Nope. You are much more likely (89 percent more likely, according to my just-now-made-up statistic) to write for a client you've worked for before than for a new one. Which brings us to the Hot Freelance Tip of the Day:
Keep in touch with former clients on a regular basis.
How often will depend on the nature of your working relationship. I contact former clients every three to six months. Those contacts may not turn into work, but they do keep my name in front of my client.
Your contact note needn't be anything elaborate. Here's an example of a note I sent to an editor who buys reprint rights to some of my work:
Hope your May is off to a great start. I just wanted to touch base and see if you’re looking for anything in particular to assign or for available reprints. I’ve been doing a lot of psychology pieces lately (topics like how criticism can be a good thing, how to read body language, how procrastination can be positive, etc) that I can “tweak” for your readers, so let me know if you’re looking for something in particular. In the meantime, I’ll drop my current reprint list below.
All my best,
And here's a note to a former ghostwriting client whose book I wrote:
Hope you’re doing great. I wanted to let you know that I have a new book out on ghostwriting and coauthoring. It’s aimed at would-be ghostwriters, not salespeople (or sales coaches) but I wanted to make you aware of it in the event you know of colleagueswho are considering writing books. I’ve attached a press release about it FYI. I’m finishing a project for an MD and a proposal for a psychologist now and am actively looking for new clients.
Thank you so much and I hope 2011 is a wonderful year for you personally and professionally!
All my best,Kelly
Get the idea? Each note is brief, friendly, and professional, and takes little time for my (former) client to read and respond to. You can take a similar approach with a brief shout-out on Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook, too. The idea is to stay on your clients' radar, even if you're not pitching them with a specific idea or project. The Hot Freelance Tip of the Day: Keep in touch. [See Secret #47 from Writer for Hire, Know how personal to get.]
**In the midst of promoting Writer for Hire: 101 Secrets to Freelance Success, I've also been releasing new ebooks on successful freelancing. The newest? Dollars and Deadlines' 10 Most Popular, Proven Ways to Make Money as a Freelance Writer. It lists the 10 most popular freelance opportunities (based on my annual survey of freelancers' income and work) along with their pay, how to find markets, and how to break in and is a great companion to my other ebooks. I recommend it to writers who are serious about making money for their work.