Working for myself as a freelancer means that I work a lot without getting paid, because I have to work to get work. And that keeps me rather busy.
I’m not complaining. I have prepared a quote every week for the last six weeks. That means I review a possible project, try to distill the project into a bullet list of deliverables, estimate what my costs would be to value the quote, and then compose all of this work into a 2 page quote document that doubles as my standard service and terms agreement.
I send it to the potential client, then cross my fingers.
Then, I turn back to the work that needs to be done, by deadline, for other quotes that have already been accepted and signed.
Getting work is very busy work, indeed.
And I haven’t even touched on how to first make the connection that results in a potential client asking for a project quote. That could mean weeks or months of relationship-building.
At the end of August I delivered the final work for a project that I had quoted at the beginning of June. I had reviewed the project with the potential client in mid-May, after calling at the end of April to follow up on a postcard I sent two weeks prior, after chatting with the potential client at a networking event in early April. A prospect that I had first met at another networking event in the fall/early winter of 2012.
When I first meet a person who becomes a client, I have no idea how we might eventually work together. I just introduce myself and start a casual business relationship that may or may not ever become a client relationship.
I find out their story, then keep in the back of my mind how I might be able to help them tell it.
Sometimes it doesn’t feel like work. But I keep busy at it anyway.