What's on the iPod: Beg, Steal or Borrow by Ray LaMontagne & the Pariah Dogs
Happy March. May it be coming in like a lamb for you wherever you are.
For those of you new to the blog (welcome!), it's that time once again to put a little accountability into our actions or lack thereof. That's right --we're about to bare our souls to each other on how we managed the ol' career this month. I do this every month, and you're free to join in.
So let's look at the damage. Altogether not a bad month, though not exactly the rousing start to 2013 that I'd hoped for. Here are the details:
Two went out to magazines that are new to me. One actually responded (no thanks), but did allude to having a full calendar, so I'll check back in a few months.
It was a busy month for letters of introduction. Because I attend a conference every year (which has proven to be my bread-and-butter work for the entire year), I send out LOIs in advance and set up meetings. This month, I sent 51 LOIs. That netted a phone call and a "Your timing couldn't be better - we're desperate for help" note. No projects yet, but definite interest.
This is what sustained me this month. One retainer plus a few extra projects made up the bulk of my monthly income. One article, two different projects, and some retainer work (and additional beyond-the-retainer work) has added up nicely. I have had a few regular clients go silent, and that has me a little puzzled. So I'll be getting back in touch next week.
It pays to get chatty on social media. One client came to me via LinkedIn -- specifically from a forum he'd seen me on. I did a fairly quick project for him, and I hope to do more. He's a nice guy.
I didn't think I would, but I exceeded my monthly earnings target. Only just, but the last invoice I sent pushed me over the top, amen. March may be interesting as all of these promised, much-talked-about projects are still in limbo. Hopefully they won't appear at once, but I guarantee you the minute I book my flight for the conference, the clients will be coming out of the woodwork.
I'm not pushing the conference marketing as hard, but then again, my goal is to remain working steadily while I market. Last year I made the mistake of putting all my efforts into marketing, which meant I had two lean months. Not horrible, but lean enough to notice it. Marketing will continue for both the conference and the day-to-day.
The current few clients who have gone off the radar are my top priority. They like my work. I like working with them. I think I'll propose an arrangement or a few projects to get the conversation going again.
How was February? Did the shorter month affect your earnings? What were some of the surprises for you this month?