Mind Over Matter
Maybe you’ve had this same out-of-body experience too: Sitting in your home office, staring at your computer screen, trying to “will” new clients into your inbox. You. Need. More. Work.
After all, you ARE a writing professional, aren’t you? Of course you are!
And you ARE a pretty darn good writer, are you not? Absolutely!
And don’t forget the vast assortment of LinkedIn accolades and “atta-girl’s” you get when you crank out those stellar literary delights. Un-matchable!
But the truth of it is, once your inbox stops pinging, it may seem like the love for your work has disappeared. No matter how much mind-melding you do at your computer screen, the work just…won’t…come. What to do? How do you keep the work consistently flowing, even when your writer peers are having the same troubles?
Good Times and Bad Times
Having freelanced for over 15 years, I’ve also experienced my fair share of dry spells as well as work over-abundance. I, too, covet those times when the work is plentiful, stacked with waiting list clients who are eager for me to weave my magic with their content.
But for those in-between times, I have to do a little creative marketing not only to acquire work, but also to maintain a steady flow of work. Here I’ve compiled a short list of some things you can try too to beef up your freelance work:
1. Write an eBook or a Guide
Ebooks are fabulous marketing tools, and awesome for dropping knowledge on your audience. Want to show off your smarts? You can do that with ebooks, without sounding obnoxious – – well, maybe you’ll sound just a little bit, but your readers will be so impressed, they won’t even notice. And, if the ebook is f-r-e-e, they won’t care about how obnoxious it is as they share its value with their Facebook friends.
2. Soft pitch to Social Sources
Speaking of Facebook, utilize the social services to the max. With your Twitter friends (TF) and Facebook friends (FF), go ahead and “Like” their status updates and leave tasteful, timely comments. It’s cool because other FF’s will also leave comments and may solicit your advice on stuff. Caution: Nix sounding sales-y.
3. Contact Past Clients
Try not to sound too desperate when you make contact with them, but very pointedly, state your availability, and ask for their business. Update them on new certifications or skills you’ve acquired, including marketing, social network or list building skills.
4. Join your local Chamber of Commerce offline.
The Chambers of Commerce meetings not only have the coolest white tablecloth luncheons, but also give you an opportunity to be the business speaker of the month. First, make networking a priority in the months beforehand while you learn names and faces. Start with your fellow luncheon guests, while you’re passing the breadbasket and politely smiling.
Thank you. Thank you very much.
5. Submit to Local News Mediums.
Rantings, ravings and soap-boxing diatribes are allowed here. Submitting opinion pieces to your local newspaper might make you popular! Now since that popularity will be relative, it’s best to find a clever way to connect your business topic with the theme of the news outlet. Ideas? Connect your business style with what the popular blogs or websites are currently discussing these days. Or, discuss a problem in an industry and offer your own solution to that problem. That should definitely get your blog some attention!
While it is true that freelancers enjoy convenience and flexibility, they still have to work pretty hard to acquire and maintain a client base as they wear different hats to keep their business afloat. No doubt that there are many, many perks in working from home, freelancers sometimes experience a work lull where they may wonder where their next gig is coming from.
Apply one or all of these ideas to your freelance business and see what happens. It’s important as a freelancer to have and use several different marketing strategies in your business to ensure a steady workflow.
Now, go put your mind-melding abilities to other uses like levitating the dog or the cat. They’ll get a kick out of that, for sure!