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You've got your first client - Now what?

Editing for authors: because every writer needs a good editor.


Apr 23, 2018
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Afternoon, y'all.

I've been writing for a while for fun. Two weeks ago, however, I graduated from college (Business Management) and without my schoolwork, I've found that I've got a ton of free time on my hands. I decided that a freelance writing career might be just the thing for me. I threw myself into it with gusto, and...things are happening too fast, and I don't know what to do!

I wrote myself a business plan, invested in a web hosting service to build my writer's website, went through all of my personal writing and cherry-picked the best to use as samples on the site since I have no clips, purchased a laptop for business only, bought accounting/invoicing software, etc. I'm proficient in marketing and started to send my feelers out.

Two days later, I had a local college radio host reach out and tell me that he is looking for someone to "write posts on social media and maybe something for the show's website". Suddenly, I'm stuck. I've panicked, and my self-confidence is shot. I listened to samples of his show and looked around for his web presence (it's sparse, which is what he needs me to boost). I asked him what his goals are, how much social media engagement he's looking for, what his goals for the show are, etc. and I have some ideas. I don't know where to go from here. I don't know how much to charge to make web content or how to ask for his budget. I think he's volunteering to do the show as a labor of love (he works for the university), and I think he'd be paying me out of his own pocket. The radio station does not have advertisers for me to target. I'm confused as to why he needs me, but I certainly don't want to tell him that. His radio show doesn't make money, and it has no advertisers so more listeners won't translate to anything for the radio station. I can certainly write social media content to boost listener engagement, but what do I charge for it? Does anyone freelance into social media? Do you charge per post? I'm thinking a more practical way to quote would be to charge per project ($$ per month for x number of tweets, etc), but I have no idea how much. I'd also need to write a social media marketing strategy with clear, measurable goals, which would come with the package deal I'm thinking. He also needs web content, though I'm not sure if it's just a re-vamp of the show's website or something ongoing like monthly blog posts, etc. All of this is going to come in WAY over the budget he's got in his head, I think, but it's my first lead and he has a lot of network connections for other radio stations with advertising budgets, and I don't want to burn that bridge.

I'm overwhelmed. I jumped in fast, and it's come at my face now. Any advice?

Elizabeth George's book Write Away