Part of being a freelancer is looking for work. Even when we have a full plate, we are aware that our status can change very quickly. Clients run out of work, we decide that it’s time to move on, or we simply experience a dry spell.
Since a phone call or e-mail can change our work schedules (and have an impact on our cash flow) very quickly, getting into the habit of always being on the lookout for new opportunities is important. The “job” of a writer is not just about thinking stuff up; it also involves the functions of running a business, including marketing.
If this part of your business is not something that you always look forward to, let me offer this suggestion: make looking for work a habit. It should be a regular part of your routine in much the same way that showering and brushing your teeth are.
When was the last time that you gave any thought to whether you actually wanted to take a shower or brush your teeth? You don’t – it’s just something you do because you know that if you don’t look after it there will be consequences. The same thing is true when it comes to your freelance writing job search.
Get out your book, calendar or whatever you use for scheduling and block off some time to devote to applying for gigs, writing and sending queries, cold calling or connecting with previous clients. You can set aside time on certain days for different approaches if you like.
The important thing is to make an appointment with yourself for this necessary activity. Once you have it written down, keep the appointment – whether you actually feel like doing the task doesn’t necessarily have to appear on your radar. Just get started, and you are less likely to have a lot of gaps in your freelance writing schedule.
Do you make looking for freelance writing jobs a habit?
Daily marketing DEFINITELY should be a part of a writing business.
I do it every day, no matter my workload.
Sam Kessler says
What do you do to market yourself?
I check the job boards, follow up with current cleints to see if they need more help with assignments\projecgts.
Debra Stang says
This is great advice. I know when I’m busy, I tend to let job hunting slip. It simply doesn’t seem possible that I will ever have a spare moment again as long as I live. But of course, the dry times do come, and then I’m stuck kicking myself for not having something lined up in advance. Now I make it a point to at least check the job boards every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. It’s a habit that has come in very handy.
John Brhel says
This is a great article and one I’d wish I’d read when I first started freelancing. Goes hand-in-hand with the old adage “keep more than one egg in your basket”!
I devote half an hour every day to doing at least one of the following:
1) looking at new jobs here and on Elance, oDesk,etc.
2) adding fine touches to my website
3) taking place in group discussions on LinkedIn
4) responding to posts like this one
Doing it in little chunks every day has made marketing myself doable without being overwhelming.
The little chunks technique always works! Thanks for sharing!