One of the enduring challenges of being a freelancer is the erratic nature of incoming work. It’s difficult to plan when you aren’t sure what will be coming in, and when. For me (and I’m sure for other freelancers) this created a constant state of anxiety. It seemed I was always asking, “Will I be able to pay my bills this month?”
I wasn’t sure how to solve this. But, I discovered that doing more than is asked, going that extra mile, can result in unexpected dividends.
I write for a magazine in my equestrian niche, and one of the magazine’s advertisers (which I was responsible for bringing on board) sent us a monthly column providing content on their particular field. The columns were informative, but dry and poorly written. I volunteered to help improve them. I worked with the company to come up with interesting and relevant topics, researched, and spoke to them to clarify the details, and then wrote the columns myself. (I wasn’t exactly writing for free since I was receiving commission for the ads I had brought in from the company.)
The company loved their new columns.
Several months down the road, when they needed to have their website re-written, guess who they called?!
I was happy to accept the offer, and spent time in their office overhauling the website, which was poorly written and redundant. It took me over a month. While I was working on it one day, the owner came in, and asked, “Hey, could you handle our Facebook page?”
Yes, I certainly could! Next, there were press releases that needed to be written as well. Now, besides handling the Facebook page and press releases, I continually write content for their website, handle sponsorships, and write important emails where wording is crucial. And, I’ve even picked up other jobs from some of their customers. This is regular, ongoing, work!
This consistency is a huge relief for me. While other assignments may come and go, I now have regular income, which pays for my housing, utilities, and car payment. It takes the pressure off as I pursue new assignments. When you are not under the gun, work seems easier to find.
I still have all the freedom of freelancing. As long as the work gets done, they don’t care when I do it. I do a lot of travel writing as well and I have no problem taking off for 10 days on a travel assignment.
I couldn’t be happier with this arrangement, and it all began because I spotted marketing content that wasn’t as effective as the company wanted, and offered to help fix it. So, keep your eyes open for those golden opportunities!
Ann Jamieson writes about both horses and travel, her two passions in life. In addition she has written scripts for educational films, and a column for the award-winning regional paper The Litchfield County Times. Ann also found the time to create her popular series, “For the Love of the Horse – Collections of True Stories.” The books were inspired by the “All Creatures Great and Small” series.
Ann has traveled to and written about Iceland, Turkey, Tuscany, Malta, Sicily and Alaska, and has a bucket list that just keeps growing.
In addition, She is a licensed United States Equestrian Federation horse show judge and has shown her own horse, Fred Astaire (a former racehorse), to many year-end awards.
Ann lives in Kent, Connecticut, and shares her home with two very entertaining Ocicats, Oliver and Chester. She also keeps and breeds tropical fish. One of the fish she bred won “Best of Show” (yes, they do show fish!) at her very first tropical fish show.
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