December 18, 2015

How to Start a Successful Proofreading Business

How To Start a Successful Proofreading Business picjumbo.com_Smooth-Touch-Workspace

Use These Handy Tips For Success:
  • Tell EVERYONE you know about your new business idea!  Start a new Facebook page and invite your friends to ‘Like’ it.  Share your new gig with family, friends and post on community boards around town.  Advertise the heck out of it!
  • Get some experience!  Go to websites to offer your services.  Sites such as FIVERR.COM offer many services for $5!  Seriously great deals and a seriously great place to break into your new career.  You won’t get rich earning $5 for proofing (say 350 words or a short ebook for $5) but you will get valuable experience.
  • Create a FEW (not literally a few, but a small amount of) business cards.  Make sure they are professional looking, with current contact information.  Have a trusted grammar nazi proofread them.  Typos on your proofreading business cards = death to your new gig.  Now, why did I say only create a few cards?  Well, you may want to expand your services and your cards will look really tacky with penned in additions or crossed off info.  Simply update and reorder your cards – again, a smaller amount.  Don’t forget about FIVERR.COM here.  You can get professionally designed cards for $5 then have them printed with an online print shop or somebody in your local area.  Give them out like crazy.
  • Create a website.  It is pretty easy to do if you use WordPress, a free theme and watch online tutorials for the specific theme that you choose.  You can also purchase books that will help you get set up quickly.  Make sure your website is responsive so it looks great on all devices.  Have your site proofed by someone else before publishing.  People should never cut their own hair or proof their own work… (Okay, I DO proof my own work mostly, but it is not recommended.  Oh, and since I’m confessing here, I also occasionally grab the scissors when my hair appointment is too far out.)
  • Charge what you are worth.  As you get the hang of your proofreading business, you will find that a standard turn around time for your services is probably 5 to 7 days.  If clients require faster times, charge more.  The faster they want it, the higher the price.  Check local proofers prices to remain competitive.  Also, check online to see what others are charging.  I don’t want to post any rates here, as rates can change depending upon word count, turn around time and your experience.  Do your research and begin where you feel comfortable.  If business is slow, you may want to either adjust your rates or beef up your marketing.
  • Which leads me to my final point – market like a beast!  Market online and market offline too.  In other words, advertise all you can. There are a ton of online proofreaders but your local area may be void of strong competition.  If you have an area you specialize in, all the better.  Market that niche to your best advantage.  If online marketing isn’t your strength, try learning how to do it better.  Always learn more and be willing to grow beyond your comfort zone.

Okay – I do have one more point… DO NOT GIVE UP!  You are on the road to your destiny, keep taking steps to make it happen.  Don’t doubt your abilities.  You are going to do great.