What You Need to Know about Freelance Script Writing

Video production using a script by a freelance writer.

One of the many advantages of freelancing is the sheer diversity of options it has to offer any talented writer. Businesses and agencies need so many different types of content that you’ll never have reason to get bored with the projects you’re working on. Script writing is one of the many services you can offer to your clients, and it’s also one of the most creatively rewarding. If you’ve ever wondered whether this job was right for you, there’s no better time than now to give it a try!

If you have never written a script professionally, however, you may be wondering what the job entails. Here’s what you ought to know.

What does a freelance script writer do?

When most people think of script writers, they are likely to think of Hollywood screenwriters. In terms of steady freelancing gigs, however, the job is rather different from that popular image. Most freelance script writers write video scripts on demand for their clients. Some of the different types of videos you might be assigned to write scripts for include:

  • Introductory videos for clients’ websites.
  • How-to videos about clients’ products and services.
  • Video advertisements for businesses and agencies.
  • Instructional video courses for clients to offer their customers.
  • Training videos for clients’ employees.

This is just the tip of the iceberg, of course—if you’re serious about offering your services as a freelance script writer, you should be ready to take on any and all assignments, from video interviews to Facebook video advertisements. In addition to writing scripts, you may be asked to take on other tasks, such as:

  • Storyboarding a script and preparing it to be filmed.
  • Rewriting an existing script to meet a client’s specifications.
  • Proofreading or formatting an existing script.
  • Writing proposals for script projects.
  • Collaborating with directors and other video staff.

What are the benefits of being a freelance script writer?

There are numerous potential advantages to being a freelance script writer, so it’s not surprising that it’s one of the most in-demand freelance jobs around. Script writing is invaluable experience, it looks terrific on your resume, and it allows you to exercise your creative and imaginative muscles in a way that many other types of writing do not. You can write a script from anywhere, so you can accept remote script writing jobs and work from any location. Even if you do not have any previous script writing experience, writing scripts for clients is a fairly accessible skill to learn. No matter what kind of writing experience you have, becoming a professional script writer should be well within your reach.

What does it take to be a freelance script writer?

If you decide to begin offering professional script writing services, you’ll need many of the same skills you need for other projects. You’ll need very strong writing skills, the ability to self-edit, and a good eye for detail. It will also help if you have the ability to do fast, accurate research, and if you have a knack for being able to turn around projects relatively quickly. Being able to meet deadlines is a must. You’ll also need good communication and collaborative skills—after all, you’ll need to be able to get all of the information you need from your client to write the kind of script they are looking for.

There are a number of other skills that may help you land a script writing gig. It may help if you have any kind of video experience, such as storyboarding, editing, camera work, or even acting. Any previous experience in filmmaking or theatre should also be mentioned in your resume or job application. You should be highly creative, and you should be able to generate first-rate ideas for scripts on your own. While many clients will have their own ideas, anything you can bring to the table will be helpful.

How can I find a gig as a professional script writer?

If you’re just starting out, you’re probably wondering how you can break into script writing. Be sure to use any experience you have to your advantage. If you have written scripts in the past, mention that on your resume, and try to prepare an excerpt from a script you’ve worked on—or even the entire script, depending on its length—as a sample to show prospective clients. It’s possible that you won’t have permission to use a script as a sample. In that case, you will want to draft a new, short script that you can feature in your portfolio.

If you do not have previous experience, you should start working on your script writing skills right away. You may want to spend some time perusing professional scripts and studying how they are written and formatted. Practice writing video proposals, and familiarize yourself with the style of corporate business scripts. Clients will want to know that you can format scripts correctly, that you have strong writing skills, and that you’re able to accurately reflect the voice and tone they are looking for.

When you do land a gig as a script writer, make sure that you absorb all the lessons you need to learn from the experience. You’ll need to be able to communicate well with your client. You may also need to provide quick turnaround in the event that edits are needed for the script you write. You should also make sure that you follow your client’s instructions as closely as possible. If you have any questions about how to handle the script, be sure to reach out to your client right away.

Are you ready to plunge into the world of freelance writing? If so, make sure you’ve got Writers Work on your side! We’ve put together the tools you need to carve out a successful freelancing career for yourself, including our comprehensive video courses, our convenient job search engines, and our easy-to-use document editor. Would you like to learn more? Visit us on our website today and check out our introductory video!

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