Freelance writers work on a contract basis. That is, they are hired by individual clients or companies to complete various projects on an “as needed” basis. The writing gig(s) may last for a few days, a week or weeks, or months or years, or it could be as simple as a quick project that requires less than a day’s work. While some projects are ideal for beginning online writers, others are very detailed and require the writing skills that only a professional writer can provide.
It is in these instances that the freelance writer’s reputation is likely to be closely scrutinized. After all, businesses are often judged by the people and businesses they associate with. When a business is associated with a reputable business or individual people think of them in favorable terms. And similarly, having business relations with a firm or agency that is not well respected can reflect poorly on a business.
A Freelance Writer’s Reputation
When a freelance writer begins her/his career, the starting point is her/his name. This is what the writer should build on. The idea is to add the freelancer’s name around the Internet, but to ensure that it is always associated with positive content and positive comments.
Freelance writers should have their own website or blog. This gives them a place to build a real following. Readers will become familiar with the writer’s voice and style, and if all goes as planned, this will help build the writer’s positive reputation.
Social networking is another way to reach out and build an online reputation. Rather than using these platforms as a way to promote they can be better utilized as a place to really communicate with readers. Again, this helps promote a following and a positive reputation for the freelance writer.
Freelance writers can also offer guest blog posts to other blogs, and they can contribute articles and press releases to online directories. Because each of these methods works to get the writer’s name out there, they are strategies that can help build a positive online reputation.
Many people are confused about the difference between a business brand and a business reputation. In very simplistic terms, a business brand is what the business wants people to think of it and the business reputation is what the public/consumers actually thinks of it. Branding usually starts with a logo.
Freelance writers are in charge of their own brand management. They get to decide what is going to be important to them and what they will deliver to their clients. This is how their brand is created and, also, how their reputation develops. For example, if a freelance writer has a logo that says, “Speedy Service That Pleases,” and she actually delivers on that, then her brand will gain recognition and her reputation will grow in a positive way.
But if she fails to deliver on that logo and tagline, things will not go quite so well for this freelance writer. In fact, that very logo could be used against her in comments at places like Twitter and Facebook. And obviously, her reputation could suffer.
Fortunately, a freelance writer, or anyone else for that matter, can recover from a damaged reputation. The process includes cleaning up any business or service problems. It also involves addressing any negative comments, reviews, or feedback that may be posted online. Of course, in some cases, the recovery may be slow and it may require the help of professionals, but it can be done.
Online reputation companies can make the process faster and easier. They can help ensure that there is more positive information online about the individual or business than negative. This means negative comments can get “buried” under the positive content. Within a short period of time, the reputation is improved.
The bottom line is, building a reputation as a freelance writer isn’t that difficult, but building a reputation as a reputable freelance writer can be. Online reputation management should be a routine part of running any business. If you want to be a successful freelance writer, you need to manage your online reputation!
Debbie Allen is a professional content writer, blogger, and Internet marketer who likes to write about topics related to small business management and online marketing strategies for companies such as Reputation.com.