I always love reading about how many pitches other writers send out each month, how many commissions and how many rejections. So here it is. My month laid bare.
January – the month in review
It’s been a cracking start to 2017. I set myself some fairly big financial and pitching goals for the month (my post on my income spread sheet can be read here) and I got pretty close to achieving them.
With regards to writing articles for magazines and newspapers, this month I:
Pitched: 24 articles
Offers (This is where the editor has approached me to write an article): 2
There were also four pitches (two were for new publications) where editors expressed interest, but needed to take it to an editorial meeting before commissioning. Fingers crossed!
The above is just a snapshot of the feature writing I’ve been doing – I’ve also been working on corporate and research projects.
If my habits are anything to go by, I think freelancers can have the tendency to take our foot off the gas when things are going well. I know for myself that when I have lots of work on, it’s easy to back off from pitching and looking for potential clients, but when things slow down (as they always do), I can often be scrabbling to find the work.
The five-a-day marketing challenge
I’m not a huge fan of the word marketing because it feels a little bit too sales-y, but I did read that we should be aiming for five marketing efforts each day. This can include pitches, letters of introduction, commenting on a blog post, re-tweeting an interesting article from a publication you contribute to, registering with an agency for freelance work and so on. I must admit I haven’t always managed five in January, but I have really ramped up how proactive I’ve been. Here are some of the things I’ve done this month:
· Daily twitter posts sharing some of the best resources I’ve found for freelancers
· Skype session with two other freelance writers (highly recommend this – so much great food for thought!)
· Pitched to 11 new publications (10 of these were international publications – I’ve decided to try to reach a bit more of a global audience)
· Followed up/touched base with connections/editors
· Reached out to an established freelancer who I know is very open to mentoring other freelancers and set up a time to Skype
· Listened to numerous podcasts about freelancing, travel writing, copywriting and business writing
· Applied for two well-paid writing projects through an agency I’m registered with (one was successful, am still waiting to hear about the other)
· Emailed potential and current clients/editors research, articles or opportunities I think they’d be interested in
· Made a time to catch up for a coffee with a new LinkedIn contact
· Asked to be put on email lists and databases for specific PRs and tourism bodies
· Asked for a word rate increase for a publication that I’ve been writing for since 2012 (it wasn’t approved due to their budget constraints but I’m glad I asked)
· RSVP’d to a networking event (I have never been to one of these in my life but am really looking forward to it)
How was your January? Did you try anything new this month? What do you think about five marketing efforts each day?
Fabulous post. I particularly like your5 a day approach- will try it myself in my business.
Thanks Jo! I think it’s made a big difference already. Let me know how you go if you do try it!
Wow, thanks so much for being so open about your pitch success rate and process. Love the tips on 5 marketing attempts a day & applying for tourism bodies.
Thanks Lisa – I’ve always really valued when other writers share their success and failures so I decided to do the same here. I think the 5 marketing attempts each day makes a huge difference and with the tourism bodies, most are more than happy to put you on their email list. That way you learn what their focus is on for the month or year and also what new events/openings/opportunities are coming up.
Great post! I am intrigued to know more about "Skype session with two other freelance writers". Are these informal chats or more structured? You are so proactive and it seems to be paying dividends. You are kicking goals!
Thanks so much for your comment Michaela. When I decided to go full time I knew I would want to have some catch ups with other full time freelance writers. I reached out to several writers who have gone full time in the last couple of years to see if they were keen to Skype every 6 – 8 weeks. Happily for me, they were. We’ve only had one chat so far and we shared what we were up to, what we were working on and some of our goals for this year. I imagine as they become more frequent they’ll be a bit more structured.
24 pitches in a month is a great effort. One a day, excluding weekends?
Thanks James! I wish I could say I was as strategic (and organised!) to pitch once a day excluding weekends – some days I sent off four pitches, others absolutely nothing.