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How to Be a Freelance Editor

The step from ‘employed’ to ‘self-employed’ for many is a large one with many risks and considerations. In fact, the risks and considerations are so innumerable that many do not take the step. Welcome to the series How to be a Freelance Editor brought to you by AJ Editorial Services.



In what seems strange to call a lucky twist of fate, I lost my job due to the COVID-19 pandemic. I call it a lucky twist of fate as it took away all sense of risk to starting my own business. It was no longer a choice between the financial stability of ‘employment’ versus the turbulence of ‘self-employment’; the choice had been taken out of my hands and the job market was well and truly closed.


Lucky are the few who are released of the anxiety that choice brings.

But this is not the most helpful advice to someone in a stable career, with unfolding prospects. To someone who may have dependents and high committed spending.


So, what nudge does this majority need?


The nudge, in most cases, will not be from divine intervention or a sign in the clouds from the cosmos. Unfortunately, for most people this nudge must come from yourself and your own thoughtful but confident planning.




Confidence without thought is foolishness. But thought without confidence will not get you anywhere. The following steps will help you to take the leap into the world of freelancing.


Thought

Budget

Do you have the capacity to be self-sustaining for the months that it may take for your work to become profitable? Do you have the budget to cover the upfront costs of starting a business?

Plan

Have you got an achievable year-long objective? Do you have strategies for building a client base?


Confidence

Your abilities and strengths

Would you consider yourself an intermediate, professional, or advanced professional? Have you got training/experience to prove your abilities?

Your tenacity

How long are you willing to work before becoming profitable? How many unanswered work proposals will it take to cause your confidence to falter?

Having faith in your abilities and the staying power to work hard before that work becomes profitable is essential to being a self-employed freelancer of any kind. For editing and proofreading, especially, you must be able to demonstrate your ability to prospective clients. Transitioning to freelancing often means starting from square one. Blind ability to keep working at it until you become profitable is good, but not enough. Careful thought without confidence leaves you in a cycle of planning and waiting for the right time. But combined with confidence, detailed planning ensures you have a step-by-step plan to becoming profitable and successful.


The next instalment of this series will outline my experience of planning for setting up a small business. I will be sharing what I have learnt about creating a business plan that you will actually follow.

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