As I mentioned in my previous post, I’ve worked for one client for the past four years.
As a freelancer, putting all of your eggs in one basket is a huge risk. After all, if the company pulls the rug out from under you, your income instantly drops to zero. And you are left scrambling for clients.
This is not the first time that I’ve been a one-client freelancer. It’s happened a few times during my nearly 30-year freelance writing career. It typically happens by accident, when a company has so much work for me that I didn’t have time to work for or look for other clients. It’s very seductive to be wanted so much by a single company – but also dangerous. I know well the awful feeling of losing that one client for any number of reasons – no more work, went out of business, got a new staff. Every time that I was left with no clients, I vowed that I would never have less than three clients at any one time again.
Despite my knowing better, here I am again – with a total of one client. I ended up here four years ago again through the convergence of two forces. This company offered me a steady stream of work during a time when the economy was tanking. While it was in a freefall, I didn’t exactly feel like knocking on doors that were laying off employees, going out of business, or just weathering the storm.
But now the rubber has hit the road. My one client’s workload for my marketing writing services is diminishing. While the economy is not 100 percent yet, it’s better than it has been over the last few years. It’s time for me to start looking for new clients before my work dries up completely.
Originally, I had planned to start looking for new clients in late October/early November 2011. But a last-minute round of projects lured me into waiting until after the holidays. I was happy to have an excuse to delay the inevitable, because it’s been four years since I made my last cold call.
So now, as soon as the New Year of 2012 arrives, so will my next round of client hunting. I’ll record my experience here as a learning tool for other freelance writers. Until then, I’ll share my preparation for embarking on the inevitable task of finding new freelance clients.
And I won’t stop until I have a minimum of three.