It’s been forever since I updated the blog, as it’s been quite hectic on my end. Between a massive workload of freelancing work and some recent family health issues, I’ve been putting my personal site on the back burner. In any case I had the urge to write some personal articles so you might see a flurry of posts over the next couple of weeks.
It’s been over a year now since I quit full-time management position in the newspaper industry to pursue a career in freelancing. Obviously I was looking to reduce the amount of stress in my life and do something I enjoyed doing. While it was a tough go to start, I am actually one of the lucky individuals who has been able to build a client base that keeps me consistently busy. It took about six months to accomplish this but since achieving this I have been able to turn away work I didn’t particularly care for as well as increase my rates for new customers.
Over the next few days I’d like to write about things I have learned over the past year as a freelance writer and Internet marketer. The first tip I have for my fellow freelancers or those looking to get into the market has to do with looking ahead at your work schedule and filling in the gaps before they arrive. At any point in time I could be juggling 7 to 8 projects amongst my various clients. I devised a spreadsheet that allows me to see what I have scheduled, how far I am into the project and what the client’s due date is. Each morning I review my project spreadsheet to see what areas I need to concentrate on to achieve these existing deadlines.
The other thing that I look for when reviewing the spreadsheet is potential gaps in my schedule. Nothing can kill the revenue stream like having nothing scheduled beyond your current workload so I will actually offer slight discounts to fill in that time rather then not having anything to complete. I get in touch with some of my regular customers via instant messenger or email asking if there’s anything they’re looking at getting completed. I also take a look back at quotes that I’ve submitted to potential clients in the past, sharpen the pencil and see if I can get that initial order. I know once I get them on for the first job, they generally come back for something else. In fact, 93% of people I’ve worked for have asked me to complete more then a single job. This is a statistic I’m very proud of.
In summary, don’t leave yourself in a position where you have nothing to do. Always look a few weeks ahead and make sure you have adequate work to keep you busy.