Rise from Ashes or How I Became Independent

Rise from Ashes or How I Became IndependentI came a long way. Never could I imagine rising from the ashes and stepping onto the platform of doing what I love—doing what I was born to do. I dreamed of being able to write and photograph life’s precious moments ever since I could remember. I have always liked the idea of doing something I could never get bored with while still being my own boss and helping other people. I started at the bottom as I tried to learn how to improve my writing as well as getting people to buy my writings. It wasn’t all roses as I have had to jump hurdles, so to speak.d

When I first started freelance work, I had no idea how to navigate. I asked myself questions such as: “How should I start?” and “Will I manage?” – I was, like walking back and forth, questioning my actions. The very first tip I would give to those who are just starting out is to start freelance work on the side. I was smart enough to start out slow and doing simple writing assignments before I went any deeper.

I had set up my freelancer profile at a responsible and credible website. On the page, I put my picture up as well as a description about my freelance copywriting and photography. I was ecstatic when I found my first client.

She liked a piece I had written on promising technology news. New innovations are always making their debut, and she wanted me to touch on a new phone app and include a few pictures. It was a challenge that at first I thought was very simple, but once I presented the finished product, she thought the work was “good.” What does that mean exactly? Her voice sounded more disappointed than pleased. When she went on my freelancer website, she gave me 2.5 out of 5 stars.

As a novice, I didn’t know how to take criticism. The next few clients after her gave me up to 3 out of 5 stars. People started to not want to recommend me to their co-workers and other businesses. My appetite for improving my ratings and building great relationships between my customers and myself grew as I continued to analyze what I was doing wrong.

At first, I was frustrated. I didn’t understand why they didn’t like what I had written for them. So, one afternoon, I took a notebook and a pen. I wrote down my problem, how I got there, and what solutions I could take. It was time to go back to the drawing board. Commitment and dedication were added to the mix.

Looking at my profile, I noticed how dull it appeared. I knew it was necessary to make it more friendly and professional at the same time. So, I attached a copy of my résumé and made sure I had references from past employers where typing and writing skills were respected. This showed my experience and how past employers and co-workers can vouch my abilities. I went onto freelance forums and in person, passed out fliers and business cards.

One of my problems was not having thick skin. That is why as a copywriter, one has to know how to take criticism. I learned to never get angry at the client and speak with them in a calm, professional manner. Whatever issues they have with my work, I ask them politely to see if I could try again. When I did that, I was more likely to have them cooperate and after making corrections, I improved my rating scale. A big difference was made in just three weeks.

I created two portfolios, one for copywriting samples and the other, for photography samples. I made sure everything was organized and looked over before posting for the whole world to see. If one is truly proud of their abilities, then the person wouldn’t hesitate to share their photos and/or writings. I make sure I knew about photography tips, for example. I learned that I can build a positive reputation by laying out my talents.

Financial planning is something to pay attention to. I had to figure out the income I would like to earn each week and each month in total. I knew I had to shell out money for certain tools for my camera, plagiarism scanners, and keeping my business profile up and running. It is important to learn about and figure out how much I wanted to earn per hour or per assignment. This allowed me to plan out my schedule more efficiently.

Once I kept getting good reviews, I was able to brainstorm and begin my own small group of copywriters, photographers, and designers where I make a steady income while I still do some private projects on my own. I started garnering 4 out of 5 and 5 out of 5 stars with a 95% recommendation rate. I have new people asking for on a specific project. Organizing who I allow in my professional circle makes me feel in control.

My schedule is so much better. I am able to have a lot of free time writing about new riding toy I got to drive recently, or other fun interests. Additionally, I am able to spend more time with friends and family when I can choose my schedule and look for people I would like to collaborate with. It’s nothing but convenience while being able to rest without too much stress.

The one thing I hated about struggling was that I had moments where I wanted to give up. I am so glad I continued to keep trying. It was not easy and it took finances, time to develop my skills, and remembering why I began this journey. I have always loved to express myself through words and pictures. I rose from the ashes and dusted myself off. I searched and captured my own independence with a humbleness I could have never acquired without the difficulties I had faced as a young entrepreneur. I feel great.