How do you know where your next project will come from?

Posted on: October 7th, 2013

Every Monday morning, I get a useful and informative email from Jo James at Amber Life called Make Your Mondays Matter.

Today’s email asked us to think about where we have got our business from so far this year. For example, is it from client referrals, repeat business, networking, social media, email marketing, speaking at events and so on.

I thought this would be a useful exercise to do and I discovered that, overwhelmingly, my source of writing projects comes from repeat business. Next is referrals and next is social media.

So why not take a  moment to follow Jo’s advice and see where you work comes from?

What you focus on, you get more of

Posted on: August 17th, 2013

I’m a great believer in what you focus on, you get more of.

You know how it is: if you get into a negative state and think negative thoughts, you end up attracting even more negative stuff.

Or, a totally different example: if you haven’t seen or heard from a friend for ages, they suddenly pop into your thoughts for no reasons and then a few minutes later you see an email from them in your inbox or they call you on the phone. How many times have you had that?

A focus on new business

Earlier this week, my own focus was on new business. On Monday morning, I sussed out who to contact from clients I hadn’t heard from in a while and then got in touch with them. I also sent out emails to about 60 or so of my contacts, letting them know that my marketing push for September would be finding tone of voice projects.

What to do when your ‘feast’ has turned to ‘famine’

Posted on: April 15th, 2013

When you’re freelance, you need to get used to the feast and famine syndrome. One month you are so busy, you aren’t sure how you can cope with the workload and the next there isn’t a sniff of work on the horizon.

And, no matter how well you try to plan your schedule, you will always get a feast followed by a famine. Regular workloads that keep you ticking along just nicely never seem to happen.

The natural reaction when you enter a period of famine is to panic. But remember the old adage of ‘what you focus on you get more of’. So try not to panic.

Here are some things you could do when you’re not sure where the next project is going to come from:    

The power of positive thinking

Posted on: August 21st, 2012

Earlier this summer, client budgets were cut and writing projects were taken in-house or cancelled. I was faced with a very quiet month and nothing of note in the pipeline. I did my usual act of ‘worry, stress, more worry’. Then I was give some advice:

“Whatever your focus on, you get more of the same. Stop worrying about your lack of work and start to focus on positive things.”

I decided to give it a go. So I stopped worrying, now confident in the belief that I would get projects pretty soon. I filled my free time with writing two mini e-books and I launched them on Amazon.

(You can see them here, if you are interested: 101 Top Copywriting Tips and 101 Top Freelancing Tips.)

How to get what you want: four handy negotiation tips

Posted on: July 18th, 2012

Have you been in new business meetings where the potential new client is trying to beat you down on price and impose all their conditions on you? If that sounds familiar, here are four tips on negotiation that will hopefully stop you from feeling steamrollered next time you’re in new business discussions.

1. Know what it is you want

Spend some time before your meeting working out what you want to get out of it. If your potential client is a large organisation, it’s easy to think – as a freelancer – that you are going to be in the weaker position. But that’s not necessarily the case. What if you have the exact skills they are looking for? That puts you in a strong position. So it’s important to stand up for yourself and think about the outcomes you want to reach.

4 ways to keep motivated if you’ve just lost a juicy project

Posted on: April 30th, 2012

There’s nothing more dispiriting when you work for yourself than to be told you haven’t won that interesting (and lucrative) new project you were going for.

No matter what the reason was (you were too expensive, someone else had more relevant experience, we chose someone local), it still rankles to know you have just missed out on a rather nice slice of much-needed new business.

And, if you’re not careful, it can dent your confidence a bit. (It shouldn’t do, because you’re just as great at what you do today as you were yesterday before you got the news.)

Here are four things you can do to help ensure your confidence remains high and to help motivate you to find your next new project.

1. Keep a log of every compliment your clients send to you