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As I struggle to get work done, help out with moving furniture back in, take care of dinner, and help with wedding plans for two weddings, I'm also trying to make this Writers Worth Month the best it can be for you. So as you juggle your own stuff - both professional and personal - here are a few ways to improve your business without working up a sweat:
1. Write for yourself. Press release, brochure, media kit, or social media blast -- whatever it is, make it something promoting your business. Tell people you exist and remind them that they need you.
2. Turn down a bad fit. I've turned down offers I'd initially accepted after I realized the work was going to outpace the pay rate. If you can't speak up for yourself, speak up for your business. Say no thank you and stop worrying about how the client will react. That's not your concern. What is your concern is your own financial welfare.
3. Decide your boundaries now. You may not want to write for universities or you may think proofreading couldn't be more mundane. Brainstorm your ideal situations and especially those situations you consider to be deal-breakers. If you know ahead of time what's not acceptable, you're more likely to walk away when you need to.
4. Go one level higher. Suppose you've been working with a magazine that pays 40 cents a word. Right now, look in that same genre and locate at least two other magazines paying even 10 cents more per word. Improve your income by aiming higher. Also, I have a loose rule about magazines -- if they pay too little, I get one, maybe two clips before I move on, using those clips to get a better rate elsewhere. I'll also ask the editors if they can bump up that rate before I move on. Sometimes it takes just asking.
5. Approach one more new client today. Make that your challenge -- before today is over, get in front of just one more potential client with a letter, a LinkedIn connection, a social media share, whatever it takes. Make it a personal connection, not just a retweet or a comment on a thread. Introduce yourself where you can, and ask for the job when it's appropriate.
6. Define your target. Whether it's your target income goal for the month or your ideal client, put some definition around the idea. Put pen to paper and figure out what your monthly earnings should look like. Do the same to decide which clients need you right now and how you're going to reach out to them. Whatever your target is, make time to think it through.
Writers, what simple things do you do to improve your business?
What's your favorite tactic for increasing your value, your earnings, or your client base?