Things have really taken a turn on the business front over the last couple of months, which goes a long way toward explaining the extended silence. The last thing I wrote about was that I was going to focus my attention on a few specific markets and approach them one at a time, just in hopes of getting my name out there and getting my portfolio in front of people.
I made 5 phone calls. All 5 were complete cold calls where I called the hospital's main number and asked to speak to someone in the marketing or communications department. After a bit of being passed around until I got to the right person, I introduced myself and told them I have hospital experience and would love to help out whenever they have overflow work or anything like that. A couple of hospitals were polite, but told me that their needs were all taken care of. A couple wanted me to send them more info, but told me they didn't have anything in the near future. When I called the fifth hospital I ended up leaving a voicemail. A few days later I received a call from the VP of marketing and he explained that while he appreciated my call, they were already working with an agency who was handling all of their needs. He then added that the hospital chain keeps this agency pretty busy so I should give them a call and gave me the agency name and phone number.
SCORE! I called the agency and left a message, but didn't hear anything back and sort of forgot about it. Almost two weeks later I got a call from the owner of the agency requesting a PDF portfolio and a face-to-face meeting the next day. I went and met with them and was working with them a few days later. Their one big need was somebody to work on-site for them, especially at the beginning, to learn their systems and so forth. I've been working for them ever since and am loving it. At the moment, they're buried so I am working a lot. It will slow down in the near future, but they plan on keeping me coming in 2-3 days per week indefinitely. They like my work and they enjoy working with me, so it's turned out to be a great situation. I hate making sales calls and introducing myself, but every time I do it I kick myself for not doing it sooner.
As busy as I have been, though, I haven't taken the time to start approaching my next industry. I need to make business development a bigger priority this year. So far I have done pretty well, but I need to keep this momentum going.