“When It Rains, It Pours” — This Has Been the One Constant Truth of My Entire Freelance Career
The good news: I have another new client.
The bad news: It’s challenging juggling two new clients and still trying to market my freelance writing business.
As you know if you’ve been reading this blog, I was clientless after five years of working for only one company.
I landed my first new client in five years in early March, after a grueling seven weeks of cold calling.
Two weeks later, I landed my second new client.
I’ve been writing marketing copy for them both the past few weeks. Of course, that is great news!
I’m back in business as a freelance writer! Which is way better than the alternative.
But now I’m facing the eternal freelance conundrum: How do I continue to look for work when I’m already busy?
Out With the Old — My Inconsistent Self-Promotion
In the past, during my busy cycles I would have just forgotten about looking for clients and enjoyed the downpour of writing assignments — until it all dried up.
Then I’d get back on the phone and cold call like crazy until I found some new work.
This was my business process for years.
Wash. Rinse. Repeat.
Now I want off this treadmill.
Now I want to do what I’ve known I should do all along.
Now I want to never stop marketing. I want to be continually reaching out to potential new clients.
Because I never again — ever — want to be completely clientless. And I never want to have to rebuild my business from scratch again.
It’s an awful feeling to not know where your client is coming from — and when. Intense feelings of inadequacy and the fear of failure are debilitating.
Now I want to always spend some valuable time marketing my business every week.
But how is this going to happen when my days are filled with meeting deadlines for my two new clients’ projects?
In With the New — My Never-Stop-Marketing Plan
I’ve done some reading on the best ways to ensure that you are always marketing and selling. I came across many ideas, but only a few that I thought were valuable to me.
Here is my plan:
1. Practice First Things First.
Even though I could never make my way through his whole book, I believe strongly in the first rule of Stephen Covey. In my case, first things first is marketing my freelance services to new potential clients. Self-marketing is the most important activity that will move the needle from stagnant to vibrant for any career. Some experts say that successful entrepreneurs spend 20 to 50 percent of their time marketing. I want to be a successful entrepreneur!
2. Carve Out Time.
Part of putting first things first is to carve out the time in your schedule for the important tasks. This means, in my case, I have to actually put “self-marketing” on my weekly schedule. This cannot just be a vague “to do” living in the ether. It has to be scheduled. And it has to be sacrosanct.
3. Create the Habit.
My goal is to make self-marketing so ingrained in my career that I do it out of habit. It takes work to create a habit. I recently read new research on forming habits. Experts say it takes anywhere from two months to nine months to form a new habit, depending on how challenging it is. I’m prepared for however long it takes to make this change, because I believe that continuingly marketing is the only way for me to ensure a healthy and wealthy future as a freelance writer.
By the way, to rebuild my career from scratch, I relied heavily on my own tried-and-true secrets for launching and growing a successful freelance career. I’m happy to report that my secrets work! My book, Secrets of Being a Successful Freelance Writer, is still priced at the low cost of only $9.99. Someone just purchased it and emailed me to say: “I peeked at the book before trying to message you on Facebook. The book is GREAT 🙂 Thank you.”