So, Where Do You Find Anchor Clients?
2018 is swiftly coming to a close. Looking back on my first calendar year of freelancing, I wouldn’t have made it without my anchor clients. I have three steady clients, one editorial and the other two content marketing, and am currently seeking a fourth.
This year brought plenty of one-off projects that paid over $1,000, but my anchor clients provided the consistent income that supported me as I took on other higher paying projects. The steady worked coupled with other sporadic work pushed my income to nearly $10,000 more than what I was making at my first job a few years ago.
How exactly did I nab these anchors (and where are the other places to find them)? Here’s how I landed my anchors:
Tapping into my network
Two of my current anchor clients came from people who knew me and my work. One was a former colleague and another was a former boss. Last fall, I complained to a former colleague about possibly leaving journalism. Soon afterward, she connected me with a content marketing company in need of someone who could blog. A year later, I still write for them. A former boss, who unbeknownst to me was freelancing to me at the time and had a freelance client who was seeking another writer. Start talking to professionals in your industry.
Strengthen relationships with current
My editorial anchor client came from me repeatedly pitching a local tech site. A staff writer at this site reached out to me to see if I’d consider freelancing for them. I did and eventually they became an anchor client. One evening, I received an email from my editor asking if I’d be interested in doing a few stories per month as a regular contributor and offered to increase my fee. Of course, once we worked out a slightly higher fee, I gladly accepted. If you regularly write for a publication, reach out to them to see if they need another writer.
Use social media and freelancer hubs
Now, I’ve heard horror stories about using sites like Upwork to find gigs and had at least one horrible experience using LinkedIn Profinder. But I have landed a few bylines from Twitter and Facebook, including Atlas Obscura, Adweek and Vice. (Catch the TFB newsletter for gigs and jobs!) Follow the editors and publications you love and keep an eye out for calls for pitches or regular contributors.
Where have you found your anchor clients? Tell me in the comments or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org