Today we’re talking about how you can avoid a freelancing drought during the holiday season. After all, this time of year can be a little frustrating when you can’t rely on a regular paycheck, and heaven knows we freelancers don’t have the benefit of a regular paycheck.
The biggest reason that freelancers have so little to do during this time of year is because the people who hire us have other priorities right now.
- They have lives and families of their own, and oftentimes they are distracted during the holidays.
- The budget has run out for the year, so they won’t be back around until next year’s funds have been allocated.
- Their business has also slowed down because of the holidays, so they just don’t have as much freelance work available.
We have found that one of the best ways to get through the season is to have steady clients who are already on a set schedule. For example, we have clients who require a certain number of blog posts a month. December is a month, so they still required those blog posts. Another client sends us a set number of SEO articles each week. This pattern was established before the holidays ever rolled around, so they’re already “trained” to follow through, despite the fact that it might be that weird week between Christmas and New Year’s Day.
As with most things that work, having these kinds of steady clients requires preparation, and you have to do a lot of work before the holiday season actually arrives. That way everything’s already in place.
Plan Ahead to Make Sure You are Busy Freelancing during the Holidays
If you’ve been freelancing for long, you are probably all too familiar with the phrase “feast or famine.” Of course, that refers to the fact that it seems like freelance business is either a) booming or b) nonexistent at any given point in time. It feels like there’s never really a happy medium.
I have another suggestion that requires you to plan a little in advance. I’ll use myself as an example for this one.
Back at the end of October, I had an old client approach me about an info product he wanted to create. I’ve worked with this guy before and know that he isn’t the kind who needs everything yesterday, so I offered him a choice. I could get the project on my calendar and have it done for him within a couple of weeks.
Or, I could do it for him in December. For $150 less.
I know that some freelancers are good about planning their schedules out for a couple of months in advance, but I highly suspect that the majority of us do not work that way. In my experience, most clients don’t want to wait too long. Besides, I’m the kind of person who really likes to get things finished. It can be hard to have things floating out there in the future.
On the other hand, if I know that those things are set to happen at a time of year when I would normally have no income, then I’m willing to make the sacrifice. The client is thrilled because he got a great deal, and I’m happy because I absolutely know that I’m not going to go starving in December.
By the way, if you are one of those freelancers who plans your calendar out for a couple of months in advance, I would love to hear how you do that. I’m always open to learning new things, after all!
Try Something New to Revitalize Your Freelance Business during the Holidays
Another option for creating business at this time of year is to consider opening yourself up to new types of projects. Perhaps you’ve spent a lot of time this year writing SEO articles, and you feel kind of “safe” doing that. If your clients start to neglect their websites a bit this time of year, then the work might dry up. Why not look for other gigs that can utilize your skills. Look at job listings you would normally skim over. You might even find a new niche that really works for you. If not, you’ll at least open your options for work during the slower times.
If you normally focus on bigger projects, like books and info products, consider putting that knowledge to use by answering ads for article writing. This works the other way, too. If you usually write articles, why not consider bidding on an e-book? If you have experience proofreading websites, you might consider taking those skills to print media.
Basically, the idea is to step outside of your comfort zone a bit. That can be really hard to do, and we often need some sort of external motivation to give new things a try. Perhaps a holiday-induced slump in your freelance business is just the kick in the pants that you needed.