We all started out as freelance writers with the goal of achieving maximum freedom in our lives.For me, that goal was to be able to work from anywhere.
Like – literally, anywhere 🏖 🏔 🦁 🐘
Not just the places where you can live for $10 a day, earn 50x as much as the average local, and live like a king.
If your goal is to be able to live comfortably in more financially challenging places like Norway, Finland, Madrid, Paris…you’ll need some good strategies in place to quickly bump up your income when it’s time to get spendy.
In today’s email:
What happens when you stop marketing yourself8 steps you can take today to get more work coming in—fast
Why creating a reliable system for finding clients is essential for a sustainable business
Become a better writer & marketer in 3 minutes a week
Katelyn Bourgoin is one of my favorite people to follow right now. If you missed her last email about how most people use emojis wrong you can read it here.
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Like many of you, the last few months have been pretty darn quiet in terms of client enquiries for me.
Plus I lost a couple of good retainer clients.
Usually this would throw me into a panic, but I’ve been living in super cheap ‘n’ cheerful mode in Morocco and Spain, coasting by with a couple of clients, reading a lot, and testing out new business stuff.
Which basically made me get verrrrry lazy about doing any marketing.
As a result, I’ve been nowhere near my monthly income goals this year.My 90-day visa here in Spain is almost up. I had to plan my next move, and I noticed a whole bunch of my favourite bands were playing around Berlin for the summer festivals.
Cue major FOMO Berlin is the first place I landed when I started my nomad journey way back in 2016. And it was really pricey back then.
So…When I checked Airbnb to look for short term rentals:
Despite those very generously “discounted” prices, I am not paying that!!!!!!!!
Excuse me while I fetch a change of underpants.
With only a couple of months to plan so I can see the Fields of the Nephilim in all their flour-trousered glory, I needed to urgently find more money 😬
Here’s how I dial up my income quickly when I need
Everything I earn will incur New Zealand’s stupidly high income tax rate of 39%, so I have to factor this in. It’s not all spendable cash
I have a reliable process in place when I need to find new clients who can pay my rates
I’ve been freelancing for 7 years – so this exercise is to show you what’s possible when you build good systems into your business
First – I plan out exactly how much my fixed costs will be for the 90-day trip
My non-negotiables are a small apartment with fast wifi so I can work properly with no distractions. Also a kitchen so I’m not reliant on cafes/takeout.
It needs to be central so I can walk to most places, or catch the U Bahn.
After an agonizing search for better deals than Airbnb, I found a free house sit for 2 weeks, and a cute co-living space for 2 months.
I’ll need to factor in random hotels/hostels for the remaining 2 weeks. But even with my best efforts, I estimate this will be about €7,000 for 2.5 months of paid accommodation.
I’m mildly sweating as I type this. I usually aim for €30 a day for housing costs.
Food & entertainment
There is a LOT to do in Berlin. Every day and every night there is literally something for everyone whether you love knitting, art, culture, or Swedish death metal.It’s not the place you go to be a hermit.
Tickets for 2 weekend music festivals = €350, plus catching up with friends, business meetups, lunches, dinners, bars etc.
Cost…hmm…too scared to work that out right now.
Basically, I need to pull $10k out of thin air to be on the safe side
And with income tax, it means I need $15k-ish of extra work to cover my 90-day stay.
That sounds terrifying.
So I break it down into a manageable framework I can get my head around.Ideally I’m looking for a total of 10 content pieces. That’s an extra 3-4 articles each month, at around $1,500 each (2000 words max).
I need manageable projects I can complete in roughly 4 hours, but which also cover the higher living costs.
This will take me from a 4-day work week to 5 days, but it’s worth the trade off for this trip. I don’t want to have to worry about calls with client teams at weird hours, or do any customer interviews, so content makes more sense in terms of project structure.
Now that I’m laser-focused on exactly what I’m looking for (and what to say no to), it’s time to put my plan into action.
The 8 steps I start with to find more work fast
Send a quick email to past clients asking if they need any help right now
Send an email to all my current clients asking if they need anything extra, and if they know anybody else that could use help with content
Send follow-up emails to everyone I’ve sent outreach to in the last 6 months
Ask other writers I know if they need help
Ask the business Facebook and Slack groups I’m in if anyone needs a hand
Contact marketing agencies and ask if they need any help with overflow work
Contact companies on my “dream client” list
Post that I’m looking for more work on social media
Pro tip: DO NOT OVERTHINK THIS. Take your emotions out of the equation.If you don’t put the word out there, nobody will know that you’re looking for work.
Simply taking action every day and having a couple of solid, relevant writing samples ready is all you need to do to start getting extra $$ coming in.
And give yourself time to plan ahead if you’re about to travel. 2-3 months is ideal, especially if you’re a newer freelancer.
I didn’t need to take all of the above steps, and one of them worked remarkably better than all the others this time around.
I found $20,500 of work – in a month of outreach, with zero lengthy email pitches. More than enough to fund my 90-day trip.
The downside? Now I had too much work.
This can happen faster than you think once you get some outreach momentum going.
I referred an existing retainer client and a new lead on to other writers to keep a balance. Gotta keep that freelance karma flowing too!
So thankfully I can now have a relatively stress-free time in Berlin and mope around to 80s goth music in a field—without panicking about everything.
In short: Whether you’re planning to travel, or you need more money just because you need more money – the above steps are the fastest ways I know for you to get extra income in the least amount of time.
All you need is a clear goal and the persistence to help you reach it.If you try any of these steps and have a win – I’d love to hear about it!
If you’re curious about how to become an email copywriter, how to find clients, and how much you can earn writing emails—tune in for this issue!
See you next MondayRachael🤓
I’m putting together a short course on how to land more of your ideal clients.
It doesn’t have a fancy name yet, so let’s call it “The Extremely Reliable Client-Getting Thingy” for now.
I’ll walk you through the exact systems I use to find and close clients that can pay my rates, in a fast and non-sleazy way.
Plus the essential things you need to have in place as a freelance writer to keep clients coming in, and a few extra fun bits n pieces.
Click here to get notified when this launches in June!
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