They say that freelance writers – and any professional individual – should go where the money is, which usually means the corporate world. You can either scrape by with a few bucks here and there, or you can earn yourself a steady stream of income with a large corporation. If you want to become a corporate writer, here are a few tips.
Build Your Portfolio
Most corporations won’t even consider a corporate writer unless he or she has a knock-out portfolio. This means that you must be published in other venues or have written for other companies, such as writing ad copy, newsletters, brochures or web copy. So rather than experiencing the disappointment of losing job after job, go out and try to get some experience before you attempt to enter the corporate world.
Corporations want to work with a corporate writer who knows how to handle himself. Make sure that you answer the phone professionally, that you maintain professional written correspondence and that your brush up on business etiquette. Think of corporations as the “big fish”, which means you need to step up the game.
Develop Promotional Materials
This tip goes hand-in-hand with the previous suggestion. Before you try to become a corporate writer, you need to have promotional materials. This means a professional letterhead, a brochure, a Web site and references. You might want to develop a logo or register a D.B.A. (legal alias).
Learn the Ropes
Before you can become a corporate writer, you need to know what a corporate writer does. If you’ve only ever written articles and short stories, you are ill equipped for the corporate writing world. Check out books and read articles about writing ad copy, Web site content, handbooks, memos, correspondence and anything else your corporate clients might request.
Find a Niche
Most corporate writers don’t prosper until they find the type of writing at which they excel. For example, a friend of mine makes six figures a year writing product descriptions for several multi-national corporations. Product descriptions are his niche and he rarely ventures outside of it. Your niche might be killer ad copy or knock-out technical manuals.
Start at Home
You might discover that, in order to become a corporate writer, you need to focus on companies based in your home town. This allows you to meet face-to-face with marketing directors and creative managers to convince them of your abilities, and also gives you the option of cold-calling prospects without a ridiculous phone bill.