21 Lessons I’ve Learned In 2021 As A Freelance Writer And Business Owner

2021 has been a year for lessons and learning as a freelance writer. In the meantime, I also became a business owner, opening my boutique creative agency for those looking for a new website. Or any other service that has to do with the web. Now, 12 months later and with a crazy year coming to an end, there’s been a few things that I learned in the process.

I will not give you a detailed explanation about all of this life-changing, empowering, whatever you want to call them lessons. That’s for other bloggers with more time to dive into. I will keep them short, just telling you what I learned over the year, what helped me, and what didn’t. How I managed to grow and develop my services and my actual self, through work and life itself.

Communication is key – Never leave a conversation with a client if matters are not sorted. Stay there, ask questions, and get to the bottom of it. If you don’t know/can’t understand, ask;

Be ready for change – When I saw a huge drop in new clients at the start of 2021, I put together a creative agency for web design in my own country. The response was incredible so far;

Indulge in small pleasures – Leave for a weekend if you need to, not just overseas. To another city will usually suffice. Get some nice dinners, a little walk, a good book or a movie;

Keep your clients close – I do a little briefing every single day with all of my clients. I keep them close. All I say is “Hi, hope all is well, the project is going great and we’re almost ready!” It’s all it takes.

Do some social media – I noticed that Instagram is as bad as Facebook as of late. But I still think you should use social media. Do just some social media, not a bunch, but just enough;

Keep things simple – Complicating things like offers, prices, schedules will only give you, and your clients, many headaches. If you can’t explain it in one sentence, it’s way too complicated;

Back up your work – When one of my websites crashed unexpectedly and the last backup that I did was from back in 2020, I got to learn how important backing up your work is;

Try new things and techniques – Learn something new at least once every couple of months. I tried some new typing techniques and frankly, I managed to reduce my laptop time by 45 minutes. That’s a ton for a daily average of 5 hours, leaving me almost an hour of extra free time;

Work on your storyPeople buy into a story, a feeling, an emotion, never a product or a service. If your story is about writing, and the way it keeps you travelling around the world while you indulge in your passion, write about it. Inspire others to do the same, and clients to hire you;

Make yourself stand out – When I noticed people stopped messaging me about new job offers, I took it on the blog and post once every two weeks, making myself noticed again;

Test before you sell – Before launching Magic Agency, I worked on dozens of sites and trained my building capabilities, noticing what worked and what was lacking. This allowed me to make adjustments and build skill where there wasn’t enough of it;

Practice, practice, practice – It goes without saying that practice is crucial. Even in a simple matter like driving, you’d crash if you fail to practice enough before taking it on the highway;

Take breaks and go away – When I felt like the world was ending in the summer, after 5 months of non-stop work, I turned off my laptop and flew to Santorini for a week. Because I could, and because breaks are required to keep sane, motivated, and passionate about your work;

Deliver quality over quantity – Quality is much more important than anything. Even if your client requires you to deliver 2000 words in an article, explaining it to them that there are better results possible with a 1500-word piece, and then proving it to them, is what any client wants;

Marketing has to be smart – Making it through 2021 and having a better year than 2020 was all about being able to sell my story and brand better. Keeping it new, fresh, interesting and fun for previous and new prospects and clients;

Consistency creates credibility – The answer to anything is consistency. The more you work on something, the better you become at it. The same goes with freelancing. The more you hustle, the better it gets;

Take care of every penny – People often ask me how am I able to just go on trips whenever I want, or buy this or that without a bank loan. I always remember two things when that happens. Number one, I never spend more than I can at one certain moment. And number 2, I take good care of every single penny that I make. It all begins with the humble penny, and it’s not how many you have, but what you do with them that counts;

Find and use help when necessary – This was my first year as a freelancer in which I decided to get some real, paid help through a content creator. It was a hard move for me, a control freak, but luckily it’s been one of the best decisions I’ve ever taken;

Quality comes from doing it yourself – While it’s great to have help and people you can rely on, you are still that ultimate quality control individual over your work. If you wouldn’t use your own work, don’t send it back to your client. Do it yourself, if everything else fails. Over and over again, until you’re 101% satisfied with it;

Let go of the past – 2021 made me realize that the past is irreversible. While we can go back to a place, we can’t go back to a certain date, or hour, from before. That was one of the more valuable lessons I’ve learned in 2021, and it will save me from tons of troubles in the future;

Make it happen – Finally, don’t just sit around thinking about your goals and dreams. Make it happen, no matter how crazy it sounds in your head. All it takes is a little courage.

Hi! Just a quick thing before you leave:

First, nice of you to read thus far, it means that you’ve enjoyed my writing!

I’m not here to ask you for any likes, shares, or comments, although that would be cool of you! Instead, I’m offering you a chance to have an even better piece, sort of like this one, but better, written for you by a content creator. That would be me! Check out my ServicesPortfolio and Testimonials pages for details. And then shoot me an email at the address you’ll find on the Contact page.

If you’re a freelancer like me and are confused about learning how to make money online, especially through writing but also programming, design, or social media management, you can buy my book. It’s called “From 0 To $2543 A Month With A Crappy Laptop – The Freelancing Course From A Self-Made Content Creator Boss” and you can find it on Amazon at 50% off!

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Gabriel Iosa

Foreword

Hi,

I’m happy for you being here! I enjoy blogging as much as I did 10 years ago, at the start of my writing journey. If you want me to write something for you, hit the Services page. You can find some snippets of my previous work on the Portfolio page, as well as what my clients have said about my work on the Testimonials page. Hit the About page for some more info on myself and my passions, and when you’re ready, send me an email at the address you’ll find on the Contact page.

Awesome to have you here!