It’s not something a lot of other freelancer writers like or are willing to talk about, but let’s be honest, we all have times when the money coming in is less – and less frequently – than we’d like. It happened to me recently — to the tune of some $2,200 in lost revenue!
If you’re like me, there are stages to my response: frustration, then panic, then figuring out a plan, and finally getting my butt in gear and taking action!
I can move through the first couple of stages pretty quickly, and the results are usually positive. Let me share a recent example of what I did to fill a revenue hole, and how you can do the same when your incoming funds are lower – and slower – than what you needed or expected.
Freelance Client Who Didn’t Pay Leaves Me in a Financial Pickle
Recently, I had a client who owed me $2,200 just skip out on paying the invoices. They sat there for weeks. Despite numerous promises to pay it, the money never came through. I had a big financial obligation I needed to make in the first half of this month, so I instantly had to begin scrambling and moving funds around because this client just wouldn’t pay.
I was at my wit’s end with anger about this invoice not being paid by someone I’d worked with for so long and for whom I’d never once missed a deadline. I was so attached to this client that it was hard for me to realize that I might never see this money.
However, what I did eventually see was the benefit of acting as though the funds would never come through. Note: I didn’t give up the fight to get the money owned me either.
How I Landed Freelance Jobs That Replaced $2,200 in Lost Revenue in 4 Days
I filled my $2,200 revenue hole in just four days. And that it’s in the midst of a freelance dead zone called the winter holidays.
3 Things You Can do To Land Freelance Writing Jobs Fast!
Let me explain how you can do it, too.
Remember that client you worked for six months ago? Have you touched base since then? Reach out and give them a bonus for taking action quickly.
A percentage off or a note that your prices are going up next month and you’d like to lock them in at a lower rate now if they can commit to a certain package. It’s much, much easier to drum up business from people who already know and like you.
In case you don’t know, this is known as the Pareto Principle, which says that roughly 80 percent of your business will come from 20 percent of your clients. Numbers don’t like – put this principle to work for you!
While gathering some new projects is great too, those clients who previously had an awesome experience are much more likely to go from conversation to contract. There’s less trust building to do and it gives them a chance to see what content ideas have been on their plate but haven’t gotten done.
Present yourself as a problem solver and sweep those things right off their plate and onto yours.
Step #2: Expand into New Projects
I’ve been privately writing press releases in packages for one of my clients, but I never really publicized that I offered this service. I put together a special offering for it and premiered this to all my existing clients so they could take me up on it.
Again, you’re relying on people who already know and like you, and giving them some kind of incentive. In this case, I gave them a 48-hour turnaround and distribution time window.
During this same time, one of those old clients I reached out to offered me a multiple-hour project doing something slightly outside my usual box of writing. This project involved filling out a spreadsheet after making calls to some of their advertising opportunities.
This was a great client for me who had a need to get this done by the end of 2016, so I took them up on it. It was also a great chance for me to do something different and I learned quite a bit.
Step #3: Pitch Yourself to New Clients on Overdrive
I listed this as step #3 because depending on your conversation rate, it’s not always a sure thing that you’ll turn every new pitch into an opportunity.
With longer turnaround times and having to potentially hop on the phone to seal the deal, this method takes longer than #1 and #2. Your previous clients already know you and may want a 5-minute call to go over specs of a new project, or may even agree over email to forge ahead with your new offering or package.
New clients take some finesse, and because you’re coming from more of a place of desperation, you don’t want to telegraph that to potential clients. Don’t end up taking projects that are wrong for you because you simply need the money. Reframe the conversation and make it a pitch challenge for you.
Review those samples quickly and commit to a goal: how many pitches will you send out? Given that some of these might not even respond until several days or weeks later, you’re also building yourself up for some future work once you clear the revenue gap. That’s not always a bad thing.
In fact, having work in the pipeline is always recommended, so if you’re like me and sometimes let your marketing fall away because you’re busy with current client projects, chances like this are a good reminder to build marketing consistency into your future plan.
A heavy-hitting pitch campaign, whether it’s cold calling, cold emailing, finding jobs on Upwork, or networking in Facebook groups with a special offer, can give you a revenue and motivation injection that will hopefully help you avoid a situation like this in the future.
Using a blitz campaign to current and potential clients when you need to infuse more money can work outside of situations where you need to deal with a client who hasn’t paid, too. You can use this to push yourself to the next level if you’re committed to raising your income or if you have a specific money goal in mind (like a vacation, paying down a debt, etc.)
Freelancing & Finances
What have you done as a freelance writer to bring in the dough when you’ve been faced with a short-term cash flow problem? Please share in the comments section below.
Publisher Note — Coming Friday, Jan 6: We’ll round out the week with some freelance writing job leads. Be sure to subscribe to be among the first to get them in your inbox.
Author Bio: Laura is a former inner city teacher and corporate employee who fled the grind in 2012 to work at home. She specializes in SEO content for law firms and insurance agencies, writing everything from ebooks to blogs to video scripts. She is a regular contributor to The Huffington Post, and blogs at SixFigureWritingSecrets.com.
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