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Multiple income streams: Advice from the experts

Freelance writers who can write for different types of clients can have a major impact on their bottom line.

But how do you find multiple income streams in the form of corporate, government and ad agency clients? What does the work involve? And are you a good fit?

Join us on April 24 for a PWAC panel that will explore the ins and outs of freelancing across all three areas.

In the meantime, check out the best advice each of our speakers received when building careers in their respective niches.

Corporate writing: Jay Somerset

Don't treat your corporate work as something inferior to journalism, advises Somerset. “There's a tendency among freelancers to treat their corporate gigs as mere means to an end. And while you might think this, you should be careful never to reveal it."

Otherwise, the gig will dry up, because the company will know you, ultimately, don't care about them.

Keep in mind the time you spend on these projects is also important, adds Somerset. “If you can’t convince yourself that it’s a worthwhile venture, then you’re wasting your time. Treat it as something real and you’ll benefit — not just in dollars, but in something much more long-lasting."

Government: Lucille Blainey

If possible, get experience working inside government, advises Blainey. “You can learn a lot about government processes and culture and build lasting connections even in a short-term in-house environment.”

But if you’re not interested in doing that, then network.

“Build a solid portfolio and work your networks to connect with decision makers and with other government writers who can show you the ropes.”

Blainey also advises freelancers document everything. “Confirm expectations and results of discussions in writing,” plus, track the progress of communications products through multiple approvals, and keep all previous versions in a draft file.

Ad agencies: Andrew Payne

In advertising, people always tell each other to keep it simple, says Payne. “When there isn’t a co-worker telling you to keep it simple, don’t worry — a little voice in your head will constantly repeat it while you type.”

But what does keeping it simple mean? It’s about distilling your ideas down to the most essential parts, explains Payne.

"If you're writing a job-seeking email to an agency, keep it short and sweet. Explain what you're good at and how you can help out — throw in some personality or humour, and make it easy for people to see your work samples."

Vanessa Santilli is a Toronto-based freelance writer who writes about personal finance, health and spirituality for magazines, newspapers, websites and corporate clients.
 

- Vanessa Santilli

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