When you are looking for freelance writing work, are there some gigs that you pass on either applying for or accepting because they are too small? This may be a mistake, and here’s my take on why they are worth considering:
1. They can be completed relatively quickly.
You may not have time to commit to (another) large project right now, but taking on a smaller one means that you can get the work done and get paid quickly.
2. Completing a small project can help with your cash flow.
Depending on the payment arrangement you have negotiated with your client, you may need to complete a certain amount of work on a large project before you can bill for it. After the bill has been submitted, then you wait for payment, but your bills still come in. (See Item #1.)
3. Taking a small project on a different topic can help you avoid burnout.
If I spend a lot of time thinking or writing about a single topic, I can get to a point where I hit a mental wall and it becomes difficult to continue. I can have an outline prepared and know what I need to write next, but I’ve become so bogged down in the topic that the words don’t flow well. At that point, having a different topic to focus on, even for a short time, gives me a mental break from the first project. When I go back to it, I can focus my attention much better and get it done.
4. A small assignment shows a client what you can do for them.
I’ve had a number of long-term relationships with clients start off with a small project and grow over time. My work here at FWJ is one example. If I had been a “project snob” and turned down the first gig because it wasn’t worth my time or didn’t pay enough, I would have missed out on the opportunity to work with some really wonderful people, including our own Miss Deborah, and our present relationship wouldn’t exist.
Being successful as a freelancer is about building relationships with people. While you may really want to work on large projects, including some smaller ones in the mix gives you some variety and can help to smooth out cash flow issues for your business. Taking on some smaller gigs also gets your work in front of people who can either hire you for larger assignments in the future or refer you to someone who is looking for a writer.
These are all good reasons to consider a short-term gig. What’s your take on this topic? Do you limit your search to gigs that are a certain length or a specific dollar amount? Is any job really “too small”?