By Lori Widmer
Even if it wasn’t the banner year you were hoping for, even if you never quite reached that goal you set, you did some things right last year that kept your career alive. Why else would you still be in freelancing?
Here are a few things you’ve done that you can be proud of:
- You kept at it. That may sound like a “duh” statement, but think about it in terms of just how much effort that little step has taken you this year. You had to find work. You had to take no for an answer sometimes, and you had to deal with unruly clients on occasion. But you didn’t quit. Oh, you wanted to. But you didn’t. That’s a pretty big success in itself.
- You remembered to market. The toughest part of the job, the one we most overlook, is marketing. But you did that. When you realized you were staring at the next four weeks without work, you got out there and put your name in front of people. Bravo. Now there are that many more clients who know you exist and that you do a good job.
- You marketed when you were busiest. You scoffed each time I’ve suggested it, but you did it, didn’t you? The result was you had work lined up for yourself once all that other work was completed. And now you’re going to continue doing it because it makes perfect sense, right?
- You planned ahead. Experience taught you that July and December are fairly slow. You realized that in order to glide through the lean times you had to work your tail off in April/May and September/October so the checks would be there when you needed them. You knew that magazines need copy always, that there are no slow seasons for monthly pubs, and you scored some gigs to keep you working in those slow periods. Good for you.
- You chased those invoices. Even the clients you’ve been dying to work for have troubles getting invoices paid. You developed a collection process and you made sure you applied it to every single client because you know that consistency is one of your weapons should you have to escalate to litigation. You’ve established a consistent pattern of collection and this client received the exact same treatment. Any judge would see you’re the professional in the equation.
- You backed away from work or clients that didn’t fit. You realized that working for someone who’s crazy or nasty isn’t worth any amount of money, just as you realized that working for much less than the standard we freelancers charge isn’t serving your career at all. You learned to discern. Amen.
What else did you do well last year?
Lori Widmer is a freelancer who refuses to let a little recession get in the way of her career success. She blogs regularly at Words on the Page.
Image from http://www.sxc.hu