Heyy freelancers! It is another exciting time on our interview session! We had the privilege of speaking with Lynda Omerekpe; a writer, social media consultant, and digital expert. She dished out some very important writing and freelancing tips!
Enjoy our interview with her.
1. How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing since I was 10years, I was that girl who had a personal diary to write everything that happened in my day. As I grew older, the diary died a natural death and the adult in me yearned for more interactive/engaging articles that people can relate to and also draw inspiration from. I think I’ll say I officially started writing in 2001 when I joined a group called “Ready Writers” in secondary school.
2. How long have you been freelancing?
I started earning as a writer in 2014 but I stopped for a while and continued again in 2016.
3. In the course of your freelancing, what are some of the challenges you faced and how did you overcome them?
It was a challenge finding paying clients but now, the clients come to me. How did I do it? I started really small and asked for reviews from clients after each job; the positive comments from the low paying clients brought in the higher clients. If you’re a new to freelancing, don’t worry – just start and put in your best, the paying clients will find you. Grow organically.
4. What are your favourite tools for working?
My favourite tools for working are –
Canva for graphics
Hootsuite for social media
Thesaurus for word synonyms & antonyms
5.Tell us about your works.
Freelance writing has exposed me to different areas of writing. I am a versatile writer so I write articles in any niche – business, fashion, inspiration, real estate, home improvement, law, agriculture etc. This makes the work interesting for me because I get to learn something new every time I write. Sometimes it can be challenging, but I like the growth and additional knowledge that comes with it.
6. How do you motivate yourself to write?
I am self-motivated; for my blog, I have a passion for encouraging/motivating/inspiring at least one person every day, so I do it through writing. For freelance writing, I put myself in the client’s position and try to imagine what I would expect if someone was to write for me. My expectations are pretty high so I try to match it.
- What is something you’ve learnt about freelancing that others can learn also from?
As a freelancer, never become comfortable with your present skills, learn to harness your skills. The seventh habit in Steven Covey’s book, “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” speaks about Sharpening the Saw. In order to build a thriving freelance business, it is absolutely necessary that you become a student of your industry, soaking up new skills and knowledge in order to keep your business as current and competitive as possible. The digital space is evolving at a rapid rate and it is very easy to fall behind on the current skills that your clients need you to know. Today, more than ever, there are a growing number of web-based training, online courses, and e-books that can be of help to keep you one step ahead in your businesses. Your willingness to grow your client portfolio increases your opportunities to earn more money – the more you learn, the more you earn.
- Tell us about one of your works you consider as your favourite.
To be honest, I don’t really have a favourite because I give all my work the same level of attention and expertise.
- What is your best writing tip?
Always have a pen and paper around you or something to pen down ideas as they come; remember the Chinese proverb that says, “The faintest ink is more powerful than the strongest memory”. As a writer, I get inspired by many things; sometimes the inspiration comes from odd places and odd hours but I make sure I write it down because so many great articles have come from these little notes scribbled on my phone while sitting in the toilet (lol) or in traffic.
- What is your best freelancing tip?
Don’t take up too many jobs than you can handle; you don’t want to ruin your credibility by disappointing your clients. Know your capabilities and work at your pace.
- What advice would you give to a budding freelancer or writer?
Take freelancing as serious as working in a 9 – 5 job; be principled and build trust with your clients. When your clients trust you, they give you more jobs and referrals. Most importantly, don’t miss deadlines – you’ll look very unserious or unprofessional. You can learn from my trick – if I know I can finish a job in 2 days, I tell the customer it will take 3 days; this extra day gives me the opportunity to do my final checks and be sure it is ready for submission without rush or any sort of pressure.
For writers – read, read, read. You have to keep feeding your mind from books, journals, magazines, etc. The more you read, the more you can write. Also, join networks that will help build your writing skills. I recommend @writersforprofit on Instagram and WritersForProfit community on Facebook.