Are you a yoga teacher and a writer who just can’t seem to sit still and write for your businesses’ sake?
I’ve been there too—we all have.
Last week, I felt blessed to receive an incredibly honest, vulnerable and courageous e-mail from a yogi-writer/Instagram-follower. She wrote in with a series of questions that lit up the writer in me and reminded me how long it took to get to this place where, finally, at 30-years-old, with dozens of publications, I can finally, confidently, call myself a writer.
In her words:
“I wanted to ask you, how did you start freelance writing? How long have you been doing it for? Do you freelance for many companies? So many questions! I just have no idea how to start reaching out to companies to find more work and I would love any advice you have.”
Within just a few sentences of writing her back, I realized the potential value of the information and am eager to share it with each of you.
Here are my top 10 tips on how to write for your business:
1. Query letter.
Learn how to write one—there is an equation—and that is what you pitch with. Find a book about query letters, read every page, try it and pitch it, and then try it again. Pitch. Pitch. Pitch. Repeat. Go to networking events. Write for low-caliber magazines. Often their editors end up at bigger companies and will remember you if you are wonderful.
2. Be where your clients are.
I started freelance writing while I was getting my master’s degree as a political journalist in Honduras. Honestly, I was in the right place at the right time. I learned the ins and outs of journalism quickly, networked with publishers and found my niche. I also freelanced while travelling and wrote for small scale magazines in British Columbia and took jobs on e-lance/Upwork—like editing master’s degrees and other strange, challenging and fun jobs!
3. Write your truth.
The written word can act as a branding tool but also therapy, release and ultimately another form of “yoga.”
“Every secret of a writer’s soul, every experience of his life, every quality of his mind, is written large in his works.” ~ Virginia Woolf
4. Figure out what you want.
If you want to freelance, understand that you do not (especially in the beginning) get paid well. Ten cents per word is normal, and sometimes seen as high! Do you want to work random jobs for random companies? What is your price? Set it and stick to it. Writers are taken advantage of so much. Beware! I still find myself chasing down editors from articles written eons ago for my pay.
5. Get online.
Elance, Upwork, and Haro have been my favourite go-tos. This takes time, but building your portfolio is essential.
6. Write for free only when it can support your (future) yoga brand or business brand.
Be selective about working for “free.” Choose platforms that are likely to be good PR for you personally (as a writer) as well as your business (for instance, if you are a yoga professional, choose a website that has a yoga focus). This also applies to writing blogs for yoga studios you work with.
“The freelance writer is a man who is paid per piece or per word or perhaps.” ~ Robert Benchley
7. Remember that rejection is your friend.
I always think, “At least they took time to write back!” That said, how to reach out to companies—do what this client did to me: Send them an e-mail, but if you want to get serious, I dare you to call them.
8. Get writing and reading.
Creative Firefly Writing is my life saver when creativity feels rigid. I have actually taken this one multiple times I love it that much! Read The War of Art. It will all make sense to you, I promise.
9. Tell everyone you are a writer.
Put it on your social media feeds, tell your friends, your students, every business owner you know needs you but doesn’t know where to find you. Most people loathe writing about their companies or their selves.
10. Build a website.
If they can’t find you online they won’t likely hire you. Remember, everyone wants to see what and how and where you write. Start to build your portfolio, even if it’s a small free Wix or WordPress site where you can put up samples of your work, a bio and contact info.
Then do yoga. When we have writer’s block, hit the mat. When we tire of our practice, hit the notebook. I can’t wait to see your words.
Author: Ashley Holly McEachern
Editors: Renee Picard; Travis May / Apprentice Editor: Alicia Wozniak