And I have a Hot Freelance Tip of the Day, too, from Katherine Reynolds Lewis, who spoke on my "Secrets of Successful Freelancers" panel at ASJA. Katherine, a former newspaper reporter, has only been freelancing full-time for three years, but she's built an impressive freelance career in a relatively short timeframe. She said that from day one, she approached her writing as a business. (Sound like anyone else you know?) One of her initial goals, one of her tips for attendees, and the Hot Freelance Tip of the Day is: Aim to land an anchor client.
An anchor client is one that you can count on for regular work, hopefully an ongoing basis. Katherine says that having an anchor client (or two) relieves much of the anxiety of having to constantly troll for work, and reduces the risk of taking a really bad client just to get some money in the door.
I couldn't agree more. When I was primarily freelancing for magazines, I had several "anchors," or "regulars," that I knew would assign work to me. It may not have been a certain amount per-month, but I could expect a certain amount over the year. Now that most of my work is ghostwriting/coauthoring for private clients, I don't have an anchor client per se, but try to have at least one ghostwriting project on my desk at any given time. That's my temporary anchor. Plus I take on a mix of other assignments that produce steadier cash flow.
**Finally, did you see my earlier post? I've doing something I've never done before--giving away an e-book for free.Dollars and Deadlines' 10 Truths Every Writer Who Wants to be Be Published Should Know includes exactly that--straight talk to help take you from unpublished to published. (The link will take you to the book's Smashwords page; if you prefer Kindle, it will cost you $0.99. (I still need to figure out how to make it FREE there, too.) Please spread the word about it!