Succeeding in freelancing means reacting quickly to what’s going on in the economy. Sales for some freelancers may have slowed a bit this month as clients respond to negative economic news. The reports could signify a lull in the recovery, but you can’t let the worry about the future immobilize you. Here are 5 actions you can take today to add to your freelance income.
1. Update your LinkedIn profile. If you haven’t added to the “skills” section recently, take 5 minutes to check off any new ones you’ve acquired since you created your profile. This will pull you into more searches when people use particular keywords. Also check the Find Jobs section of LinkedIn.
2. Re-connect with a “dormant” client. Occasional customers can become recurring ones if you stay in touch. If any clients have fallen off your radar screen during a busy stretch, send them a note letting them know you’re available. Or better yet, pitch them with new projects.
3. Make some referrals for friends. They may need work, too. And they, in turn, will be likely to return the favor when they hear about opportunities for you.
4. Pitch a new market. Is there a potential client you’ve put off approaching because you’ve been swamped? Now is the time to do it. Slow periods can be a good time to pursue long simmering goals. Say you’ve always wanted to try essay writing. Maybe now is your opportunity to draft that piece you’ve been writing in your head and send it to a potential market.
5. Offer to take on work that’s more “junior” than you usually do. Approach good clients and let them know you’ve just finished a few big projects–and are eager to help with whatever tasks they need to offload, no matter how mundane. Even a seemingly boring fact-checking project can give you an opportunity to demonstrate what you have to offer–and open a pipeline to new projects.
Sitting around worrying about the economy won’t help you. Taking concrete steps every day to build your business will.
What strategies do you use to attract work when the economy hits a bump? We welcome your comments.