After almost a year in the full-time trenches, I’m back working freelance for the moment. Yes, that is a bit of ambivalence you hear there – I’m still not sure this freelancing gig is for me but while I look for more permanent work that thrills me, it’s happening.
My last shot at freelancing was by default in a lot of ways. I had built-in long-term clients and no reason to market myself seriously. Since my clients were all international and based overseas, I had double the freelance isolation and those who know me know that I prefer to have people around me at work. I’m a chatty cathy who loves to brainstorm and talk about things instead of emailing. You lose this when all your clients are in different time zones. For some reason, they don’t appreciate midnight brainstorming phonecalls.
But this time, I’m off into the freelancing ocean without my life-raft of a long-term client to start me off. It’s just me and whatever work I manage to drum up. So there’s pressure but I have a plan. It’s called Marketing Myself. Revolutionary, isn’t it? I’ve done the basic direct marketing to publishers already and joined every organisation that is remotely connected to my field. Well, probably not every organisation – more like every one I can find and think of so far. I’m sure I’ve missed a few.
I’m also throwing in a bit of Getting Out There, aka networking, which is strangely enough, not my strong suit. Despite being fairly outgoing, when it comes to selling myself, I’m strangely quiet. It’s a trait I need to work on, so I’ve got my business cards printed and I’m going to every networking opportunity I can think of, including a breakfast next week at 7am. This will necessitate getting up at some ungodly hour and still being chatty and cheerful before coffee. Hopefully I’m up for the challenge.
I’m not going to lie to you – I’m intimidated. Hugely intimidated. There’s no resting on my laurels anymore. Unless an amazing full-time role comes up, this is it for the next little while and it’s all up to me. All me. Nobody else is going to look after my business if I don’t do it. It’s empowering but also scary. But then again, all challenges are.