The number of actual projects (or clients) I take on each month as a freelance writer can vary pretty greatly, and more clients doesn't always mean more income (often the opposite). So I'm curious - do you seem to have a typical number of projects each month, or do you vary a lot with your freelance writing work too?
In the past, I worked mostly for end clients (in other words, the person buying my articles was the one publishing them or the company ordering a press release was the one actually issuing the news). These days, while I still work with several repeat and regular end clients, I also do more work for marketing firms, SEO firms, Web design firms, etc. who act as middle men clients - they outsource multiple projects to me (such as a design firm hiring me to put together launch releases for their own clients' new sites and companies).
Each has their good sides.
The Benefits of Working with End Clients
- You become familiar with their own company's needs, become "invested" in the company with repeated work, and communication can often be much better.
- Because you'll often be working with more clients of this type, if you lose one for any reason, you don't take as big of a financial hit until you fill in the work time with new clients.
- The administrative side of things can be much simpler (your client file deals with one specific client).
There are also some obvious perks to working with firms.
The Benefits of Working with Middle Men Clients
- They often bring in larger, or more frequent, orders.
- They secure the end clients and bring them to you, which can save on marketing time (not that you should ever stop or significantly slow down your marketing anyway).
- If there are communication issues between you and the end client, the middle man may have additional information to help you out (for example, they may know that the client is typically slow to respond, particularly nit-picky about certain things, etc., and they can give you a heads up so you can move the process along a bit more smoothly).
Each also has its downsides. For example, when working with firms that have you dealing with multiple end clients at once, you may spend more time dealing with organization and administrative tasks even if not as much on the marketing side of things. And when working with end clients, they won't always have the need or budget to bring in regular, large orders.
This month I'll probably be working with about a half dozen clients or so in total. Other months I've worked with nearly two dozen. I've found that getting a good mix of middle men and end clients seems to be the most enjoyable and financially-rewarding way to go. Now what I want to know is, what works for you? Do you prefer working with a few clients on larger projects, or many clients on smaller ones? Why?