What should freelancers do during slow periods with little work?
Slow periods with little work, a daunting challenge for any freelancer. It is easy to succumb to the fear of not landing new projects anymore. Depending on your field of expertise, there can be some months when work seems to slow down.
Let us look at some ideas on what you can do when the workload is slow:
Work on your brand
Even though you are an expert at working on your client’s brands (especially in my case as a digital marketer), freelancers have a bad habit of neglecting their own brand. Brand perception is becoming an important decision factor when buyers decide on a purchasing freelance services. During the slow months, It’s a great opportunity to market yourself and to build or update your portfolio to showcase your skills. Using social platforms like YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram give you the opportunity to be creative when promoting yourself. When creating profiles across your various social accounts, ensure consistency in your descriptions, work samples and quality.
Diversify your skill
Diversification is a nice way of mitigating the risk of slow times. When the demand for one service is low, one of your other skills could carry you through. Acquire this alternative skill through completing online courses and practice in your spare time. This makes it easier when your primary skills are not being purchased to keep generating an income.
Keep your profile up to date
It is a boring yet important task for almost all of us, during slow periods update your portfolio to showcase your latest projects and achievements. Keeping your portfolio updated shows your customers you’re progressing by expanding your work, skills and achievements.
Do not stop marketing
Marketing is a never-ending endeavour. When work has slowed keep promoting yourself to potential clients as well as keeping in touch with existing contacts. Keep your communication with customers professional, because well written correspondence shows the customer you’re making the effort to establish and maintain a relationship with them.
Reflect and Improve
During seasons when work is slow, it’s a great idea to perform a retrospective look at your performance and analyse customer feedback. When doing this, take a step back from your bias and step into the shoes of the customer. Identify your areas of improvement and create a game plan on how to achieve the improvement goals. Ensure your goals are measurable. Set milestones to ensure the goals are achieved.
Remember, you are your own boss. You work for yourself and you are the brand. Like every successful organisation, you too need to make the effort to continuously improve. Slow periods when freelancing is more of an opportunity that a loss. Capitalise on this time to mature in both your own character and your quality of delivery to customers.
Lastly, I encourage every freelancer to connect to a community of freelancers. This helps you to share experiences and ask advise from like-minded individuals.