The Broom Method of Building a Business

Have you ever heard the expression that if you put enough pieces of straw together, eventually you will have a broom? That expression has been floating around in my mind recently, and it led me to think about building a successful freelance writing business.

It is possible to build a business by starting off with small jobs first. When you first start working with a new client, they may start off by giving you a single article or a small assignment. This is a chance for both of you to get to know each other. You can turn it in and if you would prefer not to work with that person again, you don’t need to. (You can always say that you are fully booked if the client gets in touch with you again, if you have to.)

Turn in that first assignment on time and to the client’s specifications, and chances are good that they will contact you for future work. Over time, you will likely be offered bigger (and more lucrative) assignments. But…if you had decided to pass on that initial assignment because you were hoping to get offered something that would pay better from the outset, you would have lost the chance to work up to that lucrative work.

Every assignment you get offered is a chance to learn something, improve your craft, and get better at what you do. Show your new client that you are willing to take the assignment and give it your best effort, and why wouldn’t they come back to you for their future needs? All of these assignments are your pieces of straw that you can use to build your freelance writing business broom.

Does this method work? Yes, it does. My income came within $2,000 of doubling in 2008 from what I did in 2007. And that’s during a recession.

What are you doing to build your (business) broom?





3 responses
  1. Marc - WelshScribe Avatar

    I really liked this post, thanks Jodee. I’m constantly reminding myself that it’s the small things that count as they are the building blocks to greater things.

  2. Jodee Avatar

    @ Marc: Absolutely the little things matter. If you want to build relationships with repeat clients, it takes time to do so. Glad you liked the post. 🙂

  3. Rebecca Avatar

    I keep reminding myself that everything I do has a lesson. Sometimes the lessons are tough at first, but then I realize maybe losing a writing gig is for the best…this happened to me recently. At least the money I received help me to pay my taxes on time 🙂

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