ESL writers impress clientsOne undeniable fact about freelance writing is that every freelance writer goes after clients. At least at some point in their career. Not so pleasant but it is a must. As a freelance writer, having no gigs to earn a decent income can be very challenging. This can drive you from crazy to mad. You’ll go even madder if you happen to be an ESL writers.

 At the beginning clients don’t come to you, you have to reach out to them. Even if you are a native. And when you are an ESL freelance writer you spend tough times trying to explain the potential clients that you are not a scammer. It sucks.

Honestly, I haven’t gone through this badly. 

This happened to me at the beginning of my freelance writing career and I know how frustrating it is. Let’s dive into what I did and how I ended up not sucking clients. 

I hope these can help the bunch of struggling freelance writers out there.

Soft skills for ESL  writers

A lot of people will tell me that writers write. That’s true. Ironically, successful freelance writers don’t only write. They work at their personal growth. Believe me, it’s the key to making a living writing. Here are aspects of your life you have to work on.

  • Self-esteem 

As an ESL freelance writer when I started I was a little bit doubting. I never considered being able to write as Carol Tice or Bamidele Onibalusi or Seth Godin. But I soon realized that playing small does not serve my business. I quickly started getting rid of these negative thoughts.

This is more than obvious that what leads lots of ESL writers to a lowlife is their lack of self-esteem. Freelancing is a very competitive game and if you can’t value yourself as a good writer, nobody will. 

Not only will you not stand out from your pairs but also will you lose clients. The fact is if you can’t value your business, you can’t value someone else’s. 

And I love this quote from Marianne Williamson.

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine as children do. It’s not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own lights shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

Go out there, read books, go to conferences. Most of all, market yourself. Do whatever it takes to let go of this block. Once you’ve done that you will no more go after clients that pay you miserable bucks. Self-esteem is what have you pitch super popular blogs. It is what makes you go beyond your limits. 

  • Self-confidence 

This one is as badly important as the previous one. When then editor of a popular magazine accepts your pitch idea you start feeling like you can’t relate. This feeling is disastrous. Letting that invade you, will automatically end up having you lose opportunities. 

It takes confidence to write great content. It takes confidence to write content that grows your customers’ business.

When my very first client accepted to pay me $50 for one article, it scared the heck out of me. I didn’t think I could write a bill that’s worth it. Actually, there’s no limit to what we can achieve. I wrote that bill and I gained experience and confidence. This has helped me so far to raise my rates. And when you are confident, your work instils confidence and clients do not hesitate to give you more serious projects.

Actually, there’s no limit to what we can achieve.

  • Leadership 

This one is my favourite. Every successful freelance writer will tell you that an important amount of their work comes from referrals. Believe me, nobody cares you are a great writer if you can’t have a good relationship with people. 

Building trust and a great relationship with your clients and pairs is the key to landing more writing gigs. Most of the writers out there are overwhelmed with their projects. To an extent, they associate with other freelance writers to get the writing done. How do you build such kind of relationship? That’s where leadership comes.

Leadership is also what helps you stand for your business before clients. Just bear in mind that for you to succeed in this game you have to have a business mindset. 

Some clients will try to take advantage of you, leadership is what let you avoid that gently.

You should learn to say NO when they don’t meet your expectations. Sure, this play tricks on your mind ‘cause it’s not the easiest thing to do. Especially when you have bills to pay. But it’s worthwhile. The longer you avoid such kinds of clients the bigger your income. 

As you worked at your personal development, it’s time now to work at the technical aspects of freelance writing.

 Technical skills for ESL  writers

You’re just making your first steps in the freelance writing business. You’ve built a portfolio website, still, clients are skeptical. Then comes the question: how can you build a good reputation and give yourself a brand as an ESL writer?

  • Work at your grammar 

When you are an ESL freelance writer, one thing almost everyone agrees with is that you have gaps to fill in grammar. Even though you don’t. In most cases, we all do. Honestly, everyone does, including the natives.

Working at your grammar is not an easy task. But there are tools like Grammarly that can help you mistake-proof your articles. You can read grammar books or take grammar classes online as well. Reading articles (either in your niche or not) is also a game-changer.

No one wants a writer who can provide mistakes-free articles. So if you still want to have a decent income out of writing, you have to improve your grammar skills. This way you don’t suck clients and clients don’t suck you.                  

  • Work at your writing style 

Your writing style is the trademark that will attract clients. The quality of the work you deliver is what will have clients stick with you. There is no way a satisfied client will let you down if the quality of your articles rocks. 

Trust me, clients are likely to pay the price if it’s worth your work. Why is your writing style important? 

The more you can write like a native the more clients you get. Most people have ghostwriters and the last thing they need is to have one that sounds fake. How do you improve your style? Read a lot. Easy Peasy. Read any sort of written piece. And practice as well. There are also editing tools like the Hemingway Editor that will help you write good articles.

  • Be original 

Everyone is looking for unique content. That’s what attracts readers and customers to your clients. Plagiarism has grown with the demand for freelance writing services. You will soon realize, when clients hear ESL freelance writer, they hear PLAGIARISM. The fact is not every ESL writer is a copy-and-paste supporter. As en ESL writer, only your originality will set you free. Make sure being original remains one of your top priorities.

As en ESL writer, only your originality will set you free.

Wrap Up

When you are an ESL writer, you will spend most of your time trying to convince clients of your ability to write good content. It may turn out to be frustrating – at least when you know your worth. But there is no way you suck a client if you work at the following.

  • Your Soft Skills as an ESL writer

These include skills like self-esteem, self-confidence, leadership. These skills seem subtle but they will be relevant as your career grows.

  • Your Technical Skills as an ESL writer

Here you should work at your writing, your style, your tone, your grammar. Say, everything that will make you write five-star content.

Bottom line, make sure you market yourself as badly as you can because that’s how everybody lands high-paying gigs out there.

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