When it comes to freelancing, you will find there are many different pockets you can dip your hands in. You can blog, write articles, contribute to websites, write books, ghostwrite, write copy, etc. But it’s important when working out your sources of income to know the difference between a client and a gig.
It seems basic. I define a client as a long-term source of income, and a gig is maybe a one stop shop. But sometimes this doesn’t always hold true. Sometimes a client may only have one piece for you per quarter and a gig could be 5-10 posts in a series.
Which relations do you nourish, and in terms of freelancing, is one better than the other?
Starting out, I’ve had more gigs than clients. Pitching and getting queries accepted seems to be where most of my yeses are coming from. I have a few clients, but I’ve also had to deal with a fair share of content mills using my skills and naivete to churn out useless click bait for pennies an article. Those clients I’ve had to let go.
I’ve only been going full time for a few months now, so I haven’t had to face the challenges of letting go of clients I’ve had a long-term relationship with.
Here are some of my clients that I’ve started working with:
A startup magazine looking for contributors
My local tourism Board
I consider my own Website a client
You can check out my portfolio to see some of my gigs and published content.
Getting clients is an important part of freelancing. Not only does it potentially translate to a steady source of income, it’s an opportunity for testimonials. You want people who can attest to your product and while a gig, or an editor who publishes an article, could probably offer a testimonial, a testimonial about working with you over a long-term period, your work ethic, and your willingness to work with the client will have a lot more substance.
But, I’m not stressing that I don’t have 20 clients right out of the gate. I’m still building my business and establishing my credentials, so the gig, i.e. pitching and sending queries, is where the majority of my time is going.
In terms of if one is better than other, I think it’s a balance. You want to keep the momentum going. Stagnating just because you have 5 clients that pay well, could hurt you 10 months down the line if something happens with a company and they can’t afford you anymore.
While looking for gigs vs. clients, just be aware of the rates that are being offered and the companies you’re applying for. And make sure, whether it’s a gig or client, that it will help your writing goals. Getting clips, establishing your credentials, and gaining testimonials are all ways to meet your writing goals and forge your freelancing career.