Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Two Magic Words to Make $$$ in Freelancing

I just received an email from Writers Digest, promising the secret to making money in freelancing if I pay them $99 for their super information!

Guess what?

You don't need to pay a soul for this secret, because it's just two words.

But before I share ... be aware that I have been contacted by many people in my 12 years of freelancing for information about how I make a living. And you know how many people have taken my advice?

One person.

That's because no one really wants to do this.


Here are your two magical words:

Cold calls.

If you're not willing to call editors -- heck, even send them an email introducing yourself if you're too scared to pick up the phone -- then this life is not for you.

Will you be rejected?


99 percent of the time, you will be rejected.

Expect a 1 percent return on your cold calls -- that's 1 "yes" for every 100 contacts you make.


Well, that's what it takes, because in this economy, with thousands of news reporters facing layoffs, understand that this competition is not for the faint of heart.

I've had people listen to me and then respond with, "That's too hard. Isn't there any other way to do it?"


There isn't.

And when I tell them that, sometimes they unfollow me on Twitter, or they sever the connection on LinkedIn.

You know what I say to that? Good. Less competition. Because the ONE PERSON who took my advice is now my competitor -- and that's okay. If I really thought that all of you would do what I suggested, I wouldn't even tell you this, because I'd be out of a job.

Cold calls. You don't have to pay Writers Digest $99 for the answer.

Done. The end.


  1. Love it, Heidi. Even after almost 35 years as an officer, the cold calls are still hard for me. I'm better at making warm calls, following up when I have a toe in the door - that's brought me some paying work. And I'm learning to follow up when there's even a bit of a nudge.

  2. I honestly think there isn't a soul on this earth who wouldn't prefer to have their fingernails ripped out by pliers to making cold calls, JoAnn. :-D

    But even if you get a rude person on the phone, it is much more preferable to know never to go back there for possible work. If they're rude in the first 30 seconds, they would be horrible to work for as an editor. I try to think of this as my own screening process for potential NICE clients. Because no one wants to work for a psychopath. I think if people turn the mindset away from, "They will reject me," to, "I am screening them to see if I want to work for them," it really helps.

    Thanks for your comment!