How Should a Freelancer Deal with Dry Spells?
As much as there are days filled with jobs, jobs and more jobs, there are also some terribly dry days in freelancing. One freelancer calls it the land of Peaks and Pits. The peaks are those never –ending days filled with jobs, while the pits are those days where it feels like you’re non-existent.
Here are some tips to help you navigate through this befuddling period:
1. You’re Not Alone
The first step in handling these days is to know that it isn’t an affront on your skills. It doesn’t mean you’re poor at whatever you’re doing. Just like rivers have seasons of flow and ebb, freelancing also has periods when work is in the ebb phase. The truth is that it happens to even the best of us, perhaps it’ll be more evident if most of us had co-working spaces where we all resumed for our individual work, then we’ll know that dry spells are more common than we think they are. The theme is that you’re not alone!
2. Save, when you have consistent jobs
Let’s face it, the reason we’re so keen on having that constant flow of jobs is because of the cash involved. But what if you could deal with this so that it doesn’t ever become an issue? Here’s how: there’s something called a savings account. I know you haven’t forgotten about that basic knowledge, but I also hope you haven’t forgotten how to utilize your savings account. I get the fact that after working really hard to make some cash, and you are able to finally get that job off your neck, the next impulse you might have is “Lets spend some money as we paint this town red!!!” Hey, before you go burning that cash, remember that next month is around the corner, and you might not have as many jobs as you had at hand in the preceding month. So what should you do? Save.\
3. Network, even when you have back-to-back jobs
When it comes to networking, I’ll be the first to admit that I’m no pro. However, it is something I’m coming to appreciate more and more on a daily basis. For some people, being social on social media (I get that this is what social media is all about, in theory) isn’t an issue but for a couple of us, we are recluses attending therapeutic sessions to help us function as human beings instead of aliens (that description might be a little overboard, but I hope I made my point). Therefore, we find it easier to totally forget about networking when jobs are pouring in, only to find out that we are still recluses when we don’t have those jobs! If you have to (as I have to, sometimes), force yourself into a gathering of like-minded people. I tell you, from experience, that it is one of the best steps you could ever take for your freelance career. Not only do you have people to talk to who understand what you do, but you also have potential referrers of clients.
I know I love the word “rejuvenate”, but can we agree that it has a certain cute ring to it? (Pronounce it aloud, and give me some feedback, will ya?). When you had a lot of jobs, remember how you said you needed time to relax? Well, this is the universe’s magnanimous way of telling you that you’ve got all the time you need to relax. Instead of whining, just take a deep breath and begin to plan ways to spend this time that you do have, because who knows when next you’ll have such time?
5. Reach out to previous clients
It is almost always easier to retain old customers than to find new ones, because you’d have already established trust with them and thus, it becomes easier to work with you/ for you to work with them. If they have new jobs, reaching out to them makes it easier to employ your services and as well, if they have friends who might need your services, a referral might be in line.
And that’s how to deal with the dreaded dry spells as a freelancer. How do you deal with dry spells? Tell me in the comment section. I’d be glad to add to my repertoire of knowledge about handling such a situation.