finding the best talent in the pool. Although this feature is intended for Upwork contributors and freelancers, I hope it will help both sides optimise their experience. So, here’s four ways I became a top-rated content writer and PR on Upwork.
1. Be the change
Without getting all ‘Obama’ on you, if you want to change the industry, then you need to be the change! Whether you’re a freelance PR writer or graphic designer, remind yourself of the reason you went freelance in the first place. To be paid for doing the job you love, and for creating a way of working that works for you.
For me that means only taking on jobs that I will enjoy or can add value to. Sure, when you’re starting out you might not have that luxury, but over time you will. It’s important to remember these values, because it will show through in your work.
2. Know your worth
One of the downsides of crowdsourcing sites is that there’s always someone willing to undercut you. Freelance PR rates can vary from person to person, but I’ve always found that they’re reflective of the talent you hire. I’ve also hired talent through Upwork myself, and found that you very much get what you pay for.
So know your worth and your value and don’t take less than you deserve. Don’t forget that you don’t enjoy any of the benefits such as pensions or bonuses, so you have to consider your overall fee.
3. Be available, be reliable
I’ve always taken great pride in my work as a freelance PR, and go beyond a client’s expectations to deliver. It’s one of the reasons why I’ve been repeatedly hired by clients and one of the best barometers of success in my opinion.
Treat every client with the respect they deserve, they are paying your wage after all. If it means overservicing a client for the benefit of a long-term partnership, then so be it. It’s much better to retain clients than find new ones. For this reason, I try to always over-deliver and impress clients, and listen carefully to their requirements. I’m also always available if they need me, it’s something I learnt as a communications consultant and has continued to serve me well.
4. Change your mindset
My fourth and final tip might just be my most important! If you want to land great jobs and long-term clients, you need to change your mindset and think like a client – not a freelance copywriter or otherwise.
If you’ve ever wondered how to find PR talent, or how to hire a publicist – you will understand. Clients have individual needs, which need to be dealt with on a bespoke basis. There is no ‘one-size fits all’ approach.
This starts with a personalised cover letter. Don’t have a standard template, it shows no care or thought. Every time I apply for a job, I research the client and read exactly what they’re after. If it’s something I can help with, I send a well-considered cover note – no more than 100-200 words. I keep it punchy and to the point.
Once I’m awarded the job, I ask the client what their expectations and objectives are, and I work towards these. Every client is different and I think it’s important to treat each personally, I guess that’s what years of working in public realtions has taught me.
At the end of the day, we’re in a service industry that relies on relationships and reputation. If you want to forge a long-term career as an expert PR or top freelance content writer London or otherwise, it’s time to work on your presentation – in every way.
Good luck ( you won’t need it!) x
Sophia Walker is a freelance PR and content writer London. Get in touch now to see how she can add value to your project today!