How to become a Freelance Editor

freeedtr


Do spelling mistakes, grammatical errors and poor punctuation jump out at you and ruin your reading experience? If written errors and bad writing style make you crazy you might make a great editor! An excellent grasp of language, style and word choice, plus a keen eye for detail are all the beginning ingredients for a solid career as an editor. If you have ever considered trying your hand as a freelance editor here are some of the steps you can take to get from just thinking about it to being a successful solopreneur.

Step 1: Develop your Skills

If you haven’t already worked as an editor before deciding to transition to freelancing, the most obvious way to learn editing skills is to take relevant courses from a local college or another institution that offers professional training. If you don’t have the time or money to get a degree, check out the wealth of online courses available on sites like udemy and skillshare. You’ll want to be sure that your grammar and proofreading skills are up to par before starting to look for work as an editor. Depending on what type of editing you are going to do, it might also help if you have good storytelling skills or a strong command of the acceptable formats in your niche area.

Once you feel confident in your editing skills it is time to gain some experience as an editor and work on some projects. Try and find people who needs help editing and offer to trade skills or you can help them out for another type of non-monetary payment. Even offering your services for free at first can help you gain experience.

Step 2: Choose a Niche

Identify where your strongest editing skills lay or what type of work you are most interested in editing. If you have a background in science, perhaps editing scientific research papers or journal articles will be your niche. Perhaps fiction manuscripts are what you are passionate about and you want to make that your niche. There are so many kinds of writing that need editing so try and pick a niche which interests you and where your strengths lay so that you can become an expert in your arena. When you know what niche to build your business in, what type of editing services you want to offer, and who your potential clients are; then you can build your portfolio, as well as draw-up your business plan and marketing strategy accordingly.

Step 3: Build a Portfolio

An editing portfolio should consist of samples from pieces you’ve worked on: a couple pages from each will do. Try and show before and after versions of each piece to give your potential clients an understanding of just how great your skills are and how you took a piece from primitive to polished. While building your portfolio you are also developing your marketable skills as an editor by doing the work you wish to get paid for and learning as you practice. Remember you only want to show off your best work that has been perfectly edited. At this stage it might be a good idea to offer to do some free work for testimonials to build your portfolio and reputation. You can use any feedback and criticism from your free work as a way to to learn and improve your skills.

Along with your portfolio, it is a good idea to make sure that you have a flawless resume prepared if someone asks to see it. One tiny typo is game over for an editor! Sometimes it is hard to edit your own work, especially if resumes aren’t even close to your niche area, so at this stage you could consider using a fellow freelance editor to edit your resume.

Step 4: Develop your Business Plan

You have decided on your niche and know your target clientele and you have the training and portfolio to become a freelance editor, but how will you take your vision and make it a reality? You need to make a business plan. Making a business plan seems daunting and complicated but it doesn't have to be. There are a few step-by-step guides available online and plenty of books written on the subject. An easy way to get started is to outline your short term, medium term, and long term goals using the S.M.A.R.T system of goal setting, in which your goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-based.

While you’re making your business plan you should check into what kind of business license you might need and what kind of insurance to get. You may want to set up a legal entity for your business to avoid personal liability. At this stage you should also decide how you are going to charge for your services: Hourly? Results based? Per project? A retainer fee? Now is a good time to write a general contract that you can adapt for each client and project, decide on an invoicing plan, and create a process for project management so that you are totally prepared to take on your first client.

All solopreneurs need to figure out how to deal with taxes and decide if they need to budget for an accountant. If you have the funds to meet with an accountant early on in your endeavors, they will be able to tell you what type of business you should set yourself up as for tax purposes and such. If you do not have the money to hire an accountant, plan to spend some time researching small business taxes.

If all this seems a bit overwhelming, why not check out these 5 Sources for Online Courses to help you with the business side of freelancing.

Step 5: Build a Website

You’ve found your niche, you’re building a portfolio and now it’s time to build and invest in your online presence. In order to do that it is time to set up your business’s website. If you aren’t confident in your website building abilities, it might be worth it to hire a fellow freelancer to do it for you. Or you can check out some online resources for advice and guidance, but whatever you do: be sure that your website is professional looking and showcases your best work in order to entice clients to hire you. A good business website includes the following: what it is that you do, what makes you stand-out from others who do what you do, where you are located, what your rates are, how you can be reached and a few personal touches to draw people in. It is a good idea to include a blog on it to keep people up to date on your projects, add a little personality, and give them a reason to keep returning to your site even before they’re ready to hire you.

Step 6: Promote Yourself

When you’re just starting out as an editor, you can add your profile to freelance marketplaces to help clients find you easily. When using these type of sites, it might be tempting to lower your rate in order to get more jobs. Once more clients can find you, you will get more jobs; the more jobs you get, the more indemand you will become and the higher you can raise your rate. However, do not get stuck in the habit of working for low pay and selling yourself short, offering services too cheaply is bad for business, feel free to say no to poorly paying jobs.

Anyone starting out in business knows that importances of networking, get out there and start connecting people. Let everyone from friends and family to former colleagues know what you are up to by sharing your progress across appropriate channels, it’s time to get serious about linking your social media to your business. Once your business website is up and running, be sure to include links to it on your social media platforms. Find and choose the best social media platforms to increase your exposure in your niche area: you want to be able to follow and tag relevant businesses that relate to what you do, it’s an integral part of online networking.

Aside from cultivating your online presence, you should have business cards ready to hand out in real life when you meet prospective clients or other people who can pass your information on to someone who is looking for your services. If you’re not sure where to meet people to had out your business cards to, try attending local business events, workshops, and conferences related to your niche, as well as joining local business associations. Join writing and editing groups to network with people in your area of expertise.


The road to becoming a successful freelance editor can look daunting but we hope these tips will help you on your quest. We don’t have many editor profiles yet on SageGroupy, the freelancer’s friend. Why not sign up and make a profile to start reaching potential clients today?

Author: S.Suzuyama

Posted in Freelancing For Beginners, Business Tips on Jan 25, 2019

Follow Sagegroupy

    Recent Posts

  • Agency or Freelancer: Which one Should I Hire?

    Posted in Business Tips on Jul 12, 2019

    When hiring remote workers for a project, businesses have a choice between hiring an agency or hiring individual freelancers. It can be hard to know which direction is right for your project, so here is a look at the differences you can expect to see between agencies and freelancers.

  • Why Small Businesses Fail And How You Can Beat The Odds

    Posted in Business Tips on Jul 05, 2019

    Having a great idea for a product or service that you think people need is step one in becoming the proud owner of a small business. However, starting a business is hard and before you invest your time and money into a new venture, Sagegroupy wants you to know why businesses fail and how you can best the odds.

  • How to become a Freelance Copywriter

    Posted in Freelancing For Beginners on Jun 28, 2019

    Many people want to write for a living and would like to become freelance copywriters. The good news is: thanks to the internet and businesses needing writing for their websites and more, there is an almost endless amount of work available for copywriters. The bad news is: there are many copywriters already out there so it is hard to make yourself stand out from the pack and get work. Do not be discouraged, SageGroupy is here with some steps to get you started on your path to success as a freelance copywriter.

  • What Small Business Owners Can Do Today to Improve Sales Tomorrow

    Posted in Business Tips on Jun 21, 2019

    Whether you’re just starting out as a solopreneur, or you’ve been running your own business for awhile, it can be difficult to know what to do now in order to promote growth down the road. Here are five things that you can do today to ensure the success of your business tomorrow.

  • Social Media For Freelancing

    Posted in Resources, Freelancing Tips on Jun 14, 2019

    Social Media isn’t just a time-sucking way to stave off boredom, the various types of social media platforms can be useful tools for freelancers. Solopreneurs can use social media as free marketing to get their name out into the world and to connect with potential clients. However, in order to use it effectively, freelancers need to follow some basic rules and play an active role for social media to be useful.

  • What You Need to become a Full Time Freelancer

    Posted in Freelancing For Beginners, Freelancing Tips on Jun 07, 2019

    Building a successful business takes time and it is hard to be patient when you're passionate about your work and eager to spend more time on it. Here are a few things that you should have in place before you become a full time freelancer.

  • How to become a Freelance Financial Advisor

    Posted in Freelancing For Beginners on May 27, 2019

    As a freelance financial advisor, you can work with individuals or small businesses who do not have the resources available to hire full-time financial advisors. Freelance financial advisors offer in-demand skills and have the potential to be successful solopreneurs, here are some steps you can take if you think you would like to be one.

  • How to Interview a Freelancer

    Posted in Business Tips on May 20, 2019

    If your business has never worked with freelancers before, it might be difficult to know what to look for and how to interview them. Do not worry, Sagegroupy is here to help with advice on how to interview a freelancer, what to look for and what questions to ask, so that you can find the best fit for your project.

  • Keep an Eye on these Business and Tech Trends

    Posted in News on May 13, 2019

    Freelancers and business owners alike can benefit from being on top of the latest trends in business, tech and beyond. With all your projects and your business-growth goals, it is hard to keep on top of the latest trends in business and technology. Luckily, Sagegoupy is the freelancer’s friend and we are always here to lend a hand. Just in case you missed it here are some important business and tech trends, and a few things to keep an eye on.

  • Starting a Freelance Business? Avoid These 10 Mistakes.

    Posted in Freelancing For Beginners, Freelancing Tips on May 06, 2019

    You may already be an expert in your field, but when you move from the traditional workforce to the world of freelance it is easy to make a few newbie mistakes. We’ve rounded-up 10 common mistakes that new freelancers make so that you can avoid making them yourself.


Tags


Comments

Please sign in to comment!