How do I spend my end-of-month downtime? I accelerate my marketing outreach. I look for new digital marketing agencies and new clients, especially if I've recently lost a client or two (and I have, alas). I conduct google searches and find lists of agencies and potential clients, and then I email them about my skills, interests, and availability.
Needless to say, marketing is a numbers game. Most of the efforts you invest will go for naught, but you only need one or two positive responses to make it all worthwhile. I've learned that I need to wear my marketing hat constantly, not only to get more work from existing clients but also to attract new clients,
When marketing, I generally use a "soft sell" approach, which fits my personality. I let the target know that I'm eager and capable of contributing to their content efforts, and say I'd love to have further discussion. I add a link to my portfolio and this website, and keep my fingers crossed for some response.
What I've learned about marketing is that "real" self-belief is essential. You must believe, deep within yourself, that what you are doing will add value for any client. All good things come from this self-belief. For instance, you won't work with clients who undervalue you because you will want to maintain self-belief and self-respect. For any writer, that's a very good thing.
How can you gain self-belief? That's a tough one. Some of us are born with it. Some of us are self-deluded (hello, Mr. Trump) into overestimating our abilities. In terms of operating a business, that over-inflation of your abilities can be a great tool that convinces clients to pay you more than you're worth. People tend to value us in the way we value ourselves, for good or ill.
However you do it, the key is to develop self-belief as a crucial foundation of all your marketing efforts. Even if you have to look in the mirror and say "I'm a good writer who adds value to my clients," then do it (and keep doing it).
How do you invest your downtime, dear reader, and how do you approach marketing your work. We would all benefit from you sharing your experiences and insights, so feel free to comment below . . .