Archive for February, 2013

The Writing Life, Chapter 26: A Query a Day

Even though I spend roughly 25 hours a week doing consulting work for the Association of Educational Publishers (which I really love), I’m always looking for freelance clients. And even though I have a number of trusted regular clients who I love working with (National Geographic Kids, Teaching Tolerance, and the News Journal), I’m always seeking new outlets for my work.

As I prepare to send my second child off to college this fall and wait to see if the grant-funded portion of my AEP work is renewed for another year, my interest in broadening my markets grows even stronger. With that in mind, I have set the following challenge for the coming month—to make at least one marketing query (written or phone) each day for the month of February.

Although I realize that marketing is an essential part of freelancing, I find it to be the most challenging aspect. “Selling” myself has never been easy for me. Still, I realize that my current consulting work and my best freelance clients all came from initial contacts that later blossomed into steady work.

At first I wondered how I could ever think of enough potential projects to justify a query a day. That’s why I chose to do it in February, the shortest month. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that there are far more possibilities than I can possibly explore in a single month. I plan to explore book options, magazine and newspaper outlets, author visits to schools, presentations at conferences and libraries, public relations projects, proposals for editing work, and more.

What if everyone says “no”? I don’t think that will happen, but even if it does I haven’t lost anything but some time. What if everyone says “yes”? I don’t think that will happen either, but if it does, I’ll figure out a way to get everything done. A more likely scenario is that I will make a few new contacts and line up a few new projects—and that’s what freelancing is all about.

What will really happen? I’ll let you know in about a month!

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