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Freelance Marketing: 4 Holiday-Smart Ways to Book More Work

Carol Tice

It’s that most wonderful time of the year — for falling into the doldrums and slacking off on your freelance marketing, that is.

It’s easy to come up with reasons for not doing any freelance marketing to line up new writing clients until January.

You think:

  • Everyone is on vacation, anyway. Why pitch?
  • The days are short and I feel sleepy.
  • I’ll have company soon, or be traveling, so who cares?
  • I’m busy with clients and couldn’t take a new gig now, anyway.

But taking a 6-week freelance marketing vacation is a bad idea. This leads to January panic, when you have to cold-start your marketing after New Year’s. Top-earning writers are always marketing.

Remember, it can take weeks or months for freelance marketing to pay off. So prospecting you do now lays the groundwork for more and better freelance gigs in the coming year.

How can you overcome the challenges of trying to get freelance marketing done during the busy holiday season? Here are four ideas:


1. Drop them a line

This is a great time of year to stay in touch with past and current clients with a quick thank-you card. Let them know you appreciate the opportunity to work with them!

You can also use that card to hold a useful little memento to keep your name in front of them. A refrigerator magnet or pencil works great. I know one writer who once sent iPad styluses with her name and email engraved on them, in a direct-mail campaign.

How slick is that for freelance marketing? No one’s going to throw that away.

Few writers send written notes in the mail, so this is a great way to stand out and build relationships.

2. Give in order to receive

Giving clients gifts has not gone out of style. The trick is to give something meaningful, but not too expensive or lavish.

You want a small token that says, “I appreciate you,” not something that screams “I’m a pathetic, desperate suck-up.”

Especially if you’re dealing with magazine editors, remember that they may well have strict rules about not accepting gifts above $10 or $20 in value. So you’ll need to be creative with this kind of freelance marketing!

But a small-denomination gift card to a favorite store, or even a nicely wrapped small bag of chocolates can be a sweet way to say thanks.

3. Work the schmooze angle

Do any of your local clients (or prospective clients) throw holiday parties? See if you can wrangle an invite! Even though this might look a little different with COVID-19.

When I freelanced for the Los Angeles Times, one of the perks was getting to attend their annual holiday office party. It was a great opportunity to get to know editors better on a personal level in a casual setting away from the usual deadline pressures.

So that’s probably not going to happen during COVID craziness.

But what about a Zoom call, or drop-in/drop-by event where you wear a mask and keep your social distance?

This form of freelance marketing is still a chance to build relationships, and  pick up nuggets of information on how editor needs might be changing in the coming year.

We all deserve a chance to kick back and visit during the holidays. If none of your clients throw parties, see what local networking groups are doing that might offer an opportunity to meet new contacts.

4. Get a head start

If you’re busy with family or booked through the end of the year, you can still do productive freelance marketing.

Here’s how: When you send pitch or introduction letters out, mention that at this point, you’re booked up, but you’re looking at your availability after the New Year. Will they have any needs coming up?

This makes you seem like a successful professional who’s booked up. You also come off as a good planner. This angle will help attract functional clients where the managers are good planners, too.

Do your freelance marketing — then relax

I know too many writers who work straight through the holidays. Keep some freelance marketing going, but also try to take some time off, even if it’s just for a few days.

You’ll come back refreshed and ready to tackle the new projects you sowed seeds for at the end of this year.

What’s your freelance marketing plan for the holidays? Share your ideas in the comments.

Grow Your Writing Income. FreelanceWritersDen.com

What is Copywriting? A Modern Definition and How-To Guide

What is Copywriting? A Modern Definition and How-To Guide

What Is Copywriting? The How-To Guide for Freelancers. Makealivingwriting.com

It’s a question so simple, you might think everyone already knows the answer: What is copywriting?

But in my decade-plus helping newbie writers launch their freelance careers, I’ve learned not to assume. People come from all walks of life into freelance writing, and aren’t born knowing the lingo.

When I researched this question, it got even more interesting. Because I disagreed with many of the most popular posts on the topic.

What I have for you isn’t your grandpa’s copywriting definition and description. It’s a rebel’s 21st Century copywriting definition — and a how-to guide on how to break in and do it.

How copywriting evolved

Old copy hacks will tell you copywriting is the art and science of crafting writing that sells.

They’ll tell you writing that overtly sells a product or service is copywriting — and everything else is ‘not copywriting.’

That was once true — but it isn’t any more. Because the Internet changed much of what we once knew about marketing.

I’ve got a new definition of copywriting for you, one I think is more accurate for the 21st Century marketing era we live in now.

Read on to learn what copywriting is today, how to do it — and how you can capitalize on the changes to earn well as a freelance writer.

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