How to win more freelance work: 7 Insider Tips from Reedsy
Since we started Reedsy a few years ago, we have seen hundreds of our freelance professionals get thousands of projects through our marketplace. Some used good tactics, some not so much, so we decided to share insider tips on how the most successful freelancers do it.
What are our 7 top insider tips for getting more freelance work and making your prices work?
- Your prices don't have to be the cheapest, just show the value you will bring to the table
- Get rid of the idea that publishing houses pay more than indie authors, that’s simply not true
- Engage with every single author and book
- Ensure your quotes are clear (state what the client is, and isn't, getting)
- Use templates to cover all of the basics every time
- Keep your online profile specialized and showcase your expertise
- Think twice before declining a project, sure you don't want to be involved?
1. Cheap doesn’t always win — show what you can bring to the table
You might think that in a situation where authors are sampling a number of quotes the cheapest one always wins and you are much better off working with publishing houses instead of indie authors. Although it is true that some authors are hunting for the lowest price, statistically, only 50% of Reedsy clients accept the cheapest offer; others take the quality of work, communication and general engagement of the freelancer into consideration, resulting in mid-range and highest offers being accepted. If you are prepared to show the value you can bring to the project, it is much more likely that you will make your prices work, even if they are not the cheapest. You can also check out our post on how much editors and designers make to see how your prices compare to the rest of the market.
Real Reedsy requests examples
Examples from our marketplace above show projects, where offers almost twice as high as the lowest offer, are being accepted. This is not to say that you should just charge crazy prices, but making your high-end pricing work should not be a concern on Reedsy.
2. Don’t underestimate authors’ budgets — they pay more than publishing houses!
It might also cross your mind that publishing houses pay much more than standalone authors. Well that is simply not true; although publishers do invest into the production process, they are still companies trying to make their business efficient. In the past few years, most of them downsized significantly and their budgets for freelancers shrank. Self-publishing authors, on the other hand, want the best for their book (their baby!) and if they find the perfect professional they will consider paying more especially if you show them the value you can bring.
You’ll find the next tips useful when bidding on projects. These are based on the tactics of the most successful freelancers on Reedsy.
3. Engage with every author and book
Clients have spent some time researching freelancers to contact, meaning you are one of their top choices and they want to see you engaged with their project. Ask yourself: “Is this an exciting project?”; “Have I worked on something similar?”; “How can I respond with a personal touch?”. It will help you to relate to the author’s project and elevate yourself to being a client’s number one choice.
4. Keep your quotes clear and concise
The offer not only helps form the details of your contract, but it is also the best way to confirm that clients understand what they are, and are not, getting. When composing the offer, spend some time considering the details that are crucial for the authors to understand. Consider including detailed information about the service you will be providing, how many iterations there will be and whether you would like to offer the client an opportunity to discuss your work (and for how long!) post factum.
5. Make templates your best friend
Templates (or pre-composed messages that you edit) will help you efficiently cover the basics every time, whilst allowing you the time to engage with the important part — the project itself. Ensuring every author gets all the information they need will avoid lots of questions later and instill confidence, as they then know what to expect from the start.
Templates also work as checklists, making sure you have all of the necessary information to provide an accurate and detailed quote. It’s all good when clients talk about how much they love or hate the book they have written, but sometimes they miss the more trivial, nitty-gritty details about their project and what they service they actually need!
A template used by one of Reedsy freelancers
6. Don’t be a Jack, or Jill, of all trades
Make sure your online profile is specialized. If a client is looking for a romance editor, it doesn’t sound great if the editor states they specialize in general fiction and non-fiction books and provide all possible editing services. Narrowing down the areas you work in will help funnel more considered requests your way and, most of the time, ensure that the projects will actually be of interest to you. Showing your expertise in a particular field will also give more confidence to the clients that you will make their book the best it can be.
You can see some of our top tips on creating a great professional profile here.
7. Think twice before declining
We all know it’s easier to work on something that you are interested in, so give yourself the opportunity to find that out before you decline a project. Do not decline unless you’re actually too busy for the next few months or cannot help with any of the services the client is asking for. Other details can be worked out, whether it is the timeline that doesn’t fit you (always ask if the client is flexible) or you feel that they need help with more aspects than you can cover. Just let them know and discuss what you can do for them. At least with some projects, you will be able to reach an agreement.
Not a Reedsy professional yet? We’re always looking for more talented freelancers, go ahead and join our community.