We discussed ten five-minute cash generators, and you asked for more, so here we go.
1. Get the Money: Invoice Early and Often
I can’t understand it when a writer says to me: “It’s been two months, and I keep asking, but I still haven’t been paid.”
What?! Two months?
You’re a small business person. Your business doesn’t run on air. Believe me, your clients understand that. The problem is that you don’t.
Your client pays you when:
You accept the gig, and send him your Terms of Service and Writing Agreement. You also send him an invoice for 50% of the fee. You don’t start work until the fee’s paid. Ever.
You complete the final draft and send it along, sending your invoice at the same time. Your invoice has on it in big red letters: “Payment is due on invoice. The copyright in the material I write for you devolves to you on payment in full.”
To ensure that that happens, here’s your five-minute task: create the invoice for a current project. Make sure that you have invoice templates, so in five minutes, you should be able to create a couple of invoices. They’re ready to go as soon as the project’s done.
By the way, the above payment terms are non-negotiable… If a prospect doesn’t want to pay you a deposit/ retainer, that’s fine. It’s not the way you do business however.
Most writers understand this, but usually only after they’ve been burned by a client or two.
2. Grab Your Local Paper
Check out the display advertising.
Make a list of ten companies with display advertising.
Fire up your Web browser. Do these businesses have websites? What’s on the sites?
Businesses which buy display advertising are spending money on marketing. They may need a writer – for press releases, Web content, email advertising – right now, or they may need one later. Either way, you’re a local. This is a good thing; they’ll be more inclined to hire you than than they will a writer who lives in another state, or another country.
Get onto their radar, by either calling them, or sending them a postal letter (yes, people still do that), or an email message.
In five minutes, you can scan a business’s website, work out what they need, and can write 100 words offering write what they need. (In other words, you’re making a super-quick proposal to them.)
Work smarter: five minutes can equal a lot of cash
Are you starting to see a theme to our five-minute cash generators?
It’s simple. Writing’s what you do, so you need to work smarter, rather than harder. In this article, I talked about my “5 Minute” task list:
I add and delete tasks from the list throughout the day. It’s a running list, and currently has some 30 tasks on it. With Simplenote on my phone and iPad, I don’t even need to be in the office. If I’m stuck in a client’s office, or am waiting for someone, I can put a minute here and there to good use.
Make your minutes count. We’re freelance writers. There’s no ceiling on our income. It’s all about how you use your time. Use it wisely. The more you put into your writing – even five minutes – the more you’ll get out of it.