The Three Types Anchor Clients Your Freelance Business Needs
As is probably true for many freelancers, it took me awhile to find my rhythm in freelance writing. My freelance writing began by happenstance and has since evolved into how I earn my full-time living.
Over the past few years, I’ve had a wide variety of clients, some who paid well and were great to work with and others who were awful to work with and whom I never wrote for again. In my experience, the clients who’ve paid me less have stressed me more. I’m willing to put up with a little stress if the check is right, but not too much.
My freelance business, I’m happy to say, is just now reaching the point where I can live relatively comfortably, though I’m still developing it. Here are the kinds of clients that have helped me get there:
The clients that feed your belly.
Becoming a freelance writer means you’re starting your own business. And a business is in business to make money. While journalism is a cause and profession I deeply believe in, it’s also the thing that I do for money. And though the journalism industry is having a tough time, I still negotiate for more funding per story or piece of content (photos, blog posts, etc.). In order to sustain your business, you’ll need to go after clients that’ll consistently put food in your refrigerator. If that means writing about topics you’re not that enthused about, just think about how the funding will boost your business and how you’re easing the burden for someone else. Plus, if they pay on time and are nice to work with, it’s worth it to keep the not-so-exciting-but-reliable client around.
Clients that feed your soul
Some projects are worth taking even if they don’t pay that well. If, for example, the client is a publication or company that carry a lot of prestige or allow you to add a new beat to your portfolio, it’s fine to take a lower rate than usual. One of the best things about being a freelancer is having the freedom to pursue projects that really matter to us. Once you have one or two clients that feed your belly, you’ll need one or two clients that’ll allow you to tell meaningful stories on a regular basis.
Clients that (hopefully) fulfill goals and your bank account
Ideally, you’ll find clients that will supply you with the money you need to support your lifestyle and provide you with fulfilling work. If you’re lucky enough to find both in the same client, hold onto them tightly!
No matter what, you’ll need anchor clients who can stabilize your business. But having a mix of these clients will make your freelance writing business a lot smoother.
What kinds of clients are essential to your business? Tell me in the comments or email me firstname.lastname@example.org.