Lindsay Pietroluongo

Freelance writer + business coach. Disney World content creator. Peloton under-achiever.

You’re Desperate for Freelance Work and Want to Contact Ex-Clients

This tactic starts strong, then fizzles

Ex-clients gave you business and money at one point, so it’s often easy to get business and money from them again. As a short-term strategy, this can work.

1. Your client expects your former rate.

Your current rate is so much higher than what you used to charge that they can’t make sense of it. You’ll have to negotiate and maybe still take a pay cut. Even if they do agree to pay your current rate, they’ll feel like they’re overpaying.

2. If the client urgently needed a writer, they would’ve taken the first step.

They probably haven’t forgotten about you. It’s more likely that they don’t need a writer enough to reach out and get the ball rolling.

Remember that there’s a reason you no longer work together

Common reasons for ending a client-writer relationship include:

  • You changed the type of writing you do (blog posts vs. social media copy) or focus on different topics now
  • The client moved fast when launching their business but ran out of a budget for content
  • The client was unreliable for some reason and you stopped bothering

Don’t be desperate … even if you’re desperate

When your bank account is low, you forget all about the client’s proven flakiness. Chances are that their unpredictability is still there, though. Expecting anything more than a one-off project sets you up for disappointment.

When to maintain contact with an ex-client

Sometimes, the reason why you parted ways isn’t a roadblock to getting back together. One of my best clients was also one of my first, with a big break in the middle. I had to negotiate a bit, but the value of having him in my regular schedule outweighs the few cents per word I lose.

Which Freelance Writers Do I Work With as a Business Coach?

Are we a match made in freelance writing heaven?

Look, not everybody is meant to be, and that’s definitely true for the client-writer relationship. I’ve worked with clients who I can’t stand but who love my writing, and I’ve worked with clients who I love to bits but who can’t stand me. And then sometimes everything aligns perfectly, which means we either both hate the other or love each other.

This is kinda how it works here, too. We may be a perfect fit. Or maybe one of us is going to go to sleep tonight wondering if it was me, not you.

To start, let me just say that, somewhere deep inside, I really do love all writers. I may not like everyone’s motivations to become a writer, I may not like the actual words you put down, and I definitely don’t love egotism of any sort, but if you’re a person who puts pen to paper (or fingertip to keyboard) and you feel like you have something that has to be said, then on a very raw, primitive level, we are alike.

That said, I’m not here to teach anybody how to write. There are a lot of sources out there for that, but I’m not one of them. You may have natural talent that doesn’t need any tweaking, you may have natural talent that could benefit from some tweaking, you may not have a drop of talent at all right now but you’re an excellent student and can learn… I don’t know, and it’s not for me to decide or coach.

Here’s what I do care about, though:

  • You have some positive track record of producing copy that clients like. For example, you’ve had clients return to you for more work or you’ve had direct positive feedback, even just once.
  • That positive feedback has come from someone who knows what they’re talking about and who doesn’t have a reason to sugarcoat it. So, your aunt doesn’t count, and neither does that person who you just wrote a rave review for and they therefore have to be nice to you.
  • You understand that being a freelance writer has a lot – a whole lot – of admin and customer service and un-fun business things to it, and you’re okay with that
Didn’t quite fulfill those guidelines above?

Don’t go away just yet. We can still chat to discuss things like:

  • What does it mean when a client seems happy with my work but they’re giving me the silent treatment?
  • I think I did excellent work for a client, but they’re not running their business so great. How does this impact me and my portfolio, and how much should I care about their feedback?
  • I’m totally up for anything and everything that comes with being a freelance writer, but … what does come with being a freelance writer?

Ready to move forward?

Send me an email at and tell me what’s going on with you, career-wise. I’m also open to hearing about any horror movies you’ve watched lately.

How I Help Freelance Writers Earn Money

There’s a lot of heady advice for beginners that falls into the “this is how to think and feel about your new career choice” realm. And there are definitely never-ending lists of actionable tips for anyone who wants to make six figures as a freelance writer.

But when it comes to you, the writer who falls somewhere in between, there’s almost nothing out there that will help you land a client or project now, that will put money in your bank account in the next few weeks (or days), or that will help you wake up tomorrow with a newfound zest for this bear of a career choice.

But I can help you with that.

I can help you close a new client or project quickly so that you can make money (or have the promise of money) in the next few days. Or, I can help you reframe how you think about and approach your job so that you actually remember why you wanted to be a freelance writer in the first place. I can help you with both, simultaneously. For free.

(Full disclosure: I don’t actually know if you’re going to have another $100 or $1,000 in your PayPal account by next week. That depends on how good of a writer you are, how closely you follow my directions, how astute you are when it comes to communicating with clients, if you feel like actually meeting your deadlines or if you’re going to watch Netflix instead…)

Here’s what I can promise, though:

  • I can teach you how to mine job boards for real gold and how to swiftly toss out the oh-so-obvious terrible job postings.
  • I can give you templates, examples and customized pitch emails so that the business owner, marketing manager or recruiter is more likely to get back to you.
  • I can help you decide on and negotiate everything from the rate you charge and your kill fee to your turn-around time and what you expect from the client. I can also help you determine when to give in to their requests vs. when to walk away from a job offer.
  • I can share my techniques for getting clients to pay in advance and to pay up when they owe me money.
  • I can teach you my tricks for getting the work done, getting paid, navigating admin and customer service tasks, and then getting on with the rest of your life.

How’s that sound? If it sounds awesome, get in touch with me.


When It Comes to Your Freelance Career, Are You a Little Lost?

There’s a lot of help out there for writers, especially beginners who don’t know how to get started. There are also promises for writers who are dying to make six figures in 30 days or less. But if you fall somewhere in the middle, you’re part of an ignored group.

The beginners high has worn off.

You’re past the thrill of getting started. Now, you stare at your laptop screen every morning and wonder, “Is this all there is?”

Let me guess:

  • You lose sleep at night because you haven’t paid your electric bill and don’t remember the shut-off date.
  • You want to scream at the clients who are taking advantage of you, but you can’t because you need their money.
  • You have anxiety buzzing in your chest because you know there must be another way, but you have no idea how to find it.

And also…

  • You’re sick to death of the topics you write about most often. Your clients are happy, but you definitely are not.
  • You’ve managed to make a living as a writer, but if it’s going to be this boring, difficult or heartbreaking, you’d rather work in retail, even though working in retail is also a living nightmare.
  • You’ve given yourself an ultimatum: make this happen this year or go back to 9-to-5 work.

I’ve been you.

I’ve negotiated with my electric company. Figured out how to stock my fridge with $10 to my name. Bitten my tongue when a client deserved un-nice words.

Then I dropped topics I grew tired of and picked up niches I was excited about. Let go of clients who weren’t a good fit and welcomed newer, lovelier ones. Discovered how to love my life and my job without sacrificing either.

And I gave myself that ultimatum, then met it, exceeded it and set new goals within 3 months.

I’ve faced other career mountains, too. I’ve found ways over them or around them or through them. Sometimes I’ve turned on my heel after saying, “Oh, you’re not my mountain.”

Here’s what I believe you can do:

  • Find work when you need it most. 
  • Break into writing niches you don’t have (much) experience in yet. Get rid of the topics you hate writing about and write about the things you love (or at least like).
  • Dump clients who are bad for any number of reasons. Easily spot those red flags in the future. Stop wasting time on dead ends.
  • Forecast what clients are going to want before they even know they want it.
  • Create your own best practices and guidelines that build a job you love instead of one you dread.

Does that sound good?

Read about why I offer business coaching for free or jump right to it and email me at All you have to do is tell me what’s going on, and we’ll figure out a way forward.

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