After almost 30 years as a successful professional freelance writer, I know better than to have just one client (see “The One-Client Freelance Predicament”). However, I do have my reasons for having only one client for the past four years: the bad economy, a steady flow of work, and a desire to pursue a personal writing project. It was all working out quite well for me – until recently.
The downside of this situation reared its ugly head last month in a major way. Put another way: The rubber hit the road and the car crashed and burned in a heap of glass, metal, and flames.
Drama aside, I sit here today as I write these words, a long-time successful freelancer, with no clients.
It’s not the first time. There have been three or four times in my career when I’ve woken up to find out that I have no clients. This is one of the hazards of freelancing. Clients can disappear for any number of reasons – a change in management, a change in strategy, the company went out of business, etcetera.
Even the best-laid plans to avoid being clientless can go awry. After experiencing the loss of a sole client a couple of times early in my career, I decided that I needed to retain a minimum of three clients at all times. I reasoned that this number would ensure that I would never be clientless again. I secured three clients as planned – and guess what? Within the space of one month all three disappeared – all for different reasons. Ah, the fickle fate of life as a freelance writer. As they say, it goes with the territory.
The upside of my current situation (it’s always best to find the upside of any challenge in this business) is that I get to explore new freelance opportunities. It will be good for me to see how businesses are fairing in the still-struggling economy (according to some reports) – and how the recession has affected the freelance marketplace.
I’m curious to know how the recession has impacted freelance writers across the country. In fact, I’m launching a national survey to find answers – the Freelance Writer Recession Impact Study – and I’m inviting writers to participate. The more writers who participate, the more we will all gain from the survey.
If you have worked as a freelance writer at any time during the past four years (2008 to 2012), please take the survey on this blog. Based on the survey, I’ll create a report on the impact of the Great Recession on the careers of freelance writers. When you take the survey, you’ll be among the first to receive a copy of the report based on the results. Please share the link with other freelance writers, too.
Another upside to my current clientless state is that I’ve finally had the time to create a program for sharing my freelance writing expertise with other writers, which is something I’ve wanted to do for a while. I’m proud to say that I am currently preparing the Freelance Writing Secrets Revealed eCourse. In this six-week online course, I’ll share a step-by-step process for launching, growing, and sustaining a successful freelance business.
And speaking of sharing, on this blog, I will be chronicling My Life as a Freelancer on this blog – including my upcoming search for new clients. For example, in the next post, I’ll reveal why and how I fired my client last month. You heard me right: I fired my one and only client – and for very good reasons, as you’ll hear.
To ensure that you never miss an installment of my wonderful-crazy life as a freelance writer, please sign up for regular updates. You’ll also receive an excerpt from my book, Secrets of Being a Successful Freelance Writer.
Here’s to sharing the dream of being a successful freelance writer.
All my best,