Is it possible to get freelance work without writing experience? How can you find your first freelance writing job? What should you say to new clients? How do you get experience if everyone wants to hire an experienced writer?
First, it’s important to realise that there’s a difference between experience and direct experience.
As a confident writer, you already have experience. And, in the health & medical writing industry, there are many different types of projects.
If you waited until you had writing experience in every single freelance project before putting yourself out there, you’d never get started!
If you have never written in either of those styles, I’d suggest you practice before offering feature and blog writing services.
Learning how to write features and blogs gives you a good grounding for other projects, too.
You’ll learn how to develop compelling health article ideas, conceptualise a piece from beginning to end, research an evidence-based writing topic, gather requirements before you start writing, find high-quality research, hone your unique writing voice and personality, and follow a brief.
For other niche projects: I believe the best way to learn is to give it a go.
It IS possible to find freelance work without writing experience
As I’ve said in the past, this mindset is not about faking it until you make it – and be sure to read the things you should never say to compensate for a lack of experience.
This mindset is about adapting your approach to suit a variety of writing styles.
Some clients will want direct experience, and there’s nothing you can do about that.
Other clients will be happy to work with you if you demonstrate confidence in your writing abilities.
Remember that every project has different requirements – one client’s newsletter is another client’s feature. So, when it comes to finding freelance work without writing experience, flexibility is essential.
Don’t assume that every feature should look, feel and flow the same. Instead, investigate what the client wants, ensure you capture the key requirements and develop a strong brief.
Effective requirements gathering involves understanding the key specifications, project aims, business objectives, ideal reader, tone and voice, and, very importantly, examples of similar work.
The more information you have before you start working, the more likely it is that you’ll deliver what the client wants – even if you’ve never worked on a similar project before. Ask questions, and never guess.
Ultimately, you are the best judge of your capabilities. Don’t be afraid to push yourself outside of your comfort zone, but recognise your limitations, too.