5 Surprising Ways Freelance Writers Can Learn About Doing Business

by Anne Wayman

writers learnIn the post, 3 Must-Dos To Run Your Writing Like A Business I gave an overview of the bare minimum every freelance writer needs to know and do about the business side of their writing. It’s truly a bare bones approach. I also mentioned two of my favorite teachers of entrepreneurs.

There are, however, a whole slew of resources and ways to learn what you need and want to know about business.

Keep in mind that you’re probably not trying to get a degree in business. You want information that’s aimed at the solo entrepreneur. You’ll probably want some information on keeping the books, taxes, and marketing to start. These resources are a place to start.

Entrepreneurs at About.com - About.com has a whole section on entrepreneurs as well as an active and free forum. You’ll find a fair amount of fluff and almost get rich quick stories, but there’s also pure gold if you’re a bit discriminating. The sub-topic, Running a Business has a selection of articles you may find helpful.


10 Books for Entrepreneurs - Entrepreneur, which has a ton of resources, recently highlighted 10 books they thought many in business for themselves would benefit from reading. While the first one, about franchising most likely isn’t a fit, the rest definitely could be. If you read one or two of these before the end of the year you’ld be ahead.

Your local community college - Community colleges are an under utilized resource in my opinion. Check there for inexpensive but good classes on a variety of aspects of doing business. If you’ve got a four year college or university near by check out what they offer too. They will be more expensive but it might be worth it.

SCORE which is funded through the Small Business Administration, offers an amazing variety of resources – many of them free. I’ve used them to help me organize my business expenses, create a business plan and sometimes to answer a quick business connection. If you’ve got a SCORE office in your town you’re in extra good luck, but there is lots of help on their website.


5 Buck Forum – a bit of shameless self-promo here but I’m amazed at how much solid buisness knowledte shows up in our forum over at AboutWritingSquared.com – and at $5 a month it’s hard to go wrong.

The point is just because you’re a freelance writer doesn’t mean you shouldn’t learn at least a bit about running your own business. It’s time well spent and can even turn into another subject you can write about.

What business resources work for you?

Write well and often,

Anne

A writing coach might help you in your writing business.

Two newsletters:
About Freelance Writing
Writing With Vision

Image: AttributionShare Alike Some rights reserved by garryknight


{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Amandah July 16, 2012 at 5:24 am

One business resource that works for me is listening to my intuition. If a client and their project don’t ‘feel’ right, I respectfully decline the project. There’s nothing worse than accepting a project out of fear (fear you won’t receive another writing opportunity; fear you can only receive what the client’s offering to pay you) and ending up with a client that isn’t your ‘ideal’ client.

Another resource is to use a contact form ‘weed’ out clients. I know a few copywriters/freelancers use these forms so they can attract their ideal clients. I’ve since developed my own technique so I can attract my ideal clients to me. Live and learn!
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annew July 17, 2012 at 12:32 pm

Amandah! Yes! Intuition! I rely on mine… thanks for reminding us all.

I’d like to know more about your weeding out client forms… got a link or want to do a guest post?

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Cathy Miller July 10, 2012 at 6:31 am

I agree with you about SCORE, Anne. They are very helpful.

I always like finding sites with business forms-the form geek in me. The one at Entrepreneur magazine is a good one =>
Formnet
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Cathy Miller July 10, 2012 at 6:33 am
annew July 10, 2012 at 8:55 am

oh, no worries, I fixed it… now we’ve got it twice… twice as good.

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annew July 10, 2012 at 8:55 am

Love those forms Cathy, thanks.

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Lori July 10, 2012 at 5:45 am

I read one chapter a week in the business book that’s in front of me (or one that’s recommended). That’s a great way to really digest the material and not overwhelm yourself with too many options.

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annew July 10, 2012 at 8:51 am

Good idea… I may ‘barrow’ it from you.

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Michael Davis July 10, 2012 at 2:17 am

Hi Anne,
Local community colleges could be a great way to go. By attending few classes it’s possible to earn some valuable knowledge on business. That definitely helps your writing.
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annew July 10, 2012 at 8:51 am

Love it when folks agree with me Michael.

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