Making It Happen

What I’m reading upstairs: The Violent Bear It Away by Flannery O’Connor
What’s on the iPod: Hey, Hey by Dispatch

Don’t forget – sign up now for the one-day Webinar hosted by Devon Ellington and yours truly! I’d love to see you there. Here’s the link.

Interesting day yesterday. Because I’m awaiting approval on one project, I spent much of the morning contacting prospective clients. I managed 35 letters of introduction, which netted me three responses in less than 30 minutes. One prospect thanked me for getting in touch and we’re already talking about projects. The other two don’t have immediate needs, but I’ve made a connection I don’t intend to break.

I loved the wisdom of this community. Yesterday’s conversation was no exception. It’s why you’re successful freelancers – statements like “No one calls the shots on my career but me” and “I think you have to be part bull dog to freelance.”

Ashley said it best when she said this: “If you want it badly enough, you’ll make it happen.” Amen. Here’s how I’m trying to make it happen:

Trade show folks. My resume work is drying up. Amen for the job market, but it’s lowering my monthly earnings as a result. So now I’m trying to locate not another resume job, but work in another area entirely. I’m focusing on conference exhibitors, who usually need marketing and media packages. So far, so good.

Webinars. I’ve wanted to do it for ages. Thank God a conversation with Devon included her saying “I’d love to do a seminar with you.” We took the idea and ran with it. I’m also developing my own site for ongoing Webinars and online courses. I get tons of requests each week, so I think it’s time I put out the shingle.

Magazines. Oddly, the magazine work is still there, and in the trade magazine world, they’re paying very well. I’ll stick with trades, but I’m reaching out to new-to-me magazines. The more in the mix, the better the chances of picking up a fast assignment.

Blog writing. I was lucky enough to be referred to a company that pays a good deal per blog post, and I picked up enough work to add $1,000 and change to the monthly invoicing. I’m hoping as people drop off the new site I can add a few more posts. At the moment, I do three posts a week. I can definitely handle more.

I was getting a bit exhausted with some of the repetition of my days in my workload, so I’m glad to be able to add these new things.

How do you make it happen?

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  • Devon Ellington March 16, 2011 at 12:25 pm

    I jump at new opportunities. So, it wasn't in my original plan for the year, so what? I'll make room for it. That's why we freelance — so we can have a fascinating mix of things and NOT be bound by hours or conventions or other people.

    A new door opens — I leap. If I fall on my ass, I get up, brush myself off, and try something else.

    One HAS to mix the tried-and-true with the new-and=risky, or you stagnate.

  • Lori March 16, 2011 at 12:55 pm

    Oh, I totally agree. I like finding something challenging to tackle. And who doesn't want to mix it up a bit?

    But I wonder – how many of your new doors have left you on your ass? I doubt many. We have fear, but I'm one to let that kind of thing make me work harder. And damn, doesn't it feel good to accomplish something you never thought you could? 🙂

  • Joseph Hayes March 16, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    You're so inspirational, Lori. I'm in a comfortable but beginning-to-be-irritating rut right now, have enough regulars to keep me busy and paid, but always with that nagging doubt that if one of them folds I'm back pounding the streets. Let me know how you do with the conventioneers, I've tried to hit that market a few times with local guides for conference managers without a bite.

  • Lori March 16, 2011 at 1:43 pm

    Hi Joseph! I always love seeing you here. 🙂

    So far it's been okay. A ten-percent response on my emails, which is damn good. I know their market, so I may have an edge there. I hear you on the rut – you like the work, but the tedium starts to bear down…

  • Paula March 16, 2011 at 3:13 pm

    This is why I com here every morning, Lori…I wanted to send out a highly-targeted LOI today, but you put me to shame. Thirty-five in one day? That's got to be a record. Congrats!

    This week I'm struggling to make anything happen. I have four fun assignments to work on, and could knock two of them out in one day if I really pushed. But the time change is really hitting me this time. I usually bounce right back, but I can't fall asleep "early" and wake up late (by the new standard, anyway), and even then have to force myself to stay awake. This is not me. Usually I wake up, do a big fake yawn to get my dog's attention and wait for her to rush back and wake me up and that's it. I'm up and ready to go. No coffee required. (Thank goodness, since I detest coffee.) By the time I finally felt like I was being productive yesterday it was nearly noon. Not good.

    This morning was better, I woke up earlier without much effort, so maybe I'll get more than one LOI sent out today.

  • Ashley March 16, 2011 at 4:22 pm

    I love being able to inspire a blog post for you, Lori! How flattering 🙂

    I'm making it happen by fitting in the freelance work among all the other things I'm doing. I'm enjoying all the freelance stuff, but I'd really like to do more. Thanks for sharing your ideas. I completely agree with your comment – it feels great to accomplish something something new and fun.

    Which makes me think of this class that I'm teaching. I view it as a way to move toward freelancing full time, even though I wasn't sure I would like it or be good at it. I decided to give it a shot, and it's getting easier by the day.

  • Joseph Hayes March 16, 2011 at 4:36 pm

    10% is very damn good! And while we were "chatting" I got a travel book gig which will pay for part of our new kitchen, so I'll stop complaining now.

  • Lori March 16, 2011 at 5:33 pm

    Paula, I was bored to TEARS yesterday! And yes, they were highly targeted, but short. I made sure to keep it brief since it was email, and just reiterate that I'm quite familiar with their target market. Amen, it worked!

    I knew you'd be good at it, Ashley. You strike me as someone who screws on her courage and tries. That, to me, is the best hope for success. And thank you for being my inspiration today!

    Yay, Joseph! Isn't it great? I hope you're able to afford an entire kitchen upgrade soon. 🙂

  • Kimberly Ben March 16, 2011 at 9:26 pm

    Well I'm not surprised you're feeling exhausted – you've been extremely productive.

    Looking forward to more info about the webinar so I can help spread the word!

  • Sal March 17, 2011 at 4:21 am

    Hey Lori,

    Been busy lately. Just wanted to drop a quick note, as I am super excited for the webinar you and Devon are putting on, but the link doesn't seem to work. I keep getting a 1&1 registration page. 🙁

  • Mridu Khullar March 17, 2011 at 9:45 am

    I'm not resistant to change, whether external or internal.

  • Lori March 17, 2011 at 12:34 pm

    Thanks for letting me know, Sal. I'll get on it!

    Thanks, Kim. I appreciate the help in getting the word out!

    Neither am I, Mridu. It makes life much more interesting. 🙂