I can’t look for more freelance work. It’s not because I’ve got a lot of work on my plate or I gave up looking for projects to work on. I’m literally forced not to look for more work. Have you ever experienced something similar before?
There are plenty of reasons that could cause you to put your freelancing business on hold. A family emergency, college, having a baby, moving out of your old apartment, relocating, and traveling are just some of the many things that can force you to keep your working hands on your lap. In my case, it’s college this September.
Turn “Unavailable” into “Under Renovation”
But then I realized that just because I can’t expand my freelancing career with more client work doesn’t mean I can’t do anything to promote it further.
Instead of looking at the break in projects with an evil eye, I intend to grab it as an opportunity to give my business a much-needed overhaul. In my opinion, that’s better than wallowing in sorrow over the missed opportunities.
With good time management, dedication, and a solid plan for a relaunch, I’m sure anyone who’s had to put freelancing on hold can get back on their feet with more knowledge and provide more business value than they did at first.
Promote Your Business While It Is on Hold
Here are seven great ideas that you can do whenever you find yourself unable to take on freelance work:
- Continue providing quality work. If you’re currently working on a couple of projects, don’t let the quality slip away. Continue to provide the same quality of service that your present clients expect from you until the contract is over. Once it’s done, let your clients know that you’ll remember to inform them the next time you are available again. If they love your work, they’ll probably refer you to other people as well.
- Reconnect with yourself. Being too busy with client projects, I almost forgot what it was like to write for myself again. Now that I’ve got more free time, I’m able to reconnect with the inner me, get back in touch on my passions, and enjoy writing all over again. And because I love writing again, that passion can be seen once more in my work.
- Start a new project (or two). Have you been wanting to start a self-made project, but couldn’t make it happen because of a lot of client work coming in? Well, now that you’ve got more time on your hands, perhaps this is the perfect opportunity to start making magic. You can then use the project as a new portfolio piece or turn it into a new source of income.
- Polish your skills. Lack of practice and application can leave your freelance skills dull and old. Take this time to polish them up again by taking an online course, trying out a new technique, or keeping your skills sharp through that new project we just talked about.
- Learn more. Reading the best books or learning from renowned experts of your field are good ways to learn and stay in touch with what’s going on in the industry. Blogs, online news, and social media are popular gold mines for new knowledge, so pick up your pickaxe and start mining away.
- Keep networking online and offline. Even without client work to busy yourself with, you can still promote your freelance business by interacting with other people. Join communities, engage in conversation, share your thoughts about interesting blog posts, and help others out. In the long run you gain trust and relationships, which are vital when running a freelance business.
- Plan out your freelance business relaunch. I’m sure that after learning new things, sharpening your skills, and getting to know more people in your industry, you’ve gained some new ideas for your business that could really work at relaunch. Plan them all out carefully and see how you can introduce these new ideas to the market, especially to your future clients.
Letting Go Isn’t an Option
Letting my freelance career go and disappear into the vortex of cyber-mystery is not an option for me, so I went ahead and planned out what I was going to do to keep my freelancing career afloat while finishing my degree.
For now, I’m reading the international edition of The Elements of Style by Strunk Jr. and White, which is an excellent book for writers. Apart from reading, I try to connect with fellow freelancers, blog regularly, and have just started on a second personal project.
I’m doing all this with one main goal in mind, and that’s to relaunch my freelancing career with better business practices, higher quality work, and a stable income.
Let’s hear from you now. Have you ever been in a situation that’s forced you to stop taking more freelance work? What did you do to use the extra time?
Image by benimoto