The COVID pandemic is hitting freelancers hard. Either their work has dried up completely, or their clients are driving them down on price as their budgets contract.
It’s a tough time; one that many companies won’t survive. But it’s not all doom and gloom.
I wrote the following post a few years ago. Considering the times we’re currently living through, I thought it would be good to go back and revisit a few of the ideas.
Who knows? It could give you a few ideas about how to get your freelance business back on track.
Freelance Work Drought – How to Deal With it
I’ve been working as a freelance copywriter since 2007.
Over those years, I’ve been relatively lucky and not had too many periods of ‘work drought’.
That is a phenomenon that every freelancer will experience at some point during his or her career.
When it does happen, it’s not because you’ve suddenly become terrible 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 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 meant 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 several 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.
Author: Sally Ormond, Briar Copywriting Ltd