Being a freelancer can be tough.
Sometimes, even with a regular practice of daily marketing, the work is slow and we find ourselves staring at our monitor with nothing to do.
Instead of sending out another 50 cold emails to prospective clients today, try some of these valuable business tasks that get pushed to the side when we have too much on our plate:
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Teach a course
If you’re looking for another way to make money without much involvement, create a video-based course and sell it on Udemy, Skillshare, or a similar website.
Contact local schools and business centers and offer to teach a course or hold a workshop. Not only will you find potential clients through some of these, you’re also helping the community. And some places may have paid teaching opportunities you can take advantage of.
Update your marketing materials
How outdated is your website, business card, portfolio or printed materials? Now’s the time to do some spring marketing cleaning. Be sure to read 20 Stunning design portfolios you MUST see before (re)designing yours.
Call your clients on the phone
In a world full of text messaging, email and Slack chat, we forget to pick up the phone and reach out to people. Call your clients and spend some time connecting with them. If they’re local, invite them for a cup of coffee or lunch date.
Upgrade your skills
Take a class on Adobe SpeedGrade or the latest hand lettering techniques. Go to a design conference. Software and trends are changing all the time. Invest in learning more. It’s the one thing we can do to be the best at what we do.
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Just be careful: if you’re learning too much and not working enough on your business, you’re not headed in the right direction. Remember, learning a ton may not fix your broken business, but this will.
Find a passion project
Maybe you’ve always been drawn to a cause but never had the time to volunteer. Why not now?
Even better if you can find a way to merge your business goals with personal volunteer goals. Maybe you can design a website for a local non-profit which could keep your skills sharp and potentially bring you new business.
This is one of those tasks I wish I had done in January when my business was slow.
Create and schedule a monthly newsletter to go out to your clients. It works wonders for keeping your name in front of people. You can keep it personal and effective even though you write them all at once and schedule them out.
To get really advanced, try setting up a drip campaign through a service like MailChimp (free up to 2,000 subscribers) so your clients are getting the right email in the right order at all times.
Do a business audit
We’re coming to the end of the 1st quarter of this year. Compare your income goals against your actual business and see how it stacks up. Falling short? Focus on profit and explore where you can cut your expenses.
Clean out old client files. Archive work older than a year. Defrag your hard drive. Clean out your computer “junk drawer” (mine is a folder called Misc stuff where I throw things I don’t have a place for). Delete old emails.
A bonus if you can find lots of good stuff to sell on marketplaces like Envato or CreativeMarket.
What did I leave out?
This list is by no means complete. What do you like to do when things are slow? We’d love to hear about it in the comments!
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