What will I be doing the next several months? Cold calling, prospecting, and networking.
I’m starting my search for new freelance writing clients tomorrow — and I’m nervous.
Although I’ve been a freelance writer since 1983 (almost 30 years!), I haven’t looked for new clients for almost five years. My last cold call was in January 2008.
There are two reasons for the extended lapse in my client-search endeavors: 1. I spent the last five years working on a personal writing project, and 2. I was working for one client who had enough work for me to keep my bills paid.
Because of my personal project and thanks to my one single bread-and-butter client, I feel really lucky that I didn’t have to look for freelance work during the recession. I can image that it was a difficult time, because of companies cutting back and going out of business. But as the economy was crumbling, I was blessedly living in a kind of protective bubble.
But now my bubble has burst — and I need new clients. As I discussed a couple of months ago, I fired my one client back in June for very good reasons.
Beginning My Freelance Client Search
Now that I’m re-entering the freelance world, in many ways I feel like I’m starting my freelance career from scratch. Five years is a long time. And after so many years out of the loop, I have to begin at the beginning. I have to promote myself in several ways including:
• Create a prospect list
• Begin cold calling the prospects
• Introduce potential clients to my writing services
• Create a follow-up campaign
• Attend networking events
The difference between my job search this time around and the dozens of times I’ve engaged in the steps to find clients in the past, is that I have done it all before, so I know what to expect.
Also, this time around, I’m going to write about my experiences — and share every detail of my client search with my fellow writers who are or who want to be freelancers. In the past, I was very careful to keep my freelancing secrets to myself. But now it’s time to share them in a “my life as a freelancer” diary.
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I’m nervous, but I can’t wait to find out who my next freelance client will be!