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Laid Off? An Old Writer’s 5 Smart Moves to Get Freelance Work


What if you got laid off, lost all your freelance clients, or decided to drop every one of your low-payers? You’d want to get freelance work…fast.

In an economy full of uncertainty thanks to the impact of COVID-19, lots of writers know what it’s like to get the “pink slip” from an employer or long-time client.

  • Do you roll around on the floor, kicking and screaming?
  • Maybe you even think about swearing off writing forever.
  • Or do you give a nod to the experience, be grateful for what you’ve learned, and start chasing freelance work?

If you want to make a living writing, there’s plenty of freelance work out there for everybody.

But you’re not going to find clients, land great freelance projects or make money if you waste a lot of time hosting a pity party.

Life happens. Careers change. Freelance work and clients come and go.

If you’re a writer feeling the pinch of a layoff, end of a great client relationship, or some other situation you didn’t see coming, it’s up to you to rise up and keep going.

That’s exactly what one old writer did when he got laid off.

But instead of giving up, he made these 5 smart moves to turn things around and start landing freelance work.

Check this out…

How to get freelance work like writer John Fischer

Freelance Work: John Fischer

John Fischer

Do you think 1980s pop star Bonnie Tyler ever thought about the impact her “Holding Out for a Hero” might have on personal reinvention?

Remember that hit song?

(If not, no sweat. Just give it a listen on YouTube.)

Let’s call it a wistful story, one in which the singer pines for a hero, who will make everything right again.

Heroes come in all shapes and sizes, right?

Take you, for example; yes, you.

First, the back story

To say I’ve had a few different jobs would be a gross understatement.

What would be far more accurate, though, can be measured by the number of times I’ve had to resort to personal reinvention, freelance work, and lot of other things. (Trust me. It’s a lot.)

Regardless of the circumstances, though, I’ve always tried to do my best chameleon imitation.

Take this past year, for example.

(Yep, I’ve got my own Bonnie Tyler hero’s tale to tell.)

If you want to be a freelance writer…expect the unexpected

For the last several years, I have worked in the staffing industry (in both business development and recruiting). Doing my best to…

  • Leverage my personal network
  • Build up my own book
  • Attend industry events
  • And on my best days, I’ve even managed to out hustle the competition once or twice

But this past year?…

It’s like anything else…

  • You get upset
  • You worry
  • There’s suddenly a lot of scrambling
  • And you try like hell to readjust your confidence and get back in the game

So, you – yes, that’s all of you – should embrace your writing abilities and expect the unexpected.

You’ve got a skill set that will always be needed

(Now, I wouldn’t hold out hope for a place on the world’s Top 100 Wealthiest People list, but I can definitely see a scenario where you could be commissioned to write each of their bios!)

Prior to my work in staffing, I wrote professionally for years.

Lucky for me, so far anyway, it has been a lot like riding a bike.

And while there may not be one tried-and-true methodology, identifying a personal plan to land freelance work will give each of you a shot at becoming your own hero/heroine.

Time to put on some new shoes for freelance success

Let’s start by thanking rock and roll legend Eric Clapton for providing us with a potential teaching tool.

Like the song says, “I put some new shoes on, and suddenly everything’s right.”

Nobody says personal reinvention is easy, but simply getting started with the process doesn’t have to be difficult.

Here’s what I recommend to get back on your feet:

  • After getting laid off
  • Losing an anchor client
  • Or just trying to land some good freelance work…

So, sticking with Mr. Clapton’s handy metaphor, plus some other familiar go-tos, let’s talk specifics.

1. Make a deal with yourself

If you believe you can make a living writing, no one else’s opinion should matter.

  • Change gears
  • Trust your skill set
  • Find those “new shoes” if you have to.
  • If you believe in your abilities, others will, too.

2. There will never be another you

Nat King Cole was right on point. When in doubt, bet on yourself.

  • Craft your personal brand
  • Build up your street ‘cred
  • Let prospective employers and clients know that they’ll be getting the one and only “you.”

3. Get help from other people

Finding success in writing can be largely predicated on getting help from others.

So, be sure to build that into the plan, too. (One great resource is the Freelance Writers Den.)

It’s key to find the right people to help effectively showcase your work.

4. If you build it, they will come

Are you leveraging the power of social media, your writer website, and networking groups to find freelance work? (Just saying…)

Even if you’re the second coming of William Faulkner or Charlotte Brontë, effectively showcasing your work may be just as important as the work itself.

  • Consider shopping around for a cost-effective, talented designer
  • Build your own writer website with an “off-the-shelf” model
  • Leverage all the major social media platforms…Facebook, Twitter, and especially LinkedIn. It’s actually how I connected with freelancer Evan Jensen.
  • Use social media. Your daily to-do list…like, comment, share, and post to boost your visibility

Having the all-important writing ‘chops just isn’t enough anymore to land freelance work.

5. Stay in the fight

If anyone tells you that freelance work and earning money as a writer isn’t largely about good ‘ol fashion elbow grease, I’m not sure I’d listen.

“Talent,” however you choose to define it, is important.

But without hustle and heart, well, you’re nowhere.

“Build your strategy and your reputation largely around your work ethic, and don’t ever let up. Not ever.”

That’s how you land freelance work and make a living writing.

What’s your plan to get more freelance work? Tell us about it in the comments below.

John Fisher is a NYC-based freelance copywriter, journalist, and content marketing strategist. He’s written and managed projects for companies like Turner Broadcasting, Honeywell, Jackson Hewitt and many others. 

300+ Hours of Trainings. Once Affordable Price. Freelance Writers Den

Freelance Writing Websites: 5 Essentials to Attract Ideal Clients

Freelance Writing Websites: 5 Essentials to Attract Ideal Clients

Writer Websites: 5 Tips to Attract Freelance Clients. Makealivingwriting.com

What’s the secret to creating one of those writer websites that get’s noticed?

You know…an ideal client lands on your writer website. And you’ve got all the right stuff there to get that person to call, email, or connect on social media.

Great writer websites can:

  • Generate freelance writing leads
  • Grow your network
  • Show off your portfolio
  • Help you stand out as the writer in your niche

…while you sleep.

Chances are pretty good you already know writer websites help the pros stand out.

But what does your writer website look like?

Maybe you keep putting it off or avoid giving it an upgrade because you’re not a graphic designer, web developer or tech genius.

Sound familiar?

If you aren’t sure where to start or how to improve your online presence, you’re in luck. I’m going to show you the 5 essentials writer websites need to help you stand out, move up, and earn more.

How to Find Entry-Level Freelance Writing Jobs for Beginners

How to Find Entry-Level Freelance Writing Jobs for Beginners

Best Freelance Writing Jobs for Beginners. Makealivingwriting.com

Right now, a record-high number of people are considering a freelance writing career. My inbox is overflowing with questions from newbies. And the first question is: “Where can I find freelance writing jobs for beginners?”

If that’s you, sending hugs! I totally feel your confusion. The freelance marketplace is a big, complicated place. There are lots of types of paid writing, and different kinds of clients, too.

I’ve been helping writers get started for a dozen years now. And I know how mystifying it can be. You feel like there’s a door you need to find, a person you need to know, a secret you must unlock to become a freelance writer.

But really, the path to freelance writing jobs for beginners is simple.

You need to find someone willing to let you write for them. That’s it.

You get a few samples and boom — you have a portfolio to show. And you’re on your way.

There are fairly simple, break-in writing assignments that newbies tend to get. I’m going to outline what they are below.

But first, I need to explain something…