B2B SaaS growth & product leader. Interim CMO for hire. 4th gen female entrepreneur, writer, maker, musician, and (occasional) programmer.
Make sure you research the partner and his company before agreeing to meet and decide before the meeting exactly what you want to disclose about your company and your products. Often these meetings are fishing expeditions to get market or competitive information as background for the firm's investment in another company.
1) Work on your mental game.
Sure, ageism exists, but far more often it's used as an excuse to cover the real issues people don't want to face. I've seen this a lot.
Are you mentally in a negative place - angry and defensive after losing your job? Have you kept your skills current or have you let them slide for a few years? Have you been taking care of yourself physically and spiritually?
Until you tackle your inner space, you will repel both potential employers and customers. Take a few weeks to get yourself into a place where you are ready to move on. Use your new time flexibility to eat healthy, get some exercise and clean the house. While you're doing that, listen to some podcasts to get up to speed on new skills and areas of expertise. Grieve for your old life so you can truly move on in your new adventures.
2) How can you help others?
In a couple weeks, start thinking about how you can use your unique skills, experience and passion to help other people - personally and professionally. What can you do to make their lives and companies better?
Then start reaching out to the kinds of people you can help and talk to them about your ideas. Don't try to sell them on your services or get a job, yet. Take the time to learn what they need and how they would like to engage with a person/company to get that help. This will guide you where you need to go.
Good luck with your new adventures! You'll probably look back in a few years and marvel that as much as the transition sucked, it was the best thing that could have happened.
If the reason you're charging the advance is to cover setup costs, why not position an initial pre-payment as a one-time setup fee instead of an advance payment? This is common and would be less likely to generate push-back as a payment timing negotiation.
Targeting companies with $1million+ in revenue is not ideal. For a premium content service, you'll probably need to look for companies with at least $4-5 million and a dedicated content marketing manager. Search for content marketing managers in your niche on LinkedIn.
Keep in mind you'll be competing with content factories like Brafton that offer turn-key content production in volume for only a few thousand dollars per month. If you're competing on quality with a high price, you'll need to clearly explain why your service offers better results.
If you're a strong writer and willing to learn some new skills, I'd recommend that you consider writing white papers for B2B companies. White papers are typically 5-12 page reports (including basic graphics) that discuss a solution to a business or technical problem for about 85% of the document and how a company's service, product or technology solves it for the last 15%.
As a new grad, you are unlikely to successfully "author" a white paper, but you could use your writing skills to capture, organize and present a subject matter expert's information. Two great ways to do this are 1) interviewing the people at the company who know the material but don't have time to write or 2) using information from one of the company's webinars as the basis for the white paper. You could offer add-on services like blog posts and social media blurbs to promote the white paper.
Unlike freelancing blog posts, which is popular among new grads but typically only pays $25-50 per post, you can typically charge $400-$800 for a well-written white paper.
To get started, you should choose an industry area that interests you and start reading as many white papers in that niche as you can find. Get a feel for the language, the style, the length, the approach, etc. Try writing one or two from webinars on spec to practice your style and get some experience. Then start reaching out to marketing directors and marketing consultants in the niche to build a clientele.