Freelancer’s can spend nearly almost as much time marketing themselves and running their business as they do performing their work. Freelance writing is a highly competitive field:
- many writers choose their freelance careers for the flexibility and control
- some writers freelance by default: they were laid off their corporate job, or suffered another sort of career derailment
- many PR agencies are now promoting their content writing services
How can a freelance writer compete? In addition to delivering quality content on time and on budget, I’ve found one of the best ways for a freelance writer to stay competitive and attract new clients is to develop stretch skills.
Stretch skills expand your knowledge and talents into new but related areas. For me as a content writer, I know how to write and market, I understand the importance of visual marketing and the reach of video. So
Here’s an example of how I developed my latests stretch skill, creating storyboards. One of my favorite clients wanted a video to promote his new book. The video is being made by a professional graphic designer and video developer. The designer requested a storyboard to help him understand what we need the video to say and do. As a content writer, I know how to write compelling content for the online market, I understand the importance of visual marketing and the reach of video. So I will take my current content writer skills and stretch them to a create a storyboard.
Do I know what a storyboard is? Sure! Have I ever created a storyboard? Of course not! So immediately I consulted Google, learned the elements of a good storyboard, and created a storyboard to help the designer visualize our message.A storyboard is a graphic organizer in the form of illustrations or images displayed in sequencefor the purpose of pre-visualizing a motion picture, animation, motion graphic or interactive media sequence.
Was this simple? Actually, it was relatively easy in this case. I know how to write. I understand my client’s brand and message. I understand the visuals needed to convey his message. Can I create a video? Probably not. But I can design the storyboard.
Here’s the storyboard I created:
And here is the video the graphic designer created from my storyboard:
I’m currently creating storyboards for another client’s video series. Just say yes: stretch skills can help you grow your freelance writing business.