Tracking every lead sounds like a lot of work, particularly over the working life of a freelance writer.
Besides it also sounds boring, at least to me. And I know I’m not alone.
It’s really a matter of developing systems that will let you accomplish more than you ever dreamed, including solid lead tracking.
Why tracking every lead leads to more money
Probably ten years ago someone from the midwest found my website and called me to write a press release. He paid promptly and seemed to be happy with my work. Almost by accident I made a point to send him an email or give him a call every now and again.
About a year after the first press release he responded to one of my emails and wanted me to write a series of 25 emails, one every other week. I boosted my pay a bit which was okay with him. I had a predictable amount of income from that one client, largely because I touched base with him every now and again. Recently, after several years of no gigs, he contacted me again with another writing project.
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Finding the freelance writing jobs you want – that was the theme of several of responses to the two question survey (it’s still open if you’d like to take it) I ran recently.
While there are certainly lots of ways to market yourself and your writing, here’s an approach I’ve found particularly effective.
1 – Loosely define what kind of freelance writing jobs you want
Spend a few minutes developing a description of exactly the kind of writing jobs you want. This is a little bit different than figuring out what niche, if any, you want to work in. Here we’re getting set up to look for gigs. Start with a topic, the type of writing, the pay and anything else that’s important to you.
For example, I might look for:
‘blogging gigs on freelancing in general that want short form posts of 1,000 words or less, pay $100/500 words and need weekly or twice weekly posts.’
Another example I might use is:
‘Women CEO types that want to hire a ghostwriter or writing coach to get their experience/advice into a book and is willing to pay $xx,xxx for it.’
Over time you’ll probably develop several of these because most freelance writers work in more than one arena. Don’t spend a whole lot of time on this – you just want something that will help you focus on finding the kinds of writing jobs YOU want – which will be quite different than mine.
2 – Contact past clients
You’re past clients are often your best source of new work. Develop a system to touch base with them every so often, quarterly can work well. You want to see if they have any work for you on the horizon. Great time to ask for referrals too.
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