Apprenticeships for Freelance Writers: A Win-Win for Companies and Talent

Business.com / Careers / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

Apprenticeships are beneficial to both parties of writers and employers. Read this article to find out why, and how to take advantage.

You may think that it’s enough to just step into the industry of freelance writing and hoping for the best.

However, the sounds coming from respected publications like Time say that graduates aren’t nearly as ready as they think to go into the modern workplace and meet the standards employers expect of them.

Many of them are lacking in the soft skills necessary to become a success. In addition, freelance writing is about running your own business. If you are not ready for this, you’re going to flop.

Related Article: 15 Best Freelance Websites in 2015

Today, we will be discussing not only the power of apprenticeships for freelance writers but also how they are beneficial for all parties involved.

What Do You Hope to Get from This?

Let’s set the scene because this isn’t like a normal apprenticeship. Freelance writers are in a position where they are working online. They are not sitting in an office making cups of coffee. This alone already makes an online apprenticeship just as valuable as a land-based one.

A freelance writer should expect the following:

  • The chance to work on a real project for a real client.
  • Learn all the skills necessary to be a successful freelance writer.
  • Get a reference and a solid work portfolio to capture your own clients with.

Nevertheless, we also intend to look at the other side of things. In this guide, we are going to highlight the power of apprenticeships for employers, as well. An employer reaps the benefits of:

  • Taking on a low-cost freelancer for a price, they can afford.
  • The chance to train a new employee with minimal disruption to their day.
  • The opportunity to gain a skilled worker for the future. Many apprentices continue to work for their employers even after they have finished the program.

Your Chance to Get Real Work

The biggest challenge young writer’s face is getting work. You have the vicious cycle of needing to get work, but you can’t get work because you don’t have a portfolio or any references. To get a portfolio and references, you have to get work.

This hard reality can send you into a tailspin you may never recover from. In addition, you have to cope with this as your first obstacle.

A freelance writing apprenticeship enables you to work on a real project in an environment that is the same as that of a fully-fledged professional freelance writer.

Early Guidance

The difference in this environment is you have a professional who can guide you through the project by the hand. Do you want to know the secret about being a freelance writer?

You only gain confidence and comfort when you develop your own work routine. Everyone has a specific routine that applies to research, writing, and meeting deadlines.

Usually, freelance writers have to learn all this through trial and error. With a guide by your side, you are protected from harming your growing business. You have someone to get you through the worst of it.

Gaining Confidence

To succeed in anything in business, you have to have confidence. The best way to gain confidence is by having a few successful projects under your belt. An apprenticeship will show you a range of different projects. When you go into business for yourself, there will be little that you haven’t encountered before.

That is what’s going to impress clients. They are going to be delighted with how effective you are for such a young professional.

Related Article: Freelancing in the Digital Age: The Freedom and the Fear

Showing You How the Rest of the Business Works

You would be surprised at how many people assume that freelance writing centers on writing. Relatively little of your day will be spent doing any actual writing. Most writers are marketing and speaking to client’s majority of the time.

They may spend two hours a day writing and the other six attending to other tasks.

A freelance writing apprenticeship isn’t a writing class. It’s a series of lessons on how to run your business from bottom to top. It will introduce you to the realities of what running a business in this sector is all about.

But What About Employers?

Employers have many reasons to invest in an apprenticeship. It’s becoming trendier as more people understand the benefits an apprenticeship can bring. In the UK, for example, YouGov states that there are apprenticeships in 170 different industries, and that includes writing.

Employers have a lot to gain, and in this section, we’re going to show you why it benefits both parties. Take note, many of these advantages are also advantages for freelance writers.

Affordability

It’s never been easier to employ a freelance writer as part of an apprenticeship scheme. Nevertheless, it’s not just the base salary that gives you all the advantages.

  • Base Salary – As you know, you don’t have to pay a writer a full wage. The rest of their salary goes towards the cost of training them up in the first place, and all the effort that requires.
  • Virtual Apprenticeship – You are not working with them in the office. That cuts down on transportation and lunch costs. The miscellanies are not in your hands. This virtual apprenticeship allows them to learn without all the costs associated with a traditional industry apprenticeship.
  • Paying You Back – In some cases, you may even find your apprentice making you money. It’s an extra pair of hands that can step in at busy times. Even if they are only completing basic tasks, it can free up the rest of your workforce to work on the big money generating projects.

Training for the Future

As mentioned earlier, many apprentices choose to stay on with their employers even after the apprenticeship has finished.

For you the employer, you are in a powerful position because you have a worker you already know. You know their strengths and weaknesses. You know what projects they could work on and what projects they require a little extra training with.

This is an investment in the future of the company, as well as the apprenticeship’s professional prospects. It’s beneficial for both sides, in this sense.

How Do You Find an Apprenticeship?

Now we have established that apprenticeships carry benefits for both sides, we need to figure out how you are going to come across an apprenticeship in the first place.

An online apprenticeship means you are going to have to start your search online. A quick Google search will bring up a number of companies actively offering freelance apprenticeships in writing. Carefully read the descriptions to find out how the lessons will be delivered.

Sometimes it’s worth contacting local companies to ask about virtual apprenticeships. Understand that many companies don’t advertise these positions widely.

Is it difficult to find an apprenticeship?

The online apprenticeship is a growing industry and not all companies fully understand the benefits they can bring. For now, it’s more difficult to find an apprenticeship that works for you. On the other hand, you are sure to come across something if you keep trying.

Related Article: The Future of Work: Freelancing Goes From Rags to Riches

Conclusion

The power of a freelance apprenticeship can set you up for a long career as a freelance writer. By following this path, you are giving yourself the best possible foundation to get started. There are no guarantees, naturally, but most apprentices report positive results from following this path.

Begin searching for an apprenticeship today and get your new career off on the right foot!

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