Since launching my writing, tutoring and proofreading business – Penning and Planning – almost 12 weeks ago, I have worked hard to get noticed and get customers! I am currently enjoying working on a steady stream of small but varied proofreading projects and putting strategies in place to develop my business and potential customer reach further. As I am still quite new to the business owning world, I thought I would document transparently how I secured the paid proofreading work I have done so far – for my own reflection as well as to share my experiences for other new(er) proofreaders.
I actually worked with my first proofreading customer before my launch date, during the set-up phase of my business. I fedback my thoughts and suggestions on a manuscript for a local publishing house after meeting them at a pop-up business event. The publisher kindly gave me a testimonial in exchange for my report:
‘We found your report was a great length with the included suggestions. The notes were in depth enough for us to make decisions and the report was easy to follow and can be used thoroughly to expand on and prepare for an author meeting.’
I secured my first paying customers within 3 weeks of launching. Whilst setting-up my business and immediately after its launch, I attended all the local training and networking events I could find via ENRG, Eventbrite and social media. It was meeting great new people at all these events (despite experiencing social anxiety previously!) that led to them asking me to work for them – proofreading flyers and editing and proofreading blogs. One of the people I met put me in touch with a local author who needed help editing and proofreading his debut manuscript. The author and I hit it off in our subsequent meeting and are now working together on an on-going basis!
Alongside training and networking, I registered Penning and Planning on FindaProofreader and paid £36 to advertise for a whole year! Potential customers post their jobs on the site which proofreaders are notified of and can respond to. The customer chooses the right fit for their proofreading requirements. The site is quite basic and posting is quite sporadic but I have already made a return on my investment after ‘winning’ two customers – one who needed a journal article proofreading and another who needed an academic essay proofreading. My teaching background really helped secure these particular customers and now my 5 star reviews should help secure others!
I am also a freelance proofreader for a local graduate tutoring company and now at the second stage of the application process to become a freelance proofreader for Get Proofed.
Proofreading constitues one third of my business and it is currently pulling its weight in terms of income alongside my writing and tutoring services. However, to develop this service and revenue stream further I plan to invest in completing more SfEP and PTC editing and proofreading courses in order to be listed in professional directories in the future. This will elevate my business by confirming my industry expertise.
I will also continue to attend local (and hopefully national) training and networking events to continue to build my business knowledge and community in general, whilst paying particular attention to how to market my knowledge effectively via social media posts and blogging with authority.
As I stated, I am still a new business and I am still learning, but I hope this blog helps other proofreaders, or aspiring proofreaders thinking about dipping their pen in the freelance ink, so to speak!
If you are a fledgling or established proofreader, which methods/platforms have you found most effective for securing paid work?