If you work as a freelancer you will most likely have quiet periods sometimes. During the holidays or just occasionally you will have periods where the work may just not be there. But, don’t worry here is a collection of tips to help you take advantage of the extra time.
If you just sit around and start to feel like a failure, or start to worry that you’ve reached your peak and everything is going downhill, you will ruin a lot for yourself. Instead you should create a list of things to do so you can take advantage of the extra time. Here are 10 tips on what to do on your slow days. I hope they are as useful to you as they are to me.
1. Work on long-term projects
If you have nothing due in the next few days, you should start looking at your long-term project and get a head start on those. You will thank yourself later! Sometimes you may think you have nothing to do for a few days, but you may not realize the amount of work sitting on your desk waiting for you to get started on. Sometimes your deadline may be a month from today, but that does not mean that you wait until then to start on the project.
2. Clean up
Clean up is a very simple thing to do that many forget. Having a clean work space will increase you ability to work better. You will feel less clustered and can work a lot more efficiently.
That’s one thing that you should always be doing on your free time, because when you are busy it can bring you new clients that can fill up those gaps of slow times. Try to promote yourself, whether you are doing it online, or actually taking the time to go out and meet new clients. Have a look at your SEO, and see how your website is doing. Check out Google Analytics to see if there is a drop in visits, or if any info graphics have changed in the last little while.
Find new ways to promote yourself. If you are not on social media maybe this is the time to take a look at it and read it’s benefits. Have a look at the money you are spending on advertising, maybe make some adjustments to your budget or use a different strategy.
4. Look at new niches
Read peoples blogs and websites, see what they are doing. Sometimes you can come across something that can generate an idea. Don’t let your mindset stop you from thinking of new ways to do business. Sometimes brainstorming can be very rewarding! Some examples of side niches can be if you are a web designer start looking into what you can offer to the public, maybe be a guest lecturer at the local school. There are many options it just takes efficient thinking and planning.
5. Update your own blog/website
As i’m sure most of you who do web designing are likely to have a portfolio, and even a blog. This can be a good time to take a look at your website and find ways to enhance it and update it. When you are busy it’s hard to find the time to do this so why not take care of it during the slow time?
If you are looking for new clients and readers, creating new content is and updating your website is very important. People want to see activity, and if your clients start to notice your website is going stale, than they may think that so is your service. Write a few posts and schedule yourself on publishing them overtime, it will feel great when you have the content ready and all you have to do is click on publish!
6. Update your portfolio
Have a look at your portfolio, make sure that your best and most recent projects are on there. Remove any project that you think may be old and not up to date. Your portfolio is your selling point, therefore you should always keep it up to date to showcase your skills.
7. Have a look at your overall efficiency
Look at past goals and see if you have reached them or not. Find new programs and routines to work even more efficient. Read up on freelancer related blogs and write down new tips to things you haven’t tried before.
8. Make plans for the future
Set goals for the future, preferably in numbers. That way it’s easier to see if you meet them or not later on. If your goal is $25,000 a year for example, break it down to months, weeks or days for easier evaluation. Set plans for looking into other things mentioned in this article, like side-niches, the possibility to sell stocks and so on.
9. Enhance Your Skills
In most markets the evolution is at high pace. It’s always a good thing to take some time researching what’s out there plus reading up on new trends and related topics. Online resources are endless but don’t forget to read books and magazines as well. I spend a lot of time watching video tutorials related to programs I use, followed by practising what I just saw being done. It’s never a bad thing to devote some time into getting better at what you do.
You will never come to the point where you are perfect but you can always get better than what you are. So don’t let the lack of projects stop you from working with the programs you have.
10. Contact recent clients
This tip is one of the tips that many freelancers forget, but those who remember it often succeed. Contact clients you’ve worked for in the past and hear how they are. Many times this contact from you reminds them of things they have that need to be done.
They will also most likely love the fact that you remember them and keep in touch. As long as you don’t cross the line of seeming desperate and annoying this tip can be what gets you that extra project you need right now.
What do you do during slow times to keep yourself busy?