AWAI Member Makes the Leap to Freelancing Full-Time … and is Thriving

Around this time last year AWAI member Dan Magill had just landed his first client in his chosen niche of charities and nonprofits.

He’s since quit his job as a high school teacher, has a few more clients, and is moving forward full steam.

I figured that with a summer of additional paychecks, I finally had enough time to devote to all the non-paying foundations like developing a LinkedIn presence, establishing a somewhat decent website with real content, and searching for clients,” says Dan. “Basically, I felt like it was time. I have the confidence and the skills, and felt that by devoting myself full-time, the work would come. The best part is … man, I'm busy! How did I do this while having another job?”

Dan’s recent clients include an article writing/marketing company that doesn’t pay very well but provides him with valuable experience and writing samples. He’s also working on SEO with a nonprofit. And he’s landed his first recurring client: a self-help/motivational speaker video website. He’s writing their weekly newsletter promoting their videos.

He’s got a full plate of work. But the writer’s life has given Dan real flexibility with his schedule. He relishes being able to engage in some of his personal passions, like screenwriting. He’s also on a committee at a nonprofit studying school boards. He couldn’t attend before because the meetings are in the middle of the day.

He’s also busy networking in his “spare” time.

I went to a workshop put on by one potential client and promised them a free blog post about the event in exchange for not having to pay to attend,” explains Dan. “And they have almost committed (we're 90% there!) to letting me do a full site audit (thanks to Pam Foster's Site Audits Made Simple program). I'm hoping that after that I can continue doing ongoing work for their site — it needs it!”

It’s all part of self-marketing efforts that include the freelance job site, Elance, as well as leveraging relationships. A couple of jobs came about because he knew somebody at the organization or met them at a networking event. That’s the power of a personal network.

“Other marketing efforts had to be put on hold because of the Bootcamp melee of spec assignments,” says Dan. “But now I'll be getting back to those. That includes LinkedIn, my website, a study I'm working on about nonprofit websites that I'll use to produce a report, and a list of potential clients I'm slowly reaching out to.”

Sounds like you’re busy and going to be even busier real soon, Dan. And that’s a good thing. Keep us posted.

You can check out Dan Magill’s freelance website here: www.proactivecontent.net.

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Published: December 18, 2014

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