19 Pro Tips To Keep In Mind When Starting A Proofreading Business

Turning a hobby into business requires many aspects that should be followed closely if wanting to set it up in the right direction.

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Demand for proofreaders keeps increasing continuously, which demonstrates that spelling and grammar are aspects that matter in the professional field. 

However, not all people have excellent spelling skills, which is why proofreaders are essential for many areas of work. 

If you desire to work as a proofreader, in this list you will find excellent tips that will help you start your freelance proofreading business. All while working under your own terms, fulfilling your own work goals and serving your own clients.

1. Have A Savings Fund


Many freelancers begin to offer their services in a somewhat improvised way and usually, the first clients arrive by recommendation and often without having a clear intention of starting a business. 

But if you have decided to turn it from a side gig to full time, you need an economic forecast to be able to maintain yourself in the medium and long term, even in times of few projects.

That is why it is advisable to have saved about 6-12 months of expenses to survive, which will help you to face any unforeseen or shortage of clients. 

If you do not have this, you might as well save or work part-time elsewhere until you can start your freelance career and make the full transition from employee to entrepreneur. 

Analyze what your professional and personal expenses will be and do your best to save that monthly sum multiplied by at least 6 (or any other figure you think will give you security), before starting. While also minimizing your expenses as much as possible.

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2. Evaluate Your Income and Expenses


If you are going to work as a full-time freelancer, that means you should aim to generate the necessary income to cover all your expenses, save and have a little extra. 

You must determine what your monthly expenses are so that you can see what is the minimum you must earn each month. 

Based on that determine how much work you must do each month and how many clients you must have to cover your expenses. 

Having that clear will help you set a work goal and exceed that goal to obtain extra benefits.

3. Target A Type Of Customer


Although being a proofreader you already know what you will do, you can be even more specific if you define the type of client you want to serve. 

There are many different types of text that you can review, and each can have different quality parameters. 

Reviewing a text related to the medical field is not the same as reviewing a literary text, so you can choose what genre of texts you want to review and familiarize yourself with those terms. 

Likewise, you must also choose what type of clients you want to attend. Students? Translators? Foreigners who write in another language? Business people? 

Knowing this will help you know which audience to target to offer your services.

4. Have A Portfolio Website


A portfolio website is important to publicize your work as a proofreader and promote yourself on the web. By having a portfolio website it will be easier for people to locate you in search engines. 

Apart from that there they will be able to see your work experience, jobs that you have done previously, and find a way to contact you. 

Here you should include your best works, those that have the highest quality and those that best represent you. You can also tell a little about yourself so that potential clients know you and know exactly what you do.

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5. Build Your Own Brand


It doesn’t matter if you are just starting your freelance business, even if your venture is small you can always take it very seriously with the projection that it will become a recognized brand. 

Assigning a name and identity to your freelance business will help you to be perceived with more professionalism, and if you get your proofreading business seen as professional, you will attract more clients increase your reputation and online visibility.

When creating your brand name you must differentiate yourself in the market. 

If you think that your name is very common and that it could not be easily recognized, you can search for a name that identifies you and that has something related to you so that you will create your business name. 

Having a unique name will be very useful for when you want to create the social networks of your business and if you also want it, to register it with the entities of your country.

According to how you project yourself in the market, you will attract the attention of certain types of clients, so it is recommended that from the first moment you always present yourself in a professional manner. 

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6. Integrate With The Proofreader Community


On platforms like Facebook, you will find groups of freelancers who, like you, are dedicated to proofreading. 

Belonging to these groups will help you learn more about the niche, find out about job offers or opportunities and participate in networking events. 

Although one of the benefits of being a freelancer is that you do not need to belong to a company to work and that you can do all your activities alone, this doesn’t mean that you should isolate yourself. 

Staying close to other proofreaders is something that can boost your freelance business, as you can help each other and make collaborations that are beneficial to both of you. 

These collaborations can be to recommend each other on their respective web pages or to give references of their works that both can use.

7. Do Not Compare Your Growth With Others


Everyone wants to become a successful freelancer, but not everyone will do it the same way. 

When you start your freelance business, you will surely take other entrepreneurs as a reference, you will notice what they did, how successful they are,  their number of clients, among other things. 

But to be successful in your freelance business it is important that you have patience, that you go at your own pace and that you are constant in your goals. 

If you do not reach your goals as soon as other freelancers, it doesn’t mean that you are failing. 

If you compare yourself a lot with others, you are likely to get frustrated very quickly and this will discourage you, causing you to want to abandon the idea of your freelance business. 

However, you should keep in mind that not all processes are the same and that the priority is to persevere to achieve your own goals in your own time.

8. Invest In Your Work Tools


Any investment you make for your freelance business is something that will be reflected in the quality of your work and in your earnings. 

To improve the quality of your work you can buy a subscription to tools such as Grammarly or Becorrect, which will also help you finish orders more quickly and streamline your workflow. 

But not only should you invest in software that automates tedious and repetitive work processes, but also in equipment such as a computer, desk, a comfortable chair, and a good internet connection.

It has been shown that the workplace directly affects the development capacity of the worker. 

A pleasant place for the correct performance of work activities can optimize your productivity. 

If you carry out your work from home, you can choose to enable a space that fulfills the function of an office, preferably with a door and away from common areas. 

Some freelancers prefer to go for less elaborate methods and work from a coffee shop or any other public place that is comfortable.

9. Treat Your Business With Professionalism


The more seriously you treat your own business, the more professional the public will perceive you. 

As mentioned above, having your own portfolio website is ideal for this, but there are other things you can do as well. 

For example, by picking a good domain name for your website, getting a professional email, establishing a work schedule, setting up a telephone line that is exclusively for work matters, among others. 

If you use all these elements when carrying a business and as clients contacts you, they will not feel that they are dealing with an amateur freelancer, but with a company, a quality business.

10. Be Attentive To Your Clients


In a niche where there are so many other proofreaders, you have to find a way to stand out and make them prefer you over the rest. 

Providing good service to your clients is key so that they choose you and keep working with you. 

Remember that clients can usually be busy with many things, tense or stressed. 

If you try to speak to them in a friendly way and be efficient in your work, they will undoubtedly remember you. 

Deliver your work on time, solve their doubts, do not delay in answering their messages. 

When you’re done working with them, don’t forget to follow up with your clients. This will help you to keep them informed of promotions about your services.

Source: www.skillshare.com

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11. Include Testimonials On Your Portfolio Website


One thing that can work against you when you start your freelance business as a proofreader is the lack of experience. 

That is why, for every job you do, even those that you only do to fill your portfolio, you should ask the client to give you a small text that you can publish on your portfolio website and use as a reference for future clients. 

Positive testimonials and opinions about your services or products are very effective when it comes to promoting yourself.

12. Share Your Knowledge


Especially at the beginning of your activities, you must position yourself as an authority in your field of activity. 

To achieve this, you have to be generous and share information and advice among your target audience. 

That is the best way to earn their trust, get them to take you into account, and eventually, contact you to learn more about your services. 

What can you do? 

Write articles for your website, interesting posts on the social networks you use, or later, make a collaboration with another proofreader where both can write a guest post.

13. Get Certifications That Help Your Business Grow


To start your freelance business you do not need to have any university degree or certification, but taking online courses is something that can help you a lot to grow. 

Taking courses or obtaining certifications related to proofreading is something that will make your work and services as a freelancer have more value and will encourage more clients to hire your services. 

However, you can also take courses related to marketing or financial management, so that you learn to manage your freelance business in the best way without having to resort to third parties, which in turn save you money.

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14. Research Your Competition


This is not from an enmity point of view, but to assess what they are doing and think about how you could improve it. 

The competition will always be a reference for your work, since if you want to stand out, in some way you should differentiate yourself from them and at the same time take them as an example. 

Look at how they offer their products, what prices they charge, and if possible even how they manage their finances. 

On the other hand, remember that the competition should not be seen precisely as something negative, but as something that will help you grow, that will drive you to improve yourself and be better.

15. Make Forecasts For Times Of Low Work


The fact that you get higher profits one season doesn’t ensure that the next months or weeks will behave in the same way. 

Therefore, it is recommended that you invest that extra instead of squandering it outside of your business. 

It is recommended that you save and set goals at different times, in order to deal with crises by discarding unnecessary expenses and prioritizing the fluidity of your business. 

If you find yourself working on projects that claim to be long-term, don’t trust yourself and try to get other jobs to participate in. 

While being a freelancer gives you a lot of flexibility, the downside is that one day you may have a job and the next you may not. Don’t let a single client be your entire source of income.

16. Grow Your Online Presence


The web will be the place where people will find you and contact you, so you must make sure it is easy for them to identify you. 

To do this, you will have to grow your online presence by being present on different social networks such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. 

Remember that the profile you create for these social networks will not be about you but about your business, so avoid posting personal things and try to introduce yourself and show you how a company would do it. 

Source: horizzons.com

Take good care of your image, choose the colors of your brand and make yourself easy to recognize, so it will be easier for you to catch the attention of customers and to remember you in the future. 

It is essential that you interact with your audience and other proofreaders, so that you will grow your community of potential clients and colleagues.

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17. Use Job Platforms


The beginning of everything can always be complicated, and your freelance business is no exception. 

For that reason, using job platforms is an excellent help to start getting your first clients. 

There are platforms such as Upwork, Fiverr, LinkedIn, and Freelancer where you will find hundreds of available vacancies to which you can apply and thus start to make yourself known. 

If you manage to consolidate clients there, later you will be able to continue working with them outside of those platforms, and thus avoid paying fees or having intermediaries between you and your client.

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Source: www.skillshare.com

18. Offer Competitive Prices


Imagine that you have to choose between two freelancers but both charge the same. 

However, between the two there is a big difference. One of the freelancers is inexperienced and the other has been proofreading for three years and has worked with many well-known clients. 

Who do you choose? Probably the most reasonable thing to do is to hire the freelancer with the most experience. So if you are a newbie how do you compete with that? The answer is: with your prices.

If you are a freelancer who is just starting your freelance business and you want to start attracting clients, you should charge less than the average. 

This so that your services are more attractive than those of other freelancers who are more in demand. 

Apart from offering competitive prices, you can also offer promotions to your customers where they can purchase several services at the same price or where they have a discount on their next purchase. This will make you stand out and win customers.

19. Choose A Good Business Name


The name you give your freelance business is crucial as it will give clients an idea of who you are, can help your clients remember you, and will make them find you easily on the web. 

You can choose your name or in case you don’t like that idea, create another one. A good idea is to include the word proofreading or proofreader in your name.

With Patience You Will Achieve Success


Starting a proofreading business is not an easy job but it is certainly something that you can achieve with effort and dedication. 

For this, you must take care of fundamental aspects of any business, such as finances, identity, and reputation. 

If you take charge of working in each of these areas, you will surely make your business successful. 

However, do not forget that it is a process that takes time, that requires patience, and that it is different for each proofreader.

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