What Maximus Minimus Wants You to Know about How to Get More Freelance Writing Clients
Above the din, I heard it – the early-warning alert that we had a serious problem. If there’s an equivalent to crazy cat ladies for dog lovers, I’m probably it. The devoted companion and caretaker to four and a half dogs, two cats, nine chickens, and possibly seven baby chicks (they’re incubating), I find these beasts to be good company and even better entertainment. That’s why a canine friend of mine is about to show you how to get more writing clients.
Oh yeah, the half dog.
That sounds bad – or at least a bit sci-fi. The half is my Husky, Tundra, who’s so smitten with my son that she mostly stays with him in Tennessee. I see her [meaning my clothing is utterly covered in dog hair] about half the time.
But today, I want to tell you about Maximus Minimus. All three pounds of this big boy are dedicated to three goals: keeping me safe from prowlers (AKA the UPS guy or anyone from the Airkooled Kustoms shop who comes into the house), getting his ears scratched, and ensuring ALL of the dogs’ bowls have at least some kibble in them.
Pretty much every day, here’s the scene:
Me: Working, working, working. Got my trusty high-creativity/high-focus music playing on my headset. I’m in the zone.
Max: Chirp. Chirp chirp. CHIRP [runs over to me and launches his muscular physique up toward my knees]. CHIRPPPPPP.
Me: [Sigh]. Maxxxxxx. Really? Someone needs food?
Then, like a charades player whose teammate made a correct guess, Max sprints over to the offending bowl and waits for me to make it right.
Mind you, it’s not HIS bowl. Everyone’s eaten already.
He just wants to be absolutely sure that there’s no disruption in the food supply. He wants the bowls filled before it’s mealtime.
Pretty smart pooch – and if he could talk about freelance writing business best practices, there’s an important lesson in there.
How to Get More Freelance Writing Clients So You Avoid the Feast or Famine Cycle
Even though it might seem like it takes FOREVER to get your first writing clients, it won’t take long before you’ve got as much work as you want. You might even start turning prospective clients away, cherry-picking the projects that best suit you. At that point, it’s like an endless buffet of projects – one that might actually wear you out before you can finish.
Until then, your “food supply” is probably going to be a bit sporadic… especially if you aren’t proactive to ensure you’re not in a cycle of feast or famine. That’s the bane of every freelancer’s existence at first (or, forever, if they don’t know how to fix it).
At first, you’ll be doing very little actual writing (at least for money). You’ll be setting up your website, building a portfolio, and getting your ducks in a row for whatever client-getting method you want to use.
Then you’ll be wise to spend the bulk of your allotted work time prospecting. My advice on how to get more freelance writing clients is to send out FIVE prospecting efforts a day, FIVE days a week. This looks different whether you’re on a job board like Guru, reaching out to agencies (web design, marketing, etc.), or connecting with local business owners in your area.
If you do 5/5 like that, you’ll put 100 irons into the fire over the course of a month. That kind of intensity ramps up the odds that you land work.
Once you land work, you’ve got it made! You don’t have to prospect anymore! Woo HOOOOOO!!!
You’re freaking Max out with that kind of crazy talk. His adorable walnut-sized brain knows an important truth: the food goes away at some point.
It’s important to keep your foot on the gas for prospecting until you reach the point where you’ve got ongoing work booked months ahead. At that point, you can EASE UP, but you can’t take your foot off the prospecting gas entirely… ever.
Because it stinks if you ever reach the point of desperation – especially if you’ve been there before and vowed not to be there again. It also stinks if you find yourself doing work you no longer enjoy – or that’s way below what you want to be paid, just because you don’t have something better in the wings.
By prospecting in perpetuity, you give yourself some valuable gifts – a steady stream of work (and income!), a pipeline that’s full enough to help you sleep well at night, and the wiggle room needed to be a bit choosy.
I hope you’ve dug into the Working Writer, Happy Writer course – or that you’re planning to soon.
In the course, you’ll find some good advice on how to get more freelance writing clients from three excellent sources. There’s good news and bad news: Your initial clients will be nothing like the clients you get a year or so into your business. 🙂 I’ll let you sort that one out!
Anyhow, because I can’t exactly rent Max out to help you remember to keep your pipeline full, I hope you’ll do whatever it takes on your end to make prospecting a habit.
Would you do me a favor (and it’ll help the rest of the WWHW students, too)? I’d love to know which client-getting method you’re using (or planning to use) – and how many prospecting actions you’re committing to taking each day or week.
I’m bidding on projects on _______ site. 5 a day, 5 days a week.
Or whatever you’re doing.
Just curious – and hoping to help you if I can!