Tuesday, May 5, 2009

This Freelancing Life

And exTREMEly gratifying weekend on the East Coast FLCW path, even without any prospecting.

Finished all client work for this week on Saturday. Re-designed and re-launched my site on Sunday, then sent out a massive e-blast announcing the launch. Major hits as a result. I had my 400th visitor in early Febuary. I had my 500th yesterday.


Work continues on the usability survey article for my community college client. Work continues on writing out of the cube.

It's owwwnnn.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Brick and Mortar

No, this Freelance Copywriting is not a brick and mortar business.

But it is a business that is built up, like a wall, and it requires a foundation and a lot of work.

The bricks are a relatively strong writing skill-set. The mortar is the work we put in prospecting. And once that foundation is laid, there's no telling how and when it will pay off.

Example: I just heard from a designer that I prospected almost two years ago, and barely-if-at-all kept in touch with over that time. He's pitching his services to re-design a website for a client, and wanted to include my services in the deal. I made my pitch, and he made his. Very doubtful that this one will happen: apparently the company has new creative directors who aren't keen on making the investment.

But it's great to know that my foundation is strong and getting stronger.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Falling Out Of, And Back Into, Your Groove

I made a deal with myself before President's Day weekend. I would hit 500 contact e-mails, and then I would take a long weekend.

I worked my ass off and did it. Sent off my 137 e-mails, and spent 3 days in Death Valley. No computer access the whole time.

I came back, and nothing. No responses. Not a single one. And none came in that week, either. I took that week off from sending out prospecting e-mails. Then one week became two.

This week, I set an even more ambitious goal for myself. Over the month of March, I would send out another whole 500 e-mails, for a total of 1,000 contacts made. I sent out 30 on Monday, 10 on Tuesday. Still nothing. Last night, I couldn't muster up the enthusiasm to do any marketing. I made myself send out one, single, solitary e-mail, and then I went to bed early.

This morning, I got a response, from that specific e-mail. Not a "Thanks, we'll keep you in mind" e-mail, but the ever-coveted "Hey, I was just thinking of contracting out some copywriting work, here's the paramaters, shoot me back a proposal."

So yeah, sometimes you just need to make yourself send out that one e-mail.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Upon Further Review...

End of the line on what was, in retrospect, a very gratifying week on the East Coast pursuit of the FLCW life.

1. Sunday: I prospected and prepared my pitch e-mail for 50 designers in Atlanta. I normally do 100, and lamented my slacking ways to Caitlin. She reminded me that 50 is pretty good, and I could do more over the course of the week. Oh yeah. Okay!

I wouldn't have time to.

2. Sunday: my partner in L.A. delivered my new logo! In exchange for my logo, I'm rewriting all copy for her website. Networking is good: quid-pro-quo is even better. Partner would like my final drafts Friday. No problem!

3. Monday: a client - director of web services at a community college in MI - e-mails a request for three treatments of three rotating ads for the school's website. He has one ad ready for me, and would like the draft Wednesday morning. Okay!

4. Tuesday: work on ads and website continues. I submit first draft of the college ads. No reply, which means that my first drafts have been accepted. No news - and no reply - is good news with this client, as I've found out.

5. Wednesday: a few celebratory margaritas, and back to work on the website. Wednesday night, the migraine hits. I would be in bed, and out from the day job, until Saturday afternoon.

6. Thursday: I battle through and finish my first draft for the website. Not quite. Partner wants the copy to be as juicy as her design. I start thinking of a strip steak that's rested for five minutes and return to the battle. Unfortunately, migraine is now competing with writers block. Gulp.

7. Friday: I keep battling through and juice up the second draft. Partner loves it! Finished!

8. Sunday: Today I'll write and post my weekly blurbs for my client. I may do a bit of prospecting today. Knowing that oh-by-the-way I don't have to do it all in one day.

So out of a week that started with me thinking I didn't get much done, a lot came out. I love weeks like this: weeks full of the pursuit of the word, the pursuit of a satisfied client, the pursuit of more of all of the above. Very gratifying week, in retrospect. Can't wait for next week.

Saturday, February 7, 2009


Caitlin has provided the West Coast perspective. Time for notes from the East.

I'm psyched to have crossed paths with Caitlin! It's great to have some friendly competition on a weekend like this, where I am absolutely beat to a soft pile of mush from the past week in the cube. And I'm not going to be in the cube forever. My 40th birthday is 09/12/12. My goal, now posted in the town square of the world for posterity, is to make that day the first day of the rest of my life as a self-sufficient FLCW. I therefore don't have time to be tired. It's on! I'm going for it.

So today it's finishing work for next week for my current client, then it's prospecting for new clients. Each weekend I pick a city, google 100 graphic designers, and send out a pitch e-mail on Sunday night, so it lands in the prospective client's inbox first thing Monday morning. Our mutual leader Peter Bowerman has approved of this method, and I'm approving of the results I've gotten thus far. I think I shall continue.

See, because I don't have a choice. This is what I want. This is what I have to do to get there. And I'm cool with that.

Back to work...

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Keep on truckin'

I'll do a more detailed intro post later, when we actually have some readers, but the short version is, we are two cube slaves who are both building up their freelance copywriting business part-time, in order to go eventually go full-time and escape the cube. We met through comments on another blog, and now we cheer each other on.

Sent this e-mail to Brian:

I just hit a query wall today. I'm like, "I don't WANNA write more letters of introduction!! It's so BOOOOORRRRRRRRIIIIIIINNNNNGGGGG!!"

His response?

Do you want to retire from the cube into a life of self-sufficiency as a FLCW? Then you want to write more letters of introduction! ;)


It's true, y'all. The more letters of introduction you send out, the sooner The Law of Averages will kick in, and the sooner you'll get clients, and be able to quit your full-time jobs to be full-time freelance commercial writers/business writers/copywriters.