What’s on the iPod: Fear of Falling by The Badlees
What a day yesterday. I’d like to tell you how much work I accomplished. I’d like to tell you how much marketing happened. I’d like to – but I can’t. I managed the Home page for a Web project, a phone call with a potential client, a trip to Staples, another trip to Fedex/Kinkos, a lawn mowing, a quick trip to Marshall’s for some conference clothes (I swore I wouldn’t but I thought dresses will be more versatile than pants), dinner, and then a hockey game that nearly made me cry. It certainly made me curse, but that’s another story.
Actually, I guess I did get a lot done. I had to make over my brochure, too. A few tweaks and a color scheme change, which wasn’t too bad. However, fool that I am, I introduced an error. Publisher is a pain to proofread in, so yes, the error made it into the final, paid-for product. It was an apostrophe. It was killing me, so I took a Sharpie to every one of the brochures. Also, I opened Publisher and made the correction in case I use this template again. Ugh. My own worst nightmare sometimes.
I was contacted by yet another company, so I have plenty to do this week preparing for booth visits. I bought ten portfolio folders at Staples, but I’m not sure I’ll have time to fill them. I like to leave them with clients. Perhaps the better idea is to send them to them after the show (no one likes to carry extra stuff home). If I do that, that will free up about two hours of my time this week. I desperately need those two hours.
On top of all that, I’m trying to get posts done for Writers Worth Week. It begins the day after I get home, and I decided to do a blog tour this year. Great, but my timing is pathetic. I have five posts out to their respective sites, two more to write, then posts to get ready for this blog for the next two weeks.
And in the best news, I got an email from an editor on this new story I’d sent him. He praised it. It felt good to hear him saying how well researched and written it was. He said it was obvious I’d put a lot of work into it. It didn’t feel like work – it was a blast to dig this stuff up. Maybe that fun I was having showed. But damn, that feels good to get a note like that! We freelancers don’t exactly get pats on the back regularly, do we? Actually, I don’t think our office counterparts do, either.
I was talking with a fellow writer I’d met on a forum. He reached out after I’d joined up to encourage everyone to work harder at their careers and stop lamenting the low-paying jobs (surprise, huh?). I like his style. He’s decided his worth isn’t being met, so he’s changing his methods and reworking a soon-to-launch marketing campaign. Good for him!
It made me think about my current workload. We all do it – we take the “quick” and “easy” jobs to fill in the gaps. It’s fine, but not if those jobs become a primary staple. I’ve been doing resumes for four years (maybe longer). It started as a supplement, became a full-time, stress-filled job, then I quit that client and found a better one.
It’s back to being a supplement, but I had to cycle through the job having a lot of projects and too few writers (meaning we all worked harder), and cycle back to just a smattering here and there. If you don’t plan for it to drop off, you get stuck with a smaller check and no additional work.
I’m an advocate for having at least two regular gigs to sustain you should a client or two disappear. Ideally, I think three regular clients are best because once upon a time, I lost two regular clients one right after the other. At that time, I have four regular clients. It hurt, but it didn’t sink me.
So how many regular clients do you have now? By regular I mean any client needing monthly or more frequent work from you. If you have a magazine editor you can rely on for assignments should you need it, count it. How do you find your regular clients?