How to survive the holiday season as a freelancer
Holidays are the best…until you realise your clients have stopped booking work with you and your cashflow is drying up. Ahh the life of a freelancer. Here are a few tips to help you cruise through Christmas and the silly season and avoid that panic button come January.
Reach out to clients early
Remind your clients that you exist. Even if you haven’t been in touch with them for a while, now is the perfect time to check in. Simply ask how they’ve been, share a quick summary of great projects you’ve recently completed and ask “Do you need anything like this completed before Christmas or know anyone who does?” As long as you sound genuine this isn’t too big of an ask. Plus if you’ve had a good working relationship in the past they would be happy to see you doing well now.
Get social IRL
Yep, it’s time to step away from the computer and get your lovely face in front of friends, ex colleagues, fellow freelancers and potential clients. As the end of the year winds up and the mood lightens, it’s a great time to enjoy a drink and learn more about people around you. It’s amazing who you can meet at a random networking event or party (I’ve met some of my best clients in odd places like toilet lines and clothes rack sales)! Our monthly event guides curate our top picks for freelancers, so be sure to pick a couple and get social!
Stash some cash
Practical but important. Most corporate businesses will be taking 2 weeks off which means no invoices are getting paid, no new work is getting approved and you are left to survive on the cash you have stashed. Act like a bear preparing for hibernation, turn the gears up a little to deliver extra work come October, November and December before holidays begin. And make sure you have enough to pay yourself over Christmas and New Years. Remember no one bolts straight out of the gates in January, so we recommend saving a months pay in advance will help you enjoy the festivities too!
Organise your time
While you are heads down on client work, the holiday season can sneak up on you. There are lots of fun things happening…dinners, drinks, events, networking and your calendar keeps filling up! But suddenly you realise you haven’t done enough work to get you through! If your diary isn’t already your best friend, now is the time to cosy up. Block out times to do client work, times to be social, and times to plan ahead! Set limits on client calls and make sure you are doing things proactively rather than reactively like booking clients into the new year. This will help you avoid any nasty surprises during Christmas time when you should be kicking back and enjoy a bubbly with your friends and family.
Complete quick online jobs
While the pay may not be the greatest, if you have a few spots open or just want to help boost your cash stash, it doesn’t hurt to have a browse through online platforms like Upwork or Freelancer. You might find a couple of sneaky fast turnaround jobs to fill up your end of the year calendar.
Utilise the down time
When the inbox slows down and the phone stops ringing, use your time wisely. The Christmas season is a perfect opportunity to take a step back, look at what you’ve achieved and set yourself goals for the year to come. And if you prefer to save your goals for the new year, why not use the holiday time to tackle a project you’ve been pushing aside. Things like updating your website, refreshing your social media pages, planning your blogging calendar or tidying up that out of control desktop will make you feel energetically fresh and ready for the New Year!
Rest & recharge
Last but not least, give yourself permission to stop, take a rest, and recharge. Put that out of office on (at least for a few days) and don’t feel bad about switching off. Rest is equally as important as the hustle and will only help you bounce into the New Year with a fresh & vibrant energy that clients won’t be able to resist.
Of course there are other things you can do to market yourself during Christmas time, but I’ll save that for another post. How do you survive the holiday season? Leave a comment below.