What's on the iPod: Life by The Avett Brothers
Looking for some goal-setting inspiration? Check out John Soares' 19 Successful Freelance Writers Share Their Top Goals for 2014 featuring plenty of writers, including me. Thanks, John!
As Anne Wayman said here a few days ago, accountability is her secret weapon. Mine too. Just knowing that I have to report back on my efforts makes me much more conscious of my goals on a daily basis.
Whether reporting your accountability monthly or weekly, you get this psychological kick in the pants. Try it one month. See if there's a change in your work habits and marketing efforts as a result.
For now, feel free to follow along and post your results if you know them. If not, why not start tracking your efforts today? Here's how my December played out:
I sent out a few, but I knew when I sent them there wouldn't be an assignment. Magazines usually run out of freelance budgets in November -- some even earlier. No responses yet, so I'm going to tap the editors' shoulders to see if the ideas now have some validity with new budgets in place.
I sent out just a few of these this month, but I did follow up on quite a few I'd sent last month. No responses other than the typical out-of-office responses that plague December, but perhaps on second follow-up, things will become more appealing.
The bulk of my work this past month, such as it was, came from current clients. One favorite client came back after a year or so of absence, and I was happy to see them back. Love working with them. Another favored client had an article ghostwriting gig that I was able to wrap up for them.
Thanks to a referral, I did gain one more client this past month, and it may turn into an ongoing relationship. I signed the contract and will start work next week. Also, I'm finishing a second project for a newer client. Pretty good for a slow December.
A new category for me, but I have put a good deal of effort into making connections via LinkedIn and Twitter. It's time to list them. LI was my biggest social media push this past month -- I connected with close to 25 new people, many of whom work in my specialty area. The groundwork has been done, and now I'll nurture those contacts and remain in front of them, engaging them in conversation (notice that I didn't say asking them for work -- I rarely do that).
Expectedly dismal. I'm at half my targeted earnings goal. I'd say that December is usually a tough month in which to find work, but that's making excuses. It is tough, but last year I surpassed my earnings goal by December 22nd. It can be done. It just takes planning a few months out.
It was a bit of a weak month for me earnings-wise. On the whole, 2013 was weak thanks to unexpected surgery and what turned into a very long convalesce. The side effects lasted six months and included sapped energy levels, but I did what I could to plow through.
While that didn't help, it also didn't help to have a few clients lose budgets or interest. I marketed, but the focus area and methods weren't working. I've since revamped, added a few new ways to reach out to potential clients, and I'm feeling hopeful for this year. Even with the lower-than-hoped income, I still think this is the best job on the planet.
How did you do in December?
What worked? What didn't?
How was 2013 in general for you?
What one thing are you changing/thinking of changing?