What’s on the iPod: Timeless by The Airborne Toxic Event
What a weekend.
Cape May, New Jersey in October is usually sunny, warm and busy. This year, skip the first two qualifiers. Imagine howling winds and driving rain in nonstop, multiple-day fashion. It was wet — inches of rain three days out of the four we were there. It was windy — gusts went up to 55 mph at times (though winds we experienced were more of the 35-45 mph variety). It wasn’t a hurricane, but it was a Nor’easter like no other I’ve witnessed.
And naturally, the day we packed up to come home, the sun came out. The wind was still strong, but the rain disappeared completely. Still, we had a terrific time. Rain and wind don’t deter us much — not since we’d planned ahead and brought enough rain gear. We were outside most of the time.
I came home to five projects on Sunday. By noon yesterday, I had seven. Like the rain in Cape May, the clients are raining down on me. I’m looking for a bigger bucket.
It’s a nice departure from September, which was unusual. I had plenty of work the first week and a half. Then it dried up a bit and I started to get a little concerned. My marketing efforts weren’t producing anything concrete.
So I deployed the freelancer’s tried-and-true method of guaranteeing an influx of work – schedule time off.
Worked like a charm. I’ve already surpassed my earnings goal for October just in the projects currently scheduled.
So that makes my odd September palatable. Here’s how things went last month:
I sent out three targeted queries, though more toward mid- to late-September. No word yet, though I do think one will be accepted.
In between projects, I sent out a dozen this month, mainly to exhibitors attending a trade show next month. Nothing yet, but I’m hoping to get somewhere with follow ups.
I connected with about six more contacts on LinkedIn, the focus being on quality that I can offer as well as quality they can offer. On Twitter, I attended an industry Twitter chat and picked up a few more key followers.
Zero. And I couldn’t be happier about that. My work hasn’t come from job listings in so long — I can’t remember the last time I got a job this way.
The bulk of my work came through people who have been funneling projects my way for the last few months to a year.
None this past month, but I am working with two new clients of an existing client (I’m the subcontractor). In fact, this particular client has me working on four projects at the moment, with hints at a fifth. If that one comes in, I’m going to have to work long days to get it all done accurately and within deadlines.
I sent out two submissions and received one acknowledgement of receipt. Poetry takes a long time for responses of any sort, so the acknowledgement was a bonus.
Despite a ton of busy work, the invoices were just short of the goal. Had the one project billed, I’d have surpassed it by $400. Instead, I was short $1,200. No matter. It’s going to make for a great October.
The slow pace of my marketing, while targeted and much more thoughtful, isn’t yet filling my calendar with new clients. If I didn’t already know I have another new client with ongoing work for October and beyond, I’d be doubling my efforts. With October already well scheduled, I’m going to continue the current pace and keep the focus on winning over the best-fitting clients.
Writers, how did you do in September?
Did your work pick up after summer ended? How does it compare to last year at this time?
What are you changing or continuing for October?