Tom Leykis is not my favorite celebrity. He’s probably not the misogynistic, aging frat boy he makes himself out to be — but he encourages a lot of otherwise harmless people to engage in irresponsible behavior.
However, he does have one recommendation that can be useful for working writers.
Leykis recommends maintaining a “bullpen” of women (or men), each of whom you call occasionally to fulfill your…um…physical needs. None of them provides the “time on task” you’d expect from a full-time partner. Between all of them, though, you get what you need.
Freelance writers can do well by maintaining a bullpen of their own. I have a major client who covers the majority of my monthly needs. I also have several other clients who want between $100 and $300 per month in assignments each. And I have clients who hit me up for occasional work.
I get that extra work because I ping those clients every once in a while. I’ll send a holiday greeting, or a quarterly email asking if they plan to use me — no pressure, I’m just putting my quarterly projections together. This keeps me in their minds if need pops up.
Whether you do ad copy, government reports, books or what-have-you, your client could dry up. If you have the bullpen in place, you have other sources of income. You can also use those sources even while working for your major clients. It expands your portfolio, gives you practice in producing excellent copy, and can help boost your income.
Now, I don’t recommend treating your bullpen clients with the cavalier attitude Leykis recommends treating his. But the idea of rotating through several clients with whom you retain a relationship — that’s nothing but good sense.
Thanks for listening.