In the last post I wrote about my life as a start-up freelance writer/editor. I wanted to continue that theme in this post because I think it’s important for people to understand a bit more about how simple it is to start a freelance company and how hard it is to keep it going.
The “Easy” Part
Starting a freelance company is super easy. All you have to do is decide to start a freelance business. It was really easy for me because I’ve always wanted to work for myself. So, one day I said: “Self, we’re going into business.”
Done. Easy, right?
Ok, now onto…
The Hard Part
Everything else. That’s right. Every other part of running a freelance business is hard. Here are just a few things that you have to do (not in any particular order):
• Register your business with the government (depending on your area)
• Set up a finance plan/spreadsheet
• Monitor your competition
• Network your ass off
• Develop marketing materials
• Keep your IT systems up-to-date
• Always be ready to answer the phone
• Create and update your website
• Be organized
• Develop an elevator speech
• Understand your industry
• Stay current on latest trends
• Understand and use social media
• Master your craft
• Buy supplies
• Keep track of your time
• Keep track of your mileage (for tax purposes)
• Understand tax laws (local, state, and federal)
• Open a business bank account
Whew! By the way, this is BEFORE you have a client!
What Makes the Hard Part Easy?
Moving out to the Midwest (Indiana in particular) has been an eye-opening experience. The people here have made the transition from the northeast (New Jersey) almost as smooth as glass. I still miss a good slice of foldable New York-style pizza, Wawa, and the loving attitude of my fellow Garden State commuters, but Indiana has embraced us and given me a great opportunity to succeed as a freelance writer/editor.
They make marketing so much easier because they are open to meeting new people. They make learning so much easier due to the many networking and educational opportunities available. They make writing so much easier because of the unique need of governments, nonprofits, and political groups (my niche).
I’m really excited about the journey I’m on. I don’t know if I’ll ever officially call myself a “Hoosier” any time soon, but the freelance life in Indiana is pretty damn cool.
Thoughts? Let me know what you think about freelancing, the Midwest, or writing/editing in general.
Chris Obudho has over 25 years of writing, marketing, and public communications experience he learned in the public and private sectors. As a technical & marketing writer/editor, he can help you tell the right technical story through actionable content, precise editing, and passionate communications.