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Sunday, April 15, 2012

And Let the Writer for Hire Promotion Begin...Hot Freelance Tip of the Day

My new book, Writer for Hire: 101 Secrets to Freelance Success, was published last week by Writer's Digest (several weeks ahead of schedule.) For the next six weeks, make sure you're tuning in here regularly. I'll be blogging regularly, sharing lots of practical strategies and freelance advice, doing guest posts on some awesome freelancing blogs you should know about (if you don't already), and doing giveaways as well.

Every post, I'll share a Hot Freelance Tip of the Day, which will likely tie in with one my 101 secrets

Today's tip? If you're a new writer, pitch a market, whether it's a print magazine, an online publication, or a blog, that you can write for more than once

First, it's much easier to pitch ideas to a client who has worked with you before. My queries to my regular magazine clients often consist of just a few lines. Here's an example of a pitch I sent to my editor at The Writer 18 months ago: 

Hi, Sarah!

Hope you’re enjoying the holiday season and cold weather, first off. I have six ideas for the next batch of Freelance Success stories, below. Let me know what you think of them, and if you want any more details about these brief blurbs:

*How to turn a one-time client into a “regular” (impressing the client with your work, pitching other ideas immediately, delivering more than you’re asked for, etc)
*When is it time to cut ties with a client (how to know when, how to handle it, weighing what a client is worth)
*To blog or not to blog (from a writer’s perspective—having a purpose for a blog, how often to update, etc)
*Asking for more money—how to do it (with sample scripts, negotiating advice, how to not burn bridges if the client says no)
*Getting serious about freelancing (what separates hobbyists from professionals…I can do a tax tie-in if you want, but this can also be about attitude and treating your writing like a business)
*Getting into ghostwriting (what to keep in mind, how to find and work with clients, what skills you must have)—this one would have to run after July, 2011 per my contract with Writer’s Digest

Thanks, Sarah, and I’ll talk to you soon!

All my best,

See how informal this pitch is? I don't have to do all the background reporting I would do if I were pitching a new market. Second, someone I've worked with before is much more likely to say "yes" to my pitch (assuming I did a good job the first time out). In this case, my editor assigned four of the six ideas in my pitch, which cuts my marketing time even more.

Get the idea? It's much more efficient to work with a small stable of clients than to constantly be pitching new markets--even though pitching is part of your job. [See Secret #19: Market constantly.]   

Now, back to the giveaway. This first one is...drumroll...a free, signed copy of Writer for Hire! Gee, what an awesome idea, huh? To enter, post a comment below that includes a question you have about freelancing. I'll announce the first giveaway winner by the end of April.