Do you consider yourself a professional? I’m sure you didn’t get there overnight. It’s a continuous process that involves taking a proactive approach in honing and perfecting your craft. There are many reasons people consider themselves to be proficient in their field, but what makes a true professional?
Let’s see – the definition of professional is following an occupation as a means of livelihood or for gain. For full or part-time content writers that rely on their writing as a primary source of income, that’s a pretty good assessment, but it doesn’t stop there. Here are a few traits that help make the distinction:
- They take their craft seriouslyBeing a “pro” is more than saying it. A true professional is always looking for ways to learn and improve. Attending workshops and classes to stay on top of the latest trends and changes in the industry is one of the main reasons they are able to enjoy the fruits of their labor.
- They are adaptableA true writer can take most subjects and create a showcase-worthy piece. They continuously stretch their limits to include unfamiliar subjects to enhance their perspective and abilities.
- They look for opportunities to increase their client baseA true professional wants to continuously expand their reach and enhance their services. Whether they got their start on a content services site or by working on a small project, you can be sure they won’t limit their services to one outlet. They are always seeking out additional prospects for work.
- They use tools to help define their nicheProfessional writers have a variety of ways to showcase their skills. Websites, blogs, contributing to magazines, newspapers, offering classes or workshops and writing books are all traits of individuals who consider themselves a professional in the field. Every professional has a marketing plan in mind that usually includes business cards, a quick pitch and a strategy to solicit new business.
- They are excellent communicators and are about their businessProfessionals know and understand the value of being able to transact business. They know how to listen carefully to understand the needs of the client and work hard to exceed their expectations. They are also comfortable with knowing their limits and can truthfully admit when they cannot perform a task. There will always be difficult clients, but navigating that transaction smoothly helps build credibility, which translates into repeat customers. This also includes what happens on the back-end. Professionals keep accurate records, maintain their financials and view their writing as a business.
Professionals are driven by purpose. They love what they do and it shows. Professional writers build on their natural abilities and use them to focus on what they do best. A true “pro” also maintains a level of consistency and understands the value of building and maintaining good relationships. Getting to the promised land of the “pros” is a process but is attainable if you do the work. Are you ready?
Allaire W is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.