The Proofreader's Parlour
A blog for editors, proofreaders and writers
Changing famine into feast ... quickly
I discussed some of the problems of relying on one editorial client back in 2013. The issues I raised then are as valid today as they were four years ago, perhaps even more so given the current economic and political climate (both here in the UK, and elsewhere).
This article revisits the problem and includes an emergency business-promotion plan.
The booklet, SOS editorial marketing strategy: Quick fixes for big emergencies, is free to download. I sincerely hope it helps you if you need some inspiration during tough times.
Why one client isn’t enough
Having only one client when you’re an editorial business owner is problematic for two reasons:
The client-losing editor
You can lose clients for reasons completely beyond your control, including:
The client-reliant editor
There are several reasons why you might become reliant on a client:
On paper, those are good reasons to work for a client. However, if it’s your only client, and things turn sour, you have a problem:
If you have only one client, you have no choice – nowhere else to shift your focus, no one else with whom to negotiate, no one else from whom you can accept improved pay or working conditions, and no opportunity to phase out the one (now problematic) client on whom you rely.
Emergency marketing strategy
Whether you’ve lost your only supply of work or you’ve fallen into the trap of reliance on a now unsatisfactory client, there is action you can take immediately.
Here’s the free SOS editorial marketing plan I promised. Just click on the image to download.
The work you do … and the work you do to get the work you do
If you’re a freelance editorial pro, you’ll always have two jobs:
It’s essential to protect your future interests by building a portfolio of several clients rather than focusing all your energies on one. If you put all your eggs in one basket and things go pear-shaped, the impact on your editorial business, never mind your emotional wellbeing, could be devastating.
If you’re not facing an emergency, you can afford to spread your business promotion over a longer period and focus on slower-burn activities such as content (value-adding) marketing. But if you are in crisis mode, there is action you can take right now that, with commitment, will generate positive responses.
You’re not a newbie – you have experience and you’ve already proven your ability to acquire a client. That’s a great position to be in, so use it to your advantage!
Louise Harnby is a professional proofreader and copyeditor. She curates The Proofreader's Parlour and is the author of several books on business planning and marketing for editors and proofreaders.
Visit her business website at Louise Harnby | Proofreader, say hello on Twitter at @LouiseHarnby, or connect via Facebook and LinkedIn.
Search the blog
I'm an Advanced Professional Member of the UK's national editorial society.
All text on this blog, The Proofreader's Parlour, and on the other pages of this website (unless indicated otherwise) is in copyright © 2011–17 Louise Harnby. Please do not copy or reproduce any of the content, in whole or part, in any form, unless you ask first.
Author Member of The Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi). I abide by its Code of Standards in regard to my status as an independent writer.
Advanced Professional Member of the Society for Editors and Proofreaders (SfEP). I'm a signatory to its code of practice as a professional editor.
Featured in The Book Designer's Carnival of the Indies: Joel Friedlander's collection of 'outstanding articles recently posted to blogs'.
Winner of the Judith Butcher Award 2017 in respect of 'highly visible contributions to the SfEP and its membership'.