The idea of a wealthy freelancer may seem paradoxical, but Steve Slaunwhite, a 15-year freelance copywriter and marketing expert, contends that it’s more do-able than you think.

“Wealthy means getting the clients you want, the lifestyle you want and the paycheck you want,” said Slaunwhite, author of “The Wealthy Freelancer.” . “There are hundreds and hundreds of examples of freelance professionals who get their incomes up to six figures in one to three years.”

Using your skills
There’s no specific sector that’s best for freelancing, said Slaunwhite. “What’s more important … is that you have a skill or talent and market it to the industry that has a need for that service,” he said. For example, he said there’s demand for copywriters in the technology arena and for photographers in the professional speaker arena.

Check out company websites and see what needs doing. Then, approach people. “The biggest mistake is that people approach businesses that don’t have a need for your services,” he said.

Prepping for freelance work
If possible, try to save up a nest egg. “I started freelancing part-time for about a year or two to save a bit,” Slaunwhite said.

Staying motivated
“Treat yourself as your number one client,” advised Slaunwhite. Your job is to promote your client’s business. “I always find I’m more motivated when I treat my freelance business as a business rather than me looking for work,” he said.

GETTING STARTED
Get started on your freelance career by introducing yourself to a wide audience, said Steve Slaunwhite, author of “The Wealthy Freelancer.”

“There are probably dozens of clients out there who could be interested. The only problem is they don’t know you exist,” he said.

Here are five ways to get attention:

1) Launch e-mails. Make a long list of your professional network. If you’ve attended trade shows and collected cards, put those on the list too. Compose personalized e-mails alerting the network that you’re starting a new business. “That strategy alone can generate a couple of new clients for you right away,” Slaunwhite said.

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2)Old-fashioned networking. Slaunwhite suggested also sending out the time-tested one-page letter alerting people of your new business and following up with a call five days later.

3)Create a Web presence. You absolutely need to have a Web site that clearly indicates the services you’ll provide.

4)Imagine your ideal client. Write down who your perfect client would be, what kind of projects they would have and how much they would pay. It will help you narrow down potential employers.

5) Offer a fee schedule. It may be more of a range, but it’s important to tell potential clients what your typical fee will be per project.

The best way to find out what to charge? Ask colleagues what’s standard. And in most cases, quote a price that’s higher than your gut. “When it comes to creative people, we often undercharge.”