Being a freelancer takes a certain amount of balls. Men, you’ve got this in the bag.
Lord Almighty, did I just say that? Perfect pun, unintended. That rocks.
It’s true. In a general sense, men seem to have more cojones, not just of the physical kind, but the metaphorical kind as well. Men tend to be more brave, bold, and courageous when it comes to taking a risk, putting themselves out there, and asking for what they want when they want it. They’re pack leaders, hunters and gatherers by nature, and heads of corporations.
Lucky for us women, even though we don’t have our male counterparts’ family jewels driving our need to survive and thrive, we have our own similar attributes to draw from. We’ve got… melons. [That’s right. Now, go make some melon balls and put them to use.]
You want examples, you say? No problem. Observe, and I shall teach you the ways of the force, young writing Jedi.
No matter where your balls are located, here’s how to use them for freelance writing fun and profit.
Show Your Face [Or Your Balls]
First of all, male or female, you’ve got to put yourself out there and get in the face of your potential freelancing employers or you will never get a break. Why? They won’t know you exist!
Introduce yourself, throw out a pitch or a sample piece of work they can use right now if they wish. Show them you mean business and you’re prepared to produce something they can use.
Don’t be afraid. What do you have to lose? If your work meets their standards and they already pay for posts anyway, they’re going to offer to pay for your accepted submission. If they don’t want your piece, use it somewhere else, like on your blog. There you go —next week’s post, in the bag.
Submit It — And Forget It
Even if you think you might not qualify, go for it.
I was recently made aware of a blogging opportunity for blogs with a certain amount of unique views per day. I didn’t meet the required amount, but I decided, “What do I have to lose?” I applied anyway and went on about my business. Later I received an email and was pleased to see that I was accepted.
If you don’t try, you won’t be accepted… that much is guaranteed.
Want another example?
When I joined Firepole Marketing, the very first e-mail I received concerned a contest.
The deadline was literally in hours, I hadn’t even had time to properly examine the site yet, but the title caught my eye and a light-bulb-moment idea sparked. Hey, I could even win money and consulting just for placing in the top three.
I didn’t hesitate. I thought, “What the heck?” I slid down that pole, lickety-split, submitting my entry just minutes before the deadline and forgot about it.
I was shocked to receive the e-mail stating I was a finalist. In the end, I didn’t place, but it was awesome exposure and experience for my writing career and I made some great connections. The piece was even recently promoted in a marketing e-zine in the UK. Think that would have happened if I had just slapped that piece on my blog instead? Let me answer that for you. Nope. No chance.
Serve Up Some Options Along With Those Balls
I once had a freelance writing employer ask me to work on a project for him. At the time, I wasn’t interested, but I decided to throw caution to the wind. Instead of just saying no, I said, “I don’t feel that I can do that at this time, but here’s what I can do for you if you’d be interested.”
Guess what. He loved the idea and it is now an ongoing gig for me. Boo-yah! Melon balls, anyone? Oh, and after working on my idea for a period of time and at the same time seeing him post examples of the work he originally asked me to do, I felt capable to take on the original project, so I submitted a sample. Now I have both gigs. Yes. I totally rock.
Never be afraid to suggest something different.
Want another example? The same employer asked me to work on a particular account doing ad copy. I had researched the company, read everything on their website, and had another one of my brilliant light bulb ideas. It had nothing to do with what he was asking of me for this client, but again, what did I have to lose?
I approached him with the concept of pitching a contest to the client and came up with some basic ideas. To my delight, he pitched the idea. To our delight, they loved it! It’s now a yearly event for that client and my employer gained repeat business he would not have otherwise obtained.
Making a daringly different suggestion can boost your income as a freelancer, too. I’ve added marketing consultation to my skill set, making me an even more valuable employee. My employer now contacts me about various clients and pays me just to look at their websites, Facebook pages, etc. and give him my honest opinion and suggestions in relation to the content.
I’m a consultant? Yeah, I’m suddenly a consultant!
Balls: a Summary of Applications
Get out there and pepper the world with a giant serving of you. Determine what you’re good at and offer it to those who don’t even know they need it. Follow this basic 10-step plan:
- Tell people you exist.
- Be brave.
- Ask yourself, what do you have to lose?
- Do it, and do it again. If that fails, do something else, somewhere else.
- Offer another service. Be creative! They might just need your brilliant idea that never occurred to them.
- Be awesome.
- Be awesome again.
- Be awesome in new places.
- Continue being awesome.
- That is all.
Girls have got balls. They’re just a little higher up, that’s all.
~ Joan Jett
Image: Sam Howzit