Freelance work drought


I’ve been working as a freelance copywriter since 2007.

Over the years I’ve been relatively lucky and not had too many periods of ‘work drought’.

That is a phenomenon that, as a freelancer, you will experience at some point during your career.

When it does happen it’s not because you’ve suddenly become really bad at what you do – although it’s tempting to think that way – it’s just the way life goes.

Working on your own, when you’re busy you’re so focused on hitting your deadlines that you don’t have time to concentrate on your own marketing.

As a result, when your current projects come to an end you’re suddenly sat twiddling your thumbs trying to work out what happened.

What should you do?

Don’t despair – you’re not alone.

You could take advantage of the downtime and get all those other jobs done that you’ve been meaning to do.

You could hibernate on the sofa catching up on your favourite box set until the next job lands in your inbox.

Of you could be a bit more proactive.

Generating new leads

One method of drumming up new work is to get out to your local networking events if you like that sort of thing.

You could also use this time to catch up on your blogging and social media marketing. OK, that might not generate work, but at least you’re being constructive.

Another way to generate new leads is to compile a list of 100 companies that you would love to work with.

Then, once you’ve researched them and found the right contact person, write the best sales letter you’ve ever written that outlines why they should hire you.

Personalise the letter and enclose some case studies or a report – anything that will add value to the recipient and show them why they should hire you.

And make sure it’s a physical letter rather than an email. It will make you stand out.

Of course, it’s important not to just write one and leave it at that. Write a follow-up one that you can send a month later, then, if you have time, follow up with a phone call. Suggest taking them out for a coffee for a chat – anything that will get a conversation started with them.

Yes, it’s a lot of work, but it could pay off. Plus, you will get to work with a company you’ve always wanted to work with.

Use your lulls to your advantage

No freelancer is busy 100% of the time.

They all have quiet periods, even if they have a number of retainer clients. It doesn’t take much to lose one of those especially with the economic pressures we’re all facing at the moment.

The one thing to remember is not to panic when it happens to you.

Don’t hide yourself away or rock slowly in the corner as you bemoan the fact that the little empire you built for yourself is tumbling down; it’s not.

Be proactive and see it as an opportunity to grow your business further.