So, picture this: I’m a freelance writer, and some months ago, I lost my biggest and dearest client. It’s like the universe told me, “Hey, you know that thing you love to do and that also helps pay your bills?” Yeah, you can’t have that anymore.
Did that get me down? Big time.
Photo by Kat Smith @Pexels images.
When I started freelancing, I began looking for clients on job boards. I was lucky because I got my first client, and two more followed. Within two months, to be exact. I was over the moon.
Then all of a sudden, my favorite was gone from one day to the next without saying why or if more work would come.
Had I done something wrong? Was my work not good enough? I asked and got no answer. At least not one that could help me see if I could improve or fix things.
I regret that I don’t remember were I read that it wasn’t personal. Clients leave for many reasons that do not have to do with you. Or your work. Ask for feedback and act upon it if you get it. Most customer will be happy to give you a referral or testimonial. Those go a long way in your LI profile or website.
Photo by Mizuno K. @Pexel images
“When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.” -Alexander Graham Bell
After the initial shock and crying a river, I gathered myself. Should I pursue another line of work? Should I consider a 9-to-5 job?
I rolled up my sleeves, took a deep breath, and reminded myself that I’ve got skills.
I don’t know how to rebuild a carburetor or perform open-heart surgery. But I can string words together in a way that doesn’t make people want to gouge their eyes out. That has got to count for something, right?
So, what was my game plan? Well, first things first: I took a nap. Losing a client is hard work, and I needed to recharge my creative batteries. Plus, some scientists have proven that naps make you smarter. Don’t fact-check me on that; trust me.
Once I’d had a solid 20 minutes of shut-eye, I got back to work.
Learning new skills can help you when a client leaves.
Growing as a writer was my priority. I spent hours upon hours reading and practicing my grammar and punctuation. I now use semicolons like a pro.
I polished up my portfolio, my LinkedIn profile, and my CV. I hit the job boards and scour the internet for new opportunities every two days.
I’m building a presence on the social media realm using a planner to schedule content. How cool is that? –It is, but it’s also tons of work.
I also post on my website, which, by the way, is http://www.theanalyticalwordsmith.com. I distribute my work on Medium, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Few people read me; my following is meager, but consistency will do the trick.
I write for at least five hours each day .
I have discovered online magazines and blogs that take in guest writers. Any of them can become a home for my content. I’m preparing to get out and pitch the devil out of my clientless life. I’ll do warm and lukewarm (fuzzy) outreach; if I’m feeling desperate, I’ll do cold outreach.
I am learning about digital marketing, SEO, social media strategies, content marketing strategies, Notion, Slack, project management software, and AI. I’m on a first-name basis with canonical links, duplicate content, and backlinks.
I plan to master the online world.
And the niche?
Not there yet.
My second client was a global warming expert. When I stumbled upon his company and began writing content for him, I knew I wanted to make an impact.
I love the subject, so I keep writing about it.
But I also tackle self-development, relationships, and how to live a life of mindfulness. Additionally, —I can see my husband rolling his eyes: I am delving into my first crush, the world of technology. I want to be the go-to person for all tech-related content.
I know. I must “niche down.” But I’ve read that the perfect topic will find you; only writing a lot will make that happen. It will be revealed. I trust that. All the Elna Cains and Kat Boogards of our world have experienced this.
And you know what? Even if I don’t land a new client immediately, it’s not the end. The point is that setbacks happen. Life is unpredictable, chaotic, and sometimes downright frustrating. But it’s all about how you choose to respond.
That means taking a deep breath, cracking a joke, going to the park with your doggie for half an hour, and diving back in with renewed energy and enthusiasm.
If I keep walking, I’ll soon be ready to take on the world, one perfectly punctuated sentence at a time!
And that’s how you get back on your feet after losing a client.