For the last week or two, I’ve been having one of those times when everyone needs their job finished urgently. When one of my regular clients apologised for asking for an urgent completion when I was so busy, my instinctive reply was “I never complain about having too much work.”
Well, that’s 90% true – I’m human, after all, and sometimes a bit of grumbling for grumbling’s sake is good for the soul. Still, any freelancer knows that work can be a fickle thing, and it’s to be welcomed when it’s there, even if it does all come at once.
I started trading in March last year, and for the first few months jobs were very thin on the ground. I had a few bits and pieces, but there were months when the income column read zero.
It was about August last year that things started to improve. A lot of this was the result of the effort I’ve put into business networking, and many of my regular clients are either people I’ve met at 4Networking, Business Buzz, Links4Growth or #HertsHour. In other cases, I’ve been referred by people I’ve met at these groups.
Referrals are vitally important. If I go into a networking event with a couple of dozen people, there may be one or two who need my services – but it’s almost certain that someone will know someone who needs my services. On the principle of Six Degrees of Separation, those links I forge in a networking group potentially connect me to virtually everyone in the world. Not a bad morning’s work, especially if it comes with a great breakfast.
It’s not all from networking, though. The growing number of enquiries I get saying “I found you on Google” show that the SEO on my site is working (thanks, Tim) as does the quality of the spam I’m receiving now. I obviously stand out as a good target – though I do object to other copywriters trying to sell me their services. Don’t they look?
The upshot, anyway, is that I’m now developing a substantial client-base, and I value every job they offer me. Last July, my income was zero, whereas this July I have work pouring in. And, even if occasionally everyone does want it at the same time, there’s really no downside to that.