Freelance Friday: Pitch Freelancing Jobs You Want


If you want it, you’ll have to pitch it. Photo via

A short time ago, I reached out to an old business contact on a whim and pitched an idea that I’d been mulling over for a few months.

I got an enthusiastic reply and found myself setting up a meeting with the contact’s managing editor. By the end of that conference, I had talked my way into a paid freelancing job. It’s a small one, but it’s recurring work I didn’t have a month ago.

As I drove home, I was struck by a simple truth.

You don’t land the freelancing jobs you don’t pitch.

Don’t misunderstand. You can certainly get good-quality work through referrals and word of mouth, if you’ve built a solid reputation for yourself and your output. Any skilled freelancer can. None of that work, however, is particularly likely to be any of the dream assignments floating around in your head, especially if you’re just starting out. Your clients are coming to you with their own agendas, needs, wants, and ideas. If you’re content to keep taking whatever projects are sent your way in order to keep the lights on, terrific. That is a perfectly reasonable, pragmatic position, but today’s post is not for you.

Today is about your goals. Your client list. Your dream projects. Your career five or 10 years from now. What do you see yourself doing?

You don’t land the freelancing jobs you don’t pitch.

If your answer is not, “The thing I am doing now,” what are you doing to get yourself there? Truthfully, you must do something. The jobs you really want are highly unlikely to simply land in your lap. You must organize your portfolio, take stock of your skill set, and identify the clients you want to

work for and the jobs you want to take on.

You must do your homework. Then, you must pitch. Present your case to the target client. Why does the client need this assignment done, and why should you be the person who gets hired to do it?

Your prospect might say “no” to today’s pitch, but you won’t know for certain until you ask.

When you don’t ask the clients you want for the work you want, the answer will always be “no.”

If you want to land your dream freelancing jobs, you’ll need to go out there and pitch them.



Writers Wednesday: A Media Call to Action


Freedom of the press has been attacked from all sides this week. By the public. By a glorified public relations rep. By the newly minted President of the United States of America.

I’m angry, and, like many others in my profession, I’m reeling both from the audacity and the vitriol. Make no mistake. Americans would not have the president they do today without the so-called “lying media” he’s doing his best to discredit. We kept his name and his messages at the forefront of conversation for months on end. We played right into his hands, and we helped put that person in that office.

Press freedom is writing freedom.

Collectively, we all did it. No, I haven’t been a beat reporter in years, but journalism is still my field. It is my heartbeat. These are my people. This is my world. And if we don’t all push back hard, now, it will be torn apart right in front of us.

Press freedom is writing freedom.

It’s intellectual freedom.

It’s dissenting freedom.

Where did we go wrong? Was it the campaign? No, it started much earlier than that.

When we turned to social media to find quick stories instead of going out and finding real people and issues on our beats, we alienated readers.

When we emphasized perceptions of fairness and equality of coverage time over facts, we invited the public to do the same.

When we began pandering to viewers with “viral video of the day” segments and harping ad nauseam about insignificant things somebody famous said, we cluttered the airwaves with meaningless chatter.

We fed the beast, all right. We stuffed it with as much cheap junk as we could possibly find. We shouldn’t be surprised that it’s grown into a raging monster.

The only thing we can do to weaken it now is cut off its diet, and that requires a return to reporting basics:

Is it true?
Is it impactful?
Is it relevant?
Is it prominent?
Is it timely?

It’s time to stop mindlessly parroting everything a famous person chooses to say online, time to stop jumping in with calls for the ax to fall every time someone misspeaks, time to stop rushing to publish “scoops” that aren’t.

It’s time to go outside.

It’s time to talk to human beings.

It’s time to point out when things aren’t adding up.

The president and his fellow politicians can yell all they want to on Twitter.

We don’t have to keep listening.