What to Do on the Slow Days

slow-daysFreelancing can get quite busy, and as they say, when it rains, it pours.

I’ve read a lot of articles about how to freelance effectively, and different approaches you can take to get things done for your clients in a timely manner… But, what about when things are dead, and you really cannot find much to do?

Well here are a few things I like to do to keep busy when things aren’t particularly busy during a day or two during the week… Or, if I’m unlucky, a whole week.

Six Freelancing Tasks for Slow Days

Here are six freelancing tasks for slow days:

  1. Writing blog entries, articles or other social related writing. Take time out during the day to keep up with social media such as Twitter, Facebook, Dribbble, or other applications can be great, but writing short articles for your own personal blog can be good for generating interest toward your business. Writing articles for other sites that pertain toward your general career can also help draw awareness of presence and point the readers toward your personal website and potentially get you some referral clients, which could help occupy those slow days.
  2. Take some time out of your day to learn something new. The web world is RAPIDLY changing every day, and learning new techniques to keep yourself above or caught up with the rest of the field could only do wonders for your future business. HTML5, CSS3, Font Replacement, etc. There are many ways to improve your designs, or even frameworks to improve your productivity for future projects. For you designers out there, maybe learning some new techniques, a new program to spice up your designs, or maybe just sit down with a pad and a pencil and get back to the old days before you got into digital design, and sketch some still life, or sit in a public place and do some character sketches.
  3. Financials. Sometimes while you are busy during the week, and or weekend depending on your flow, you might be behind in your billing, or even paying out to others you have recruited as contractors. If you have the money laying around, you could make someone else’s day by sending them a payment, or you could remind someone of the work you have done and not yet received payment. Sending account statements along with a polite reminder email can be great for motivating clients to fork out some much need moula. If you are having an issue receiving money from a client, another great way to motivate them is by sending some snail mail. Snail mail is harder for a client to delete, or move to another folder and forget about the fact that they even received it. It’s a greatly effective way to do your billing.
  4. Personal Projects. Every freelancer should have a personal project to work on. It’s a great way to play around with code, designs, or new things. Depending on the project, it could even be a great way to bring in a little extra cash here and there to put toward savings, or equipment upgrades, etc. Taking time during your slow days to go update your projects, or maybe brainstorm some new features can be a great way to increase the productivity on your personal project.
  5. Marketing. Marketing is a huge deal when you are running a business. The reason why the day is slow could be due to a lack of marketing and awareness. There are many ways to generate awareness; you could attend local chamber meetings, business networking groups, etc. Social networking is a great way to get the word out as well. Being busy for the last solid month could have played a part in the lack of time you have had to put toward marketing yourself as a business and drawing in potential clients or leads.
  6. Client Appreciation and upselling. When was the last time you followed up with your current clients? Maybe it’s time to give ol’ John Doe a call and reminding him that you exist and that you have not forgotten about him. Maybe suggest new services, some updates, or depending on how long the client has been with you, a fresh new design for their precious website. Upselling some updates to a client could be a good way to occupy your day; you could even set up a meeting and put in some much needed face time to induce sales or possible referrals from that client.

Clients LOVE to know that you are still thinking about them. Don’t push them too hard or that could hamper your potential for future business or referrals. Be nice, grateful and just give them a nice follow up call.

What I Did on My Slow Day

These are just a few things you could do that are business related to keep your day going when you are looking around for something to do. If it’s that sort of day, maybe it’s a good time to get out of the office and go for a jog in the park, walk your dog, do some window shopping, or take a loved one out for a nice lunch or dinner.

Just because your day is slow doesn’t mean that you need to sit around and be a slug all day… There are plenty of things you could do to keep things going. I’m writing this article after all. Yep, today is my slow day. Thanks for reading. I’m off for a walk now to enjoy the sunshine!

What About You?

What do you do during the slow times?

Share in the comments.

Image by donabelandewen