When people are skeptical about SolidGigs, here’s what we usually tell them:

“Even if you stay subscribed to SolidGigs for a full year, it’s so affordable that all you have to do is find one client with one great gig and you’ve broken even on your investment.”

But just how true is this? Does the math really check out? And how easy is it to actually find a gig or client good enough to pay for an entire year of membership fees?

I decided to find out for myself.

The article below will outline my entire process for searching, finding, pitching, and ultimately landing a gig that brought in enough cash to pay for one full year of monthly membership fees here at SolidGigs.

My hope is you can use some of the tactics and strategies outlined below to win gigs for yourself and grow your business way beyond the point that you break even with your membership here.

The whole thing started with a simple weekly gig list:

Part 1: the search

I started by opening up our most recent list of gigs and looked through the opportunities our gig-hunting team had presented that week.

I’m a writer, marketer, and designer so I searched each of those three categories in the list.

Keep in mind: although I had reviewed the list with my team for quality assurance and accuracy, I hadn’t—until now—reviewed the list as a freelancer looking for actual work.

As I sorted through that week’s list, I saw lots of listings that interested me, but one that excited me far more than the rest.

It’s important to note that I just picked one.

SolidGigs isn’t about mass emailing every potential client we send you. It’s about identifying the best opportunities and taking time to craft a pitch that will be more likely to land you the gig than filling out a generic form or sending a spammy email.

Here’s what I saw:

I’m a huge fan of cooking outdoors—particularly on the grill—and I had even kicked around the idea of starting my own hobby blog around the subject of BBQing or grilling outside so this project seemed like a great way to dip my toes in the water and see if I’d like writing about something I’m so passionate about as a hobby.

I clicked the “Learn More” button on SolidGigs and was taken to the ProBlogger job board where the gig was originally found.

The official listing looked like this:

I continued to review the listing and discovered I matched most of the criteria they were searching for (see image below).

  • I had plenty of published work around the internet.
  • I was willing to take on a paid trial task (this is not spec work) before committing to a more substantial arrangement.
  • Of course, my grammar is immaculate…sometimes.
  • And I had plenty of SEO writing experience.

I was in!

Next steps? Contact the person hiring for this position and convince them to give me a trial gig.

Part 2: the pitch

Once I knew I wanted this particular gig, I was ready to pitch. This is how they requested I apply:

Note: looking for gigs with a low barrier to entry is a quick way to bring in some cash. If you need money in the door fast, don’t spend your time filling out multi-page applications and polishing up your resume. That can come later.

This is where the most important work actually begins. I knew I had to really sell myself to this potential client. I had to stand out so that he would not only open my email, but read my email, and respond to it as well.

My subject line was: BBQ Job – I’m flexible on price. It was just a little different (not stating a price) but still followed the rules requested in the job listing.

The actual email itself looked like this:

I won’t offer a full tear-down of this email right now, but I want to point out a few key things:

  1. The subject line still followed the rules but stood out from the hundreds of other applicants. Saying “I’m flexible on price” also kept me from getting weeded out too early based on price alone.
  2. The first line tells him who I am and why I’m reaching out.
  3. But the third line is where I pique his interest and get him to keep reading deeper into my email: “I’m maybe a bit of an unusual candidate because…”
  4. I tell him a little bit about myself including the fact that I almost started a site that would essentially be competing with his site—this is a bold decision, but it paid off.
  5. I then fulfill a few more requirements (writing samples and my relationship to BBQ).
  6. Then a cordial farewell and I finish up with a question. Ending with a question always encourages the receiver to respond to your message—even if it’s short.

I sent the email….then I waited.

And waited.

Part 3: The follow up

And… well, it was only three days, but in internet time that can feel like forever. Especially if you’re dying for a gig. I’m sure you’ve been there.

But I happened to know from experience that following up is EVERYTHING.

So I just sent a friendly reminder.

(PS: No, most clients don’t find follow-up annoying. Most times, they appreciate you bringing a conversation back to the top of their inbox. Particularly if you’re bringing them value or solving a problem they’re facing.)

Here’s what my quick check-in looked like:

Part 4: The close

Just a couple days later, Scott got back to me. Here’s basically what he was looking for:

  1. A talented writer who knew SEO best practices who is willing to write:
  2. A test article on a given topic (in this case it was “How to reheat ribs”)

He offered $0.05/word which is a bit on the low side (he admitted) but I had my reasons for taking the lowball offer and I did.

Doing the math

Why would I take a gig that pays on the low side?

For starters, I had the goal to repay my full-year SolidGigs subscription with just one gig and it seemed I could pull that off at that rate. If so, I call it a break-even investment and reap the rewards of being a member of SolidGigs for an entire year.

I also knew that completing this one gig well could lead to a lot more work in the future too. Looking for clients that need work done on an ongoing basis is a great way to ensure your SolidGigs subscription will always be worth the investment.

I, being a blogger myself who works with contributing writers, I wanted to learn a little more about how SEO and content contribution worked for another blogger in a different niche. Break-even or not, I had a lot to learn from this experience.

Those are just 3 of the primary reasons taking this gig made absolute sense to me.

So I accepted the offer.

From there, I received the requirements and got to work writing an in-depth article as per the outline the client sent me.

Was it easy? No.

Was it quick? No.

But as I continue to write, I started adding up every word multiplied by the $0.05/word rate I had been promised.

By the end of the article, I realized I had racked up 3,338 words… to be exact.

As a pretty crazy coincidence, I did the math and noted that I had roughly $167 coming my way.

Was that amount going to change my life? Or change my business? Or change anything?

Not really.

Except for one small thing:

That singular gig was eerily close to the same amount it would cost for a full-year of monthly membership fees at SolidGigs.

At the time of writing, SolidGigs costs $13.99/month if you pay monthly. That’s a total of $167.88 over the course of a year.

I had just broken even!

And if I were an actual customer, I could now reap the benefits of SolidGigs for an entire year.

All of this from the first and only gig I even attempted to land!

What’s more, if you decide to upgrade to the annual plan, a full year of membership only costs about $117 which means I technically could have made a $50 profit on my investment with just one gig.

That’s the power of one gig. Of one client.

That’s the real power of SolidGigs.

Our goal is to continue to keep costs down, pass on savings with an affordable membership and continue to send you the very best gigs the web has to offer.

If you follow even a few of the strategies shared above, you’ll find yourself breaking even and from there, it’s all money in the bank.

Good luck with your SolidGigs subscription. I genuinely hope you can make the most of it!

If you have questions about this process or would like to share any other thoughts about this article, please feel free to email me our team at SolidGigs@millo.co.