When I started out freelancing, I never believed there would be a time when editors and clients would come to me with work.
I was on a hamster wheel of pitching and hustling, and most of the time, I loved it.
I loved the buzz of getting a ‘yes’ or receiving a positive reply to a letter or introduction that I sent to a potential client.
But I must admit, since the pandemic, I’ve felt my energy flag.
Last month I managed to get my hustle on and send out 8 pitches.
But this month I only managed one measly pitch.
Still, as you’ll see, I ended up busting through my income target.
In terms of feature articles for magazines, newspapers and online sites, this month I:
Pitched: 1 (this includes re-pitching ideas that have been rejected)
Commissions from pitches or query letters: 1
Offers: 6 (where an editor approached me with a commission – either editorial or sponsored content)
In terms of feature articles for corporate and B2B clients (I don’t usually pitch these – the clients come to me)
It’s been a strange old month with not many lowlights or highlights.
Lowlights of May
I’ve had to rewrite or rework a couple of article this month, which is never great.
One was an article for a corporate client where I had to interview a lawyer about some specific legislation.
I always feel slightly panicked interviewing lawyers and writing legal stories.
That’s because I want to make the story as accessible as possible, but I also don’t want to misconstrue any information.
Obviously I didn’t do a great job of translating the lawyer’s jargon into easy to ready content (something that I usually pride myself on).
Because I received it back with track changes all over it.
I also had to rewrite part of a travel story that I filed before COVID-19.
The editor plans to run it in July, but some of the venues have now shut down or changed the way they operate so I’ve had to rework particular sections.
But thankfully (and generously) the editor has offered an extra $200 for my time.
This is the first time that’s ever happened to me, but it was a welcome surprise.
Highlights of May
I learnt the value of being known as a writer who can deliver a speedy turn around on a story.
In early May one of my editors got in touch and asked if I would be interested in a commission.
The only thing was, the article was due back the same day.
It was 400 words and only needed desk research so I said yes.
The only thing was that I had a window of one hour in which to write the article.
Nothing like a bit of pressure, right?
The editor got in touch with the offer at 11am and by 11.45am I had the story done.
That was the fastest $320 I ever earned!
It may seem impossible to land clients or editors like this.
But believe me, once you have developed a strong relationship where they know they can rely on you, you’ll have more work than you can handle.
I really loved my coaching sessions in May, too.
I love working with writers and hearing what motivates them.
It’s super rewarding (for me and them) when we dive deep into where they feel stuck and hatch a plan to tackle the blocks.
Here’s some feedback from one recent coaching client:
How lovely is that?
I have to admit, most of the time, writers only need a few new strategies or tweaks to their current approach. Then they’re on their way.
A resource I’d recommend
I really loved this article by Julio Vincent Gambuto about how to ‘power up your language to revolutionise your freelance life’.
The section about learning how to say no particularly resonated with me!
My income for May
Throughout May I only had two days a week to write, but I still put my income target at $5000 for the month.
You know me well enough to know that I like a challenge.
But with the way the world is at the moment, I’m not going to get too frazzled if I don’t end up meeting my goals.
So, I must admit, I was surprised when I tallied up my income at the end of the month.
In May, I was commissioned $7396 worth of work – more than $2K over my income target.
I invoiced for $7399
With a total of 9 working days in May, that works out to be a day rate of over $800.
What do you think? I don’t think that’s too shabby given I felt pretty flat and unmotivated for lots of May.
June is shaping up to be a big month for me.
I’m looking at investing very heavily in some professional development and I’m hoping to close this last month of the Australian financial year on a high.
How was your May? What’s your plan for June?