When I was in the corporate world, I felt I was on a treadmill all the time – unsure what I was running towards or away from. Through my work, my intention was to contribute my skillset, keep active and spend quality time with my loved ones and please all parties. A few years in, I was pleasing everybody but myself.
I wanted to find my flow, have an autonomy about my day and tell powerful stories for a living. I knew what I was seeking was change but I wasn’t exactly sure how to go about it.
Discreetly, I began putting feelers out, offering to write for friends who owned small businesses, reaching out to professionals on social media or in networking events I attended in Dubai; it was energy-consuming garnering potential clients on my own, not to mention trying to put in place a process to settle invoices – until someone recommended Ureed.com.
When I realized that the platform automates the entire process from finding the client and providing a communication space, to submitting the work when it was due and settling the payments, I was astounded.
I created a profile and, in my own time, began scouring for projects that not only matched my skillset but also appealed to me as a content creator. Many projects had several other pitches on them already so I could get a sense of the competition present; so, I made sure to polish my profile such that my unique selling propositions as a writer are clear in order to stand out from the large pool of freelancers already on the platform.
I wrote pitches that were personal and tailored to the project at hand, and made it a point to come off as a dedicated professional rather than a one-off salesperson. I demonstrated tacitly that it was not a blind pitch but a considerate willingness to bring their brand to life.
A week in, a client reached out from a project I placed a bid on. He was the founder of the Design Repository, the ultimate point of reference for design from the Middle East, containing opinion pieces from renowned Arab designers and preserving vintage archival works dating back to 1930s. He needed to create content for his newly launched website, describing it as a digital space to accumulate, assemble and disseminate the best in design knowledge, as we’ve never seen it fully curated and collected before in the Arab world. After careful consideration of his vision, communicating openly back and forth through the messaging service on Ureed.com, I submitted work that both he and I were satisfied with.
And so it happened, I earned my first 5-star rating working on my first project. After I gained this recommendation, it served as a symbol of trust for every other project I was pitching for. Projects started rolling in at a quicker rate and I was taking on clients at a pace that I was comfortable with. What I loved the most was the exposure to different industries within what was now my full-time work. No two days were the same. One day I was creating content for a fashion blog, denoting the ways in which a woman could style a headscarf; another day, I was writing an article about the benefits of drinking green tea before bedtime.
Without realizing it, in between taking on diverse projects that excited me, I subtly transitioned to writing to bring all kinds of brands to life, for a living. I finally found my sweet spot – working on projects that helped me grow as a professional and having space to exercise my freedom. This sweet spot was one that I could once never dream of.
The internet has changed everything as we know it
It gave birth to a plethora of possibilities to connect you with what you gravitate towards and propagate the product of your work – be it photography, coding, graphic design, or what have you. Platforms like Ureed.com facilitate that possibility.
Writing for a living is very much what it sounds like; a great line of work for those who take their craft seriously. So, be mindful about what that means. That’s not to say it is a walk in the park. When I made the move, I put my head in the game, setting a real strategy with my clients to get a feel for what they are looking for, understanding what their brand represents to the public, communicating effectively and being open to reworks if solicited.
It all comes down to how ready you are to truly be there for a project all the way throughout, from conception to completion, to only be done when the output looks like what the client envisioned. This work ethic was what allowed me to retain the same clients and attract new ones. And it’s safe to say, it is absolutely enriching to have seen my experiences bear fruit in the digital world with the help of Ureed.com.