What’s on the iPod: Ten Thousand Things by The Avett Brothers
Yesterday was one of those productive days that makes me glad to be a freelancer. I managed a crazy schedule without interruption because A) I work from home, B) I don’t have to attend meetings, and C) the commute time is better spent writing. But look who I’m telling, huh?
I managed an interview, one of two projects, another new client (actually, an ongoing client with a new business she needs help with), a ton of LOIs for the conference (around 25), scheduling of a few of those LOI responses, and a bunch of blog posts for the upcoming Writers Worth Week. And I wrote this post (if I didn’t write them the day before, you wouldn’t hear from me until noon). All before 5. Yes, I’ll be burned out by Friday, but I’ll have a lot accomplished and I can take the day off. I won’t have a fresh word left in me, but the drive back home will allow me to find a few new words, probably all relating to traffic.
As I went through the motions of sending out 25 or so LOIs, I realized that it was due to a change in perspective on my part. I started thinking differently about some aspect of my target industry, and it may turn out to be quite a good change.
I’ve gone to this risk management conference for years. I’ve missed a few years in between, but in total, I’ve had my toe in the industry for 11 years now. Back in late February the notice came for conference registration. I decided then it was time to show up for the conference instead of just, well, appear at the conference. That’s when I started contacting exhibitors and asking to meet with them.
The response rate has been amazing. Those of you who know marketing percentages know that a seven-percent response rate is pretty darned good. Of that, I’m already working with one of those contacts. It’s a start.
So beyond attending conferences, how can you create your own perspective shift?
Look somewhere else. You’ve written for clients in the financial industry forever. But have you tried writing for technology clients? They’re worried about money, too. The same issues that affect CFOs affect the CIOs, just from a different perspective.
Suggest new services. There are a few of these LOI recipients who are in serious need of more active blog time, better Web copy, and a little more promotion. I’d bet your clients and prospects are also lacking in a few areas. Just don’t approach new clients saying, “You know, your site really sucks.” Find a diplomatic way to bring up how you can help them.
Identify your strengths. This goes back to my first point. The skills you have that make your clients come back for more could translate into new areas. But you have to know what those strengths are, don’t you? If you can’t figure it out, ask writer friends or family. Then decide what clients need those skills.
Expect more. Yes, you earn fifty bucks a blog post. Why not expect more and ask for it? There’s no reason why that blog you’ve been writing for for three years shouldn’t entertain the notion of paying you more now that you’ve helped them increase their audience.
Turn your current assignments sideways. You write resumes. Why not add career coaching to that? Or how about suggesting a column to that online publication you write for? Try turning what you’re doing now into more opportunity. Lift things up and look underneath – what potential is lying there untapped?
Writers, when was the last time you shifted your perspective? What did that look like? How has that helped your career?