If you’ve been in a full-time job most of your career, hopping into freelance or remote UX writing and content design can be pretty intimidating.
You might be wondering everything from how days work to where to even start. How do you work with product teams, UX designers, and UX research?
Well, as a freelance UX writer for the past +3 years, I’ve got the daily remote UX writing freelance life down pat, and I’m happy to share what’s up.
As a freelance UX writer, there are 4 types of activities that fill up my day:
- Client work (average 25 hours a week)
- Marketing (average 4 hours a week)
- Sales (average 2 hours a week)
- Planning & admin work (average 1.5 hours a week)
Let me walk you through it…
1. Client work
Client work is the bread and butter of my day. But it’s not just doing UX writing for mobile apps and digital products, it’s providing my product.
As a remote UX writing freelance business, UX writing is what I sell — I just also happen to produce it. And just like REI employees shower you with attention, it’s my job to make sure a client is satisfied and delighted with every touchpoint with me.
That means, on top of doing content audits, writing flows, and presenting work, I continuously:
- Present polished and prepared materials, so they know they’re working with the real deal
- Create guidelines and boundaries, so there are clear expectations on when I’ll be online
- Go the extra mile with more than one idea or option to discuss
- Ask for feedback and consult opinions before moving forward
Your goal as a freelance UX writer is to make working with you feel like an experience. People remember, recommend, and repeat experiences.
On the other hand, people see service providers as transactional and for a specific purpose. You want working with you to feel like an Apple Store — every detail thought through, meticulous presentation, and empathetic attention.
I average 25 hours a week on client work, but this can range from 20 to 30 hours across no more than two clients at a time.
If your goal is to get clients to come to you, marketing and promoting your UX writing freelance business must be a part of your daily routine. High-paying clients seek out solutions to their problems. Low-paying clients look for service providers to fill a gap.
To get found as a solution to a client’s problem, you need to first understand your target customer and have a defined personal brand. Then, ya gotta find a marketing and promotion strategy that gels with you. A content strategy, if you will.
For me, it’s blogging to showcase my expertise and thought leadership. For you, it could be:
- Video marketing or YouTube
Regardless of the promotion or content strategy you choose, it’s important to start building an audience today.
I average 4 hours a week on marketing, and that spans writing blog posts and posting on LinkedIn. I could spend a lot more time marketing my UX writing freelance business, and I’d recommend doing that if you’re just starting out.
Sales isn’t always a weekly activity, but when it is, it involves:
- Hopping on sales calls (initial calls to evaluate projects)
- Hopping on discovery calls (additional calls to understand project scopes)
- Writing proposals (a sales document you send to clients outlining your timeline, pricing, and why you’re the best person to solve their problem)
- Sending and signing contracts
Sales doesn’t come naturally to me, and this can be a struggle some weeks. “Selling” to people has never felt right to me. So instead, I focus on simply figuring out if and how I can provide value to someone and solve their problem.
Sometimes I can’t solve their problem, and that’s OK — by being up front, honest, and connecting them with someone better suited to solve their problem, I build a trustworthy reputation that’ll also get me far in the long run.
I spend an average of 2 hours a week connecting with clients on potential projects, and that can span 1 to 3 hours a week.
4. Planning & admin work
You’d be surprised how many little tasks eat up your day when you’re a full-time freelance UX writer. On top of client work, marketing, and sales, I also spend time:
- Sending invoices
- Responding to emails
- Forecasting my business income
- Scheduling client work I can’t take on at the moment
I spend an average of 1.5 hours a week doing these kinds of tasks, but it can span between 1 and 2 hours a week.
A sample day as a freelance UX writer
An average day looks like a mixture of the above. There’s a little marketing, sales, and admin work, but the bulk of it is client work. Which is what you want, because that’s what you get paid to do.
Of course, this is a hyper-perfect day, and days are usually never this manicured.
Happy UX writing 🖖