Are you floating or moving?

Sometimes work is so all-consuming that we don't have time to do anything but hammer
away at our keyboards - but while we're doing that, are we really moving forward?

As freelance writers, we have to move forward if we want to succeed.  Moving forward isn't the
same as meeting deadlines for existing clients - it's setting things in place that will help us continue to be successful even if our current client pool dries up.

A few things we should do (even when it seems there isn't time) are:
  • constant marketing to attract new clients
  • improve our skill set by learning something new
  • keep our portfolios current
Yesterday (and it took me the better part of two hours) I gave my entire blog a makeover.  I needed it to look more like a professional website than a blog, and now (I think) it's some sort of hybrid of the two.  I did it because I'm heavily marketing my business blog services and because I was bored with my old layout.  I feel like I nailed all three of those things during that time.  Since I constantly blog about my business, marketing: check.  Learning something new: check (the hard way, too!).  This blog also belongs in my portfolio once it's completely updated and all the bugs are worked out.

These three things will determine whether we're just floating or we're actually moving forward, paving the way for our freelance writing businesses to grow.

Marketing Freelance Writing Services

Your marketing efforts don't need to take a lot of time if you're too busy; spending ten minutes a day doing something may be sufficient until you have time to launch a new campaign.  You can take those ten minutes to resubmit your old advertisements online (think Craigslist), place a couple of free classified ads in local papers or even stop by a print shop, law firm or other business on your way to the grocery store to make a connection with business owners in your area.

Learning About the Business

Learning new things does take time - but everything you learn later translates into more money.  If you're struggling with your use of "which" and "that," look it up.  If you don't know anything about press releases (a great money-maker for freelance writers), learn.  Get up a little early or work a little late - it all translates into money.

Keeping Freelance Writing Portfolios Current

Every piece of work you turn out should be your best, and that's why potential clients need to see what you're capable of.  I know I'm very guilty of letting my portfolio languish - so I've vowed that as soon as projects are finished (and I mean immediately), I'll add them to my online portfolio.  It'll take five minutes now, and I can spruce listings up with images when I have time.

What are some things that you do to move forward in your freelance writing career?  Do you have a system to maintain your forward motion when you're busy?

© Angie Papple Johnston, 2010; if you are reading this anywhere but on or Gather, it's stolen.