[A collaboration post – all thoughts are my own.]
I’ve been freelancing for two years and a half now and there are times when my freelance work is slow. As you know, freelance work allows you the freedom to choose what type of work you want to do and how much time you have for that certain project. On the other hand, there are no guarantees that any freelance jobs will come your way or that they will pay well if they do come your way.
I used to panic every time I find myself with all jobs delivered and absolutely nothing new on the horizon. It’s in this moment that even the most seasoned freelancer can lose confidence and spiral into negativity. There’s often that little moment where emails stop coming in and things have gone quiet. I have been there many a time!
Nowadays I try to embrace the slower times I have. So when you find yourself coming down from a peck into one of these valleys, here are 6 things you can do when your freelance work is slow and help you get more work coming down your funnel.
Pitch More Jobs
One thing you can do when your freelance work is slow is to pitch more jobs. Just because you’re having a quiet moment, doesn’t mean your clients are. This can be a great time to pitch potential new clients or reconnect with old clients.
Use this time to create a new pitch template, draft a list of dream brands to approach, generate some ideas to lead with, and get your name out there as much as you can. Look on job search sites, LinkedIn jobs, Fiverr, Proz, and Twitter to find other work opportunities. You never know what opportunities you can create by actively putting yourself out there.
Build New Skills
Is there something you’ve wanted to learn but haven’t had time for? This could mean taking online courses, reading blogs about your niche, or even practicing your art in your spare time. When your freelance work is slow, learning a new skill is a great way to make more money. This doesn’t mean you’ll give up your current line of freelance work to start another. A new skill can improve your current work or be used to earn money as a side gig, like me: I use my writing skill to create a blog when my translator job is slow.
Leveling up your skillset not only provides something to occupy your time during a quiet season but adding new skills to your freelance life will also give you something fresh to offer clients and potentially lead to new types of work for you as well.
Update Your Profile
I just updated my LinkedIn profile and add some professional experiences. A lot of time might have passed since you last updated your online profiles. You might need to update your LinkedIn profile, your Twitter account as well as your business Facebook page if you have one, along with your Instagram and Pinterest accounts should have current info.
If you’re planning to expand your international career, you might as well need to update your files like a certified academic evaluation and translation of your college transcript that complies with the American University System’s standards. Now that you have more time on your hands, maybe you can modify your offline and online profile to be better written.
Work on Your Blog
I’m sure freelancer has their own blog, right? Like me, I have this blog as my portfolio and a side gig as well. One of the easiest ways to find more work is by updating your portfolio and website. If your freelance work is slow, then it’s time to improve your site so that potential clients can see what makes you great and why they should work with you.
As a beginner, you don’t have to build an expensive blog, there are plenty of tools available online which allow you to create a website for free. The better your freelance blog, the more likely you will attract clients with it. Find out here how to create a professional-looking blog.
I feel it helps to regularly be sharing new content and keeping my online platforms fresh and up to date. I’ve taken to scheduling website updates during times when I have less translation work.
Revamp Your Workplace
In early May, I bought a lot of storage to keep my books and stationary looking more … organized. My addiction to stationery and books has taken up a lot of space in my room. Take some time to reorganize your work area and find new ways of working that might be more efficient for you. Try new techniques or how you layout your desk. I like to keep a pen and paper or sticky notes nearby for when inspiration strikes.
Depending on your working habits, your workplace is probably the first thing that will have an impact on your productivity. So it’s important to keep things in order and tidy up a little if needed. This can help prevent any boredom from creeping in when your freelance work is slow.
I added watching motivational videos to my morning and evening routine. During quieter periods, I like to give myself time to dive deep into creative research and inspiration hunting: find a topic or a new theme that I really vibe off and find out as much as I can about it. Spending time outdoors is also a good way to get new ideas flowing.
The freelance lifestyle as a whole is one of the greatest benefits of freelancing. When your work is slow, start spending more time with your family, catch on your sleep, revamp your workplace, create a freelance blog, or get inspired. You deserve it, and you’ll return home happier.
When you’re super busy, you may not have time to focus on having an enjoyable lifestyle. So, now is the time to spend your downtime and you’ll be in a better place professionally and mentally when your work speeds up again.
For freelancers out there, I hope your freelance career will always be a feast in the future. Instead of getting discouraged by the slow freelance work, you can take the time to focus on various areas that will help you get back in the groove.
Any tips to find more work or continue building your business? What do you do when you find your freelance work is slow?