It’s all gone to shit.
You know that great copywriting job I landed?
My emails weren’t landing…
The sales copy wasn’t converting…
The time difference wasn’t really working out for either of us if I’m honest.
It was great while it lasted, but…
… that’s it.
Shiiiiit. What the hell should I do now?
That’s what I’ve been thinking about this week.
Truth is, I haven’t lost the job.
My sales copy is doing well and I actually wrote an email that sold over $40,000 of stuff this week, so I think I’m OK…
… this month.
Thing is though, it’s worth thinking about what would happen if it DID all go up the swanny.
(Wait a second… do things go “up” or “down” the swanny?)
Scott Adams has a great piece of advice in his book, “How to fail at everything and still win big” that I’ll drag as accurately as I can from my memory banks:
“Your first task upon getting a new job is to immediately start looking for your next one”.
If you’re curious about that, get the book. Scott’s a great thinker and it’ll be £10 well spent.
I splatted Scott’s advice together with Cal Newport’s idea of building “career capital” (skills, connections and credentials), and it got me thinking…
… what should I be doing NOW to safeguard myself and give myself the best chance for success?
As a freelancer, I’m on better than nodding terms with the notion of “feast or famine”.
The key to survival as a freelancer is to develop reliable practices and habits…
… and do them every single day, regardless of how things are going.
Don’t stop sending cold emails because you’ve landed a good client…
… and don’t suddenly become a pitchfest in your emails because you lost one.
If you’re doing it right, someone should be able to look at your marketing and have no clue whether you’re killing it, or getting killed.
(I’ve gotta stop using death-related metaphors)
I’ll explore this idea more in a future email, but for now, let’s look at how this relates to the “FREE copy help” tease I made yesterday.
What am I doing to safeguard my future as a writer?
Well… of course, I’m doing my damndest to make myself as valuable and delightfully easy to work with in my job, but, apart from that…
… I’m doing naff all.
Even though I’m not looking for any new copy projects, I am up for giving quick copy consults.
Fans of my email footer will have seen “hour-long copy consults” there for a while.
But, in addition to that, there’s now a FREE option.
I’ve always been quite open about my thought process for offering anything, partly to save you from doing mental gymnastics of trying to figure out what’s really going on in my head (ooooooh boy!), but also because I’m a terrible liar.
So here’s my thinking…
Free, short (15-20 mins) consultations, where I can help you with specific problems (“specific problems” – i.e. don’t come to me looking to write an entire launch sequence).
In return, all I ask for is one night with your wife, first dibs on your kidney and 7 minutes alone with your Facebook account.
Or… testimonials, shout outs and/or mentions and links to join my email list.
This ^^^ is my career capital – the kind of stuff that would come in handy should the first 5 paragraphs of this email actually happen.
If you’re interested in grabbing one of these free slots, you can either wait for me to get my arse in gear and create a lovely, ornate online form…
… or you can just reply to this email using the words:
“Oi – Holt! You said somefink about FREE….”
Whether you want my help or not though, don’t stop doing the things that safeguard you and give you the best chance of security and success, especially when things are going well.
It’s not negative to wonder “what if…”.
It’s good practice.
If “be prepared” was good advice for me when I was 7, wearing a neckerchief and saying “dib dib dib”*…
… it’s good enough now.
* I wasn’t in the Cub Scouts. I think my mum was just a bit unwell…