Building Your Freelancer Business When You Don't Have Work
Freelancing is amazing. You have flexibility, control over who you work with, and the ability to tailor the work you do to suit yourself. No rigid job descriptions or micro-managing boss for you!
Yet, freelancing has its downsides too. You have to find your own clients – which can be daunting for the less sales-oriented among us. And even when you’ve got lots of clients, your workload can still vary dramatically from week to week.
Great time management skills can help you out when you’re experiencing the crazy, manic busy periods. But what do you do when you have little to no work to do? It’s easy to give in to despair or allow yourself to laze around eating Fruit Loops and binge-watching Netflix. But these are the best times to work on your business instead of in it, and to lay foundations that make you a better freelancer in the future.
Here’s a list of business-building activities you can do:
Get out there and meet new people. You can do this online, and there are benefits to using channels such as LinkedIn to build a network and connect with people, but nothing really beats proper face-to-face networking.
We all know that people like to do business with other people that they know, like and trust. While you can develop that via online channels, it’s a much faster process face-to-face. Networking events also provide a way for you to meet business owners and professionals that you may not have been able to reach online.
Join a coworking space
If you’re not already a member of a coworking space, then you should definitely consider joining one. If you think I’m crazy suggesting that you join a coworking space while you’re having a slow period, then just hear me out.
Coworking spaces are amazing places to network with like-minded professionals who may need your services – or have clients who do. You never know who you’re going to meet there. And when you inevitably enter another of your busy periods, the productivity benefits of working from a coworking space will help you power through that workload in no time.
For freelancers in New Jersey, Office Evolution Hackensack offers the best coworking for serious professionals at a convenient location in the heart of Bergen County just off Route 4. There’s ample parking, and even complimentary tea and Starbucks coffee to enjoy while you network in the community co-working café!
Review your goals
Take a look at the goals you last set for yourself. If you’ve never really written down your goals, this is the perfect time to do so. Sometimes as freelancers, we get so bogged down in the doing that we forget to do the dreaming and the strategy side of things.
Take some time to think about what you really want out of your business. Income levels, flexibility, learning, anything you want to achieve. Write them down and create actionable steps from them that can move you towards those goals.
Hone your pitch
Take a look at your pitch. If it’s not getting you the results you want, maybe it’s time to change it. The best pitches focus on what you can do for the client and how you can solve a unique problem they have. If your pitch reads like a laundry list of qualifications, and how amazing you are – without linking those things very specifically to a problem you can solve for them, then you should definitely rework it.
Once you’ve tweaked your pitch, send it out to as many businesses as you can. Aim high, and don’t let imposter syndrome overwhelm you.
If you struggled with refining your pitch, and were hovering between a couple of different versions, now’s a great time to test them both. Run a test and send one version out on one day, and the second version (to different businesses, of course!) on the second day. Keep track of which was the most successful.
If you sent out pitches in the past and had nothing but crickets in response – now’s the perfect time to follow up! Not hearing back isn’t always indicative that they aren’t interested. They might simply be busy. Send a short, polite and to the point follow up email, reminding them of the value you can bring to their business.
You might be surprised at how many of them are actually interested in your service, even if they didn’t respond to your original pitch.
Do your admin tasks
Now is also a perfect time to look at all of the little tasks that you didn’t have time for before. It might be organizing your files, getting all your records together in preparation for filing your taxes, or reviewing the contract you send out to clients.
Look at your business processes and see if there are ways to tighten some of them up to give you more time during the busy periods.
In all, the slower times can be scary when you’re freelancing – but they’re actually a great time to lay strong foundations for your freelancing future.
At Office Evolution Hackensack, we provide virtual office, coworking, and private office solutions at our shared office center. We offer meeting rooms, offices, hot desking in a shared workspace coworking lounge, a shared reception, a business address, and virtual receptionist services. We have many options and price points, and all terms are flexible. Plus, you become part of a community of like-minded professionals.
Whether you live in Teaneck, Bergenfield, Maywood, Teterboro, Hasbrouck Heights, Moonachie, Little Ferry, Rochelle Park, Dumont, Bogota, River Edge, New Milford, Hackensack, Englewood, Paramus, Tenafly, Fort Lee, and other communities nearby in Bergen and Essex counties, choosing Office Evolution Hackensack in New Jersey will help you be more professional, productive, and profitable.