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If you fancy a job as an editor but would like to work on your own schedule and set your own pay, starting a freelance career is a great option – but you do need more than a computer and a positive attitude. To be a successful freelance editor, you also need clients.
Today, I’m going to help you find freelance editing jobs that pay by telling you exactly how to reach clients and set up a system that works for you.
Table of Contents
The First Step to Success: Finding Your Base
With any freelance career, you have an uphill battle when it comes to building your clientele. You are going to have far better luck finding editing projects when you advertise your services on a website or app that centers around connecting freelancers to clients.
There are quite a few places online to set up shop, so to speak, where people come to you with job offers for remote work instead of you having to scour the internet for proofreading and editing jobs that may not even be legitimate.
Let’s talk about a few of these sites and what they have to offer.
One of the most popular sites for finding freelance editing jobs is Upwork. This service is free to use and there are many benefits to take advantage of, including:
- A payment guarantee for the work that you do. When you take on a job writing and editing for a client, the agreed-upon payment is put into escrow. This means that the money can’t be touched by either party, preventing you from being scammed. When you turn in the work and it’s approved, the money is released directly to you!
- Thousands of job listings to peruse and apply for. Upwork’s primary goal is to connect freelancers to those who need the services that these freelancers provide. You can view job listings and even narrow down your search to those potential clients who specifically need an editor for their project.
- A rating system. Upwork allows both freelancers and clients to get the inside scoop about the person they plan to work with through ratings. Every time you finish a project for a client, you rate their professionalism and trustworthiness. In turn, they rate you as well. The more highly rated you are, the more that future clients will look to you for editor jobs.
Freelancer.com is very similar to Upwork in its layout and options for work but the difference lies in what you have to give the site in return.
Upwork is entirely free to use and you get a set amount of bid points per month to submit proposals for projects. Freelancer requires an upfront membership fee to use their service. There are a few plans that can give you more freedom on the site, depending on how your freelancing business grows.
This isn’t all bad, though! This competitive membership allows you to bid for more projects than others and to feature more of your work and skills, making you more visible to potential clients.
If you enjoy this competitive business model and don’t mind spending a little money to earn a lot more, then Freelancer would be a great option for you!
Getting Hired: Advertising Your Services
Once you find a platform that works for your needs, the next step to getting paid is advertising yourself! Freelance sites like those mentioned above allow you to build a professional profile once you have created an account.
There are a few key pieces of information that you should put on your freelancer profile if you want to be noticed by paying customers. They are:
Getting a visual representation of someone you are interacting with is important because first impressions are everything. If you look like a slob or you’re dressed inappropriately, it tells your would-be employer that you are incapable of handling the responsibilities of the job.
Being a freelance editor means you don’t meet others face to face in most cases. This can be one drawback of the job. In a traditional interview, you would meet the person you hope to work with; it allows them to judge you not only by your personality but by your appearance. It’s a huge part of the hiring process.
Because this need for a good first impression does not go away when you work remotely, you need a professional photo for your profile. For the best profile picture, you should:
- Dress as you would for a job interview. No tank tops, no logos, and nothing immodest should be visible in the photo.
- Keep your hair neat and makeup natural.
- Stand in front of a plain background. This forces the person interested in hiring you to look at your face instead of what may be going on behind you.
- Take the photo in a place with good lighting.
- Only use a high-quality camera. You want your profile picture to be clear, not fuzzy and confusing.
- Absolutely no selfies. Photos taken by yourself with your phone camera look unprofessional. The angle is almost always unnatural and we are all guilty of choosing only our best angle for the perfect snapshot. That’s not what a client wants. They want to see you as they would if you were meeting face to face.
While the pay you expect for remote work can be negotiated based on individual projects you take on, it’s important that you set your typical hourly rate immediately. This indicates to future clients that you know what your skills are worth and that you are confident in your ability to do the job correctly.
Be sure to set your hourly rate to a reasonable amount. Don’t sell yourself short but don’t set higher-than-average rates unless you are experienced and in high-demand. A good starting rate for an editor is $20 per hour.
For every job that you could do, there is a skill set you should have that makes you desirable for the position. If you are an editor, you know that your skills vary depending on the type of media that needs editing.
The most obvious thing to do is put down “Editing” as a skill on your list – but don’t stop there! Find skills that match the type of editing that you have to do.
Portfolio and Experience
Before anyone reaches out to you with an offer, they want to know that you are worth talking to. On your freelancer profile, be sure to add any examples of your work and briefly list what you have accomplished in the past. Stick to verifiable work as much as possible. It’s easy to tell people what you have done but it’s easier to get hired if you can prove it.
Think of this profile as your resume. This is your chance to stand out. The more complete and impressive your profile is, the more clients you’ll attract.
The Final Step: Applying to Editing Jobs
Though many people in the future may come to you with job offers, you start getting paid by applying for those already listed. No one knows what you can do yet! Find a listing for a project that you know you can handle well and send a proposal to the person who posted it. The more you do this, the more editing jobs you will inevitably have! Being a freelance editor is rewarding and exciting. You can get paid for doing what you love without ever leaving your house as long as you put your best foot forward and begin your search in the right places! With what you’ve learned here, you will be padding your pockets with cash in no time.