Daniel Lamb Shares His Tips of the Freelance Trade
Daniel Lamb is up by 4 am to work on freelance projects for his company, Holland Creative. By 6 am he is off to Atlanta for his day job as a senior copywriter for a digital marketing agency. He works there until about 3 pm. He finishes up leftover freelance work between 3:30 pm and 6:30 pm.
That schedule may not work for everyone, but it works for him. How does he manage it all? Take a look at his tips in this Q&A for writers who want to dive into the gig economy, either as a side gig or full-time.
giggs: When and how did you get started as a freelance writer?
Daniel: I started freelancing about 5 to 6 years ago by networking with people around Atlanta and doing a lot of research. I also knocked on the doors of people I knew were connected until they gave me a shot to do some spec writing or otherwise low-paying work.
giggs: What tips can you share for freelancers who are just starting out?
Your network is equally important to your skillset.
Invest in training and find your people. Facebook and LinkedIn groups are great.
Learn marketing. You’ll need it.
Buy your domain and don’t pay for some all-in-one service that will string you along.
Figure out a target market or niche. Start thinking about who you know, who they know and how you might be able to solve some of their problems.
Get a CPA/accountant.
giggs: What's the worst business advice someone has given you as a freelancer?
Daniel: That it’s too hard or risky to go out on your own. It is hard, but being risk averse isn’t a reason to give up.
giggs: How do you keep your business afloat?
Daniel: Hard work, frugality, networking, self-discipline and being very resourceful.
giggs: How did you come up with your pricing structure?
Daniel: I’ve backed my way into pricing based on what I want to make annually/monthly. I also think about the value the work can drive vs. an hourly rate. Selling time is the fastest way to create an income ceiling.
giggs: How do you market your services?
Daniel: Word of mouth, referral, live events, some digital marketing, doing community-based work on a pro-bono basis.
giggs: What are the keys to success when working remotely with clients?
Daniel: Great communication, clear expectation setting and good project management.
giggs: Anything you’d like to add?
Daniel: Being good at copywriting (or your specialty) is one leg of a three-legged stool. The other two legs: entrepreneurship and management. They're also really important and perhaps a place where we can all grow.
Thanks you for your insights, Daniel!
Want to connect with Daniel? You can find him on LinkedIn.
Ask him about gutwrench, the literary journal he founded.