Summer is here, summer is here! It’s my favorite time of the year, but for many people it’s the slowest time for their freelance business. It depends on the industry, but oftentimes your clients and potential clients are taking time off in the summer. The summer slowdown has begun for some of you. But even if summer isn’t your slowest time, you probably do have slow times throughout the year. These are the ideal times for a marketing and networking push—all those things you’ve been meaning to do but never seem to have time for. Now is the time. In this episode, I go through six tips of things you can do to find more work when times are slow.
DELIBERATE FREELANCER SHOW NOTES
6 Tips to Get More Work during Slow Periods:
1. Contact your previous and current clients.
I make a list of the clients I’ve worked with in the past year. You can even go back 2–3 years to pull out those clients you loved working with and/or who paid really well.
2. Plan for the year in seasons.
At the beginning of the fall, winter, spring and summer, I think about how much work I need to line up, but I also consider my personal and professional commitments. Combined with tip #1, I look ahead throughout that season and then email my current editors to let them know I’m available. In May, I emailed several editors the following: “I wanted to check in and see if you needed some freelance writing in the next month or so. I have some availability in June and particularly in July and would love to write another feature for you.”
3. Reach out to your network.
This is where networking and relationship building with fellow creatives is so important. I believe there’s enough work for everyone, and I know plenty of people who—when they get too busy or are offered a project that is just not a good fit for them—connect that client with another freelancer they know. I do this myself. It also shows the client how helpful you are. You are solving a problem for them.
4. Up your marketing game.
While this sounds obvious, most of us don’t do enough marketing, and downtimes are the perfect time for it. Start by reaching out to potential clients you’ve connected with in the past, who, for whatever reason, never sent work your way. Now is a good time to create a spreadsheet of all these people; collect all those names that are scattered in various places—from business cards, previous email conversations or LinkedIn connections—and put them into one spreadsheet.
5. Volunteer in your industry.
Give presentations. Volunteer for conferences. Offer to write blog posts. Ask to be a podcast guest. It builds your network.
6. Host a solo business retreat.
A solo business retreat is a time for reflection, to ask yourself big questions: Where does my freelance business stand? Where do I want it to go? What new type of work do I want to pursue? What old type of work do I want to get rid of? It can also be a time to focus on getting new work.
Jennifer Goforth Gregory’s book, “The Freelance Content Marketing Writer: Find your perfect clients, Make tons of money and Build a business you love.”
Episode 4 of Deliberate Freelancer: Work Only with Nice Clients, with Jennifer Goforth Gregory
Episode 3 of Deliberate Freelancer: Host a Solo Business Retreat