Freelance work always comes in waves. You’ll be the talk of the town one week, and then there will be nothing but silence in your inbox the next. Freelance dry spells are almost inevitable. So what is there to do during the down time?
Keep a Schedule
Even without regular work, you should be keeping to a regular schedule. Wake up at the same time every morning, get ready for work, then get settled in front of your desk.
Even if there is nothing for you to do at a normal, 9-5, you’ll still be expected to show up, at least for a bit. This will give you time to seek out work, touch up your portfolio and resume, and still leave you with a potential free afternoon binge watching on Youtube.
Have some other friends that you know in the business? If you are a freelance writer, and have met a few other freelance writers, then why not get in contact with them? They might have a few ideas for your dry spell, a little extra work to throw your way (since you have nothing better to do), or might even be able to throw you a bone.
Get in touch with old clients that you haven’t heard from in a while and offer them a 10% discount. You never know what kind of business you can drum up just by keeping in touch.
When you’re super busy, your desk probably reflects it. If your desk is loaded down with papers, books, pens and other nonsense, it may be time for some cleaning. Make sure to file away important documents, straighten up the bookshelves, and don’t forget to dust!
Play with your Portfolio
How long has it been since you read over your website, your blog, your social media site, or your portfolio? If it has been a while, you may want to just make sure all of your information is completely up to date. Old dates and obviously outdated information will make you look less professional and might scare off a few clients.
There are so many places to take short, informational courses; you never know what you might learn. There are Photoshop courses in Udemy, SEO classes at Skillshare, and even writing courses on Youtube. And all of these are very cheap or free. You’ll never be short of something to do by learning new things!
Look After Your Business
Are you charging enough? Is your blog professional enough? Should you change your Facebook page to reflect the new niches you’re hoping to start leaning towards? A free few hours can help you to evaluate your business model, and see if your plan could use a few tweaks. Ask your colleagues or professional friends what they think of what you are doing. You never know where great advice can come from.
You also need to consider if you have a contract in place that you use with your clients. If you have been burnt in the past from a client not paying you or asking too much, then you should consider updating your contract so you can use it for all your clients over and over again.
Add to Your Portfolio
Even a spare hour you have is a spare hour you could spend on expanding your portfolio. Don’t waste it!
Take Some Time Off
Maybe you’ve been working too hard. Perhaps you can look for more work tomorrow? Take the day and go out. Go to the movie, bowling or just take a stroll. When was the last time you playing Daytona USA? Or perhaps you can volunteer. Maybe take a fitness class at the gym you have never taken.
There is a whole world out there, and you can tackle your work problems tomorrow.