EIJ session: How to become a better freelancer

September 20, 2016 10:30

By Rafael Lopez, RTDNA News

At times being a freelance reporter can feel like a constant battle. You have to come up with story ideas, pitch them to the right organizations and make sure you can make some decent money.

Dana Neuts, former Society of Professional Journalists president and a freelance writer, along with media consultant Robyn Davis Sekula, revealed some things they wish they knew before becoming freelancers:

Communicate well and often: Neuts and Sekula both agree that staying in contact with a client for an extended period of time is a great way to build a long-term relationship can help an employer remember you. “When they have 10 or 20 freelancers, you want to keep reminding them of you,” Neuts says.

Manage money: Once you’re an established freelancer, you will be able to charge a rate between $1.00 and $2.00 per word. “I tell people not to work for free at all; it devalues your work,” Neuts said.

Sell yourself: It is very important to have multimedia skills. The industry is very saturated and having a strong resume will increase the chances of setting you apart. Sekula and Neuts both believe that having a portfolio showcasing your best work will help when people search you.

Stay ahead of technology: Being tech savvy and staying active on social media is what corporate clients expect. Neuts added, “There are some publications that want to know how big my social media audience is.”