The future starts this afternoon and nobody knows what it holds
It’s easy for freelance writers to become too comfortable. You’ve got the number of customers you feel happy with; they reward you at a rate that means all the bills get paid and you have a nice surplus each month; you settle down to enjoy this life you’ve created for yourself and forget about putting yourself out there.
When I wrote my book, How To Make Money As A Freelance Writer, I included a motto that I said every freelancer should take to heart:
I’ve just been reminded quite forcibly why that is a good idea. I had a long-standing relationship with a good customer for whom I wrote a lot. But then the Head of Marketing left and a new one was appointed.
There’s nothing personal in what happened next. You see it all the time. Someone new joins a company and wants to demonstrate that they are in charge. A good way to do that is to change the personnel. And, if you have freelancers, getting rid of them doesn’t cost you anything whereas a permanent staff member – at least in the UK – has recourse to employment tribunals and it can get both messy and expensive. Freelancers don’t have that protection. The new director has used other freelance writers in the past at her previous companies, so substituting one of them for me was simple.
Sensible freelancers keep pitching for new business
As I say, there was nothing personal about it. She didn’t say, “You’re rubbish.” She simply said I wouldn’t be needed any more. And that’s how it goes. People become tired of you, they want something new, their needs change, a new person with different ideas takes over – all sorts of things happen. Just don’t stop putting yourself out there. You never know when you might need a new client.