Every job has peaks and troughs but when you work for yourself the slow periods definitely feel just that little bit more worrying. It’s easy to loose confidence but I’ve found that a great opportunity is usually just around the corner…
If your business is currently experiencing a slower period there’s no need to worry as I’m sharing five of the things I do when things go quiet as a freelancer.
When I was in my first year of business I was extremely quick to jump into a state of panic when things went a little quiet in the inbox. Rushing to Indeed to check out the current job opportunities would be a frequent occurrence and I’d often find myself wondering whether I’d made the right decision going freelance.
Bit OTT? Probably…but in those first few months of self-employed life it’s easy to take things to heart and lack a little bit of self-belief. I’ve found that everyone and I mean EVERYONE experiences quieter periods and it’s how you utilise those times to your advantage that counts.
More often than not when I’m worrying about whether I’ll ever sign a client again an exciting email will pop into my inbox the very next week. Now I’m not saying this will happen without any prior work but it’s about staying positive and believing in the business you’ve created.
Get Your Accounts Up-to-Date
In April I had a little bit more ‘free’ time than usual so I chose to use it to get my books up to date so that I can complete my tax return in good time.
Bookkeeping is a time-consuming task so it’s good practice to set a couple of days aside and dedicate them to collecting up all of your receipts and making sure your spreadsheet or online system is up to date. This way you can get the biggest part of the job out of the way and all you have left is to actually submit your tax return!
Top Tip: I recently made the transition to online bookkeeping and have started using Quickbooks which I’m finding to be a real game-changer!
Invest Time into Self-Development
Recently I’ve started to set aside Friday afternoons (the time I’m most prone to procrastination) for self-development. Whether that’s reading a business book or completing an online course I find it a great way to start easing into the weekend and also starting to make a dint in my ridiculously large to-read pile!
I spoke recently about the importance of personal development when you’re self-employed and I really don’t think there’s a more beneficial way to utilise any free time you have as a freelancer. Learning a new skill (whatever it may be) will inevitably make you more appealing to clients and give you more to talk about when promoting yourself!
Update Your Website
When was the last time you updated your about page or changed up the images on your homepage to something a little more recent? You’re not the only one! It’s definitely one of those tasks that you put off until you realise your bio is from 2012 and you look nothing like your bio picture anymore…
Now I’m not going to lie to you and say that updating your website is one of the most exciting of jobs in the world but if you want to have an effective site that has readers coming back time after time or clients instantly hitting that contact form then you need to invest the time into keeping the content fresh!
Batch writing blog posts is also a great way to make the most of any free pockets of time you might have. That way, when things pick up again you have a backlog of posts ready and raring to go. All that’s left to do is press publish!
Pitch, Pitch, Pitch
So your inbox might not be bulging with exciting opportunities but why not take control of the situation and try creating some work for yourself by reaching out to potential clients?
Chase up any outstanding enquiries that you haven’t heard back from, reach out to anyone you’ve met at networking events who expressed an interest in your services or evene try drafting up an introduction email and pop over to anyone you’ve had your eye on working with. Keep things casual, let them know what you do and how you could potentially work together. What’s the worst that could happen?!
Do you have tips for what to focus on when things go quiet? Have you experienced slower periods as a freelancer?
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Photography by Ami Ford.
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