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Ah, the end of another month. In what is typical a slow period for freelancing, it's tough sometimes to look at the bottom line. However, if you keep track of your efforts, you'll soon be able to see some areas of improvement, and that's the key to making every month lucrative. And when you share your results with other writers, that makes you doubly aware of the effort you're making. Accountability is a good thing.
So let's look at how I did this month:
I was about to send one when an editor got in touch with an assignment. So I sent none, but I got work. I wish I could bottle that!
I sent no new ones, but followed up on some previous ones. Sad news back from one contact--most of her department was laid off the week before I'd gotten in touch. I expressed my condolences, and I offered to keep in touch. She must be stinging from the layoff still -- no response at all. Can't blame her. That's a tough position.
Once again this was where the bulk of my work came from. I'm getting a little nervous that there aren't new clients being added to the mix, so I'm ramping up the LOI and query machine in December. Since most magazine budgets are history by now, I'm shooting for January assignments. One editor got in touch this week with one of those January assignments, so I know there's a check coming in February. Between the two retainer clients, the marketing firm work, and the magazine work, I've been pretty busy.
Oddly, one today came from a temp agency I'd signed with seven years ago. The recruiter "found" my updated information on LinkedIn and called. I may have some offsite work coming in for December, so that's promising. If not, I'm going to be plenty busy thanks to the current clients, plus a magazine article due in a few weeks.
I had a few, but nothing that fit.
Amen for retainers in the slow months! I'm fortunate to be doing quite well -- surpassing my new target by 15 percent.
Call me crazy, but I get nervous when things are going well. I feel I should be increasing my marketing efforts and trying to secure projects four to six months out. I don't want to get complacent with the few clients I have now, and retainers do make one feel too secure. I know one retainer is about to expire, so I'm looking to replace or extend that income stream for January.
How was it for you in November? Did you meet your goals? What's working? What isn't?