When A Dry Spell Happens
Dry spells happen to the even the best freelancers. The perks of freelancing are that you can work from anywhere, you set your own hours and you can work on projects that you choose and love. The big downside is that work isn’t always steady. Out of the blue, you can lose a client that was a big chunk of your income and you don’t know when or how long it will take to make that back. In those moments, you can feel scared and insecure, so much so that it can be enough to make you want to leave freelancing altogether. Before making rash decisions, here are nine things you can do to get you out of your dry spell and help build up your freelance career for the long term.
1. Update Your Portfolio
If you have been working steadily for months or even a few years. Your portfolio may not reflect a lot of recent work that you have done and new skills that you have acquired. Now is the perfect time to give your portfolio a makeover. If you have a blog or website, do some house cleaning and make sure everything is looking it’s best.
2. Increase Your Personal Brand
As a freelancer, your online presence is your brand and represents your business. Just like your portfolio may need some updates so may your personal brand. Refresh your profile pictures and social media backgrounds to reflect your style which can help you stand out in your niche. If you don’t think you have a brand, now would be a perfect time to develop one.
3. Beef Up Your Social Media
If you want to get in front of new clients, then your social media needs to be top notch. If you haven’t been posting in months, take the time to plan out a calendar and pre schedule content for 3-4 months. Work on growing your followers everyday. This will pay dividends to take your career to the next level. Learn some good habits to stay on top of your social media and post consistently.
4. Use Freelance Sites To Start Looking For Work
Once you have overhauled your online presence and portfolio, you can start putting out the word that you have room to take on another client. Sites like UpWork, Freelancer and Guru will have dozens of new jobs posted every few hours. It will take some work but if you have the right skills you will find the right client.
5. Build Your Email List
If you have never collected emails before, now is the time to start. Learn how to collect emails and then put those emails to use by sending out email campaigns. This is what will keep your freelance business healthy in the long run. Maintaining that ongoing connection, offering new services and turning leads into clients is good practice to help you prevent future slow periods. It is worth the time and investment to learn how to do this. A program like Mailchimp is easy to use, free and has a great blog that teaches you how to build your list and market your services.
6. Go To Networking Events
Search Facebook or Google to look for networking events in your area. Many are free or very affordable. It is best if you have some business cards too. If you don’t yet, Vista Print is an excellent source for great looking cards at a reasonable price and they usually deliver within a few days. You can look for potential business opportunities at these events, collect other people’s cards and add to your email list.
7. Put Out A Social Media Campaign
If you were ever wondering why you needed social media to begin with as a freelancer, this is when it is particularly useful. Let your followers know that you are open for more business! You can create a snappy post on Canva for free, offering your services and getting the word out there. Remember, even though you are one person, probably working from home, you are still a business and need to generate sales just like one. Learning how to sell your services online is an important part of developing a financially successful freelance career.
8. Learn A New Skill
Have you been wanting to beef up your skill set but haven’t had the time? Well now you do. Whether it’s learning code or SEO. You can improve your freelancing career by adding new skills. There are hundreds or courses online or you can always head to YouTube and do it the cheap and cheerful way by searching for free tutorials and teaching yourself.
9. Review Your Business
Have you been jumping from one project to the next without reviewing your business model? Many freelancers don’t think of themselves as business owners and as a result don't implement smart business practices, like having a performance review. One reason is that you are the only person that is there and it is assumed that you know all the details. However, that isn’t always the case. It is easy to lose track of expenses; subscribing to too many services and overpaying for internet are a few examples. How do you deal with your clients? How quickly do you respond to their questions? Can you do better? Can you offer them new services or upgrade them somehow? Do you feel the work you have been doing is the best it could be? Reflect on why you are going through a slow period too. Do not put your head in the sand and ignore warning signs. Taking advantage of a slow period to improve your business is one of the best things that you can do for yourself for the long run.
Most importantly don’t lose confidence and be a little patient. If you were able to get these clients before, you can do it again. We hope these nine tips will get you back on your feet in no time. For more tips and advice look through our blog and if you like it, don't forget to share the love!