Experience is the best teacher, so this is bound to be a smash. I give to you: 5 ways freelancers can navigate dry spells.
As I go through my own bit of a lull, these are reminders to myself as much as they are reminders to you.
You’ve found clients before, you’ll find clients again.
The thing about freelancing is that it’s often more stable than a “normal” 9-5 because you have numerous clients, which means if one disappears, you’re not completely without a job.
If you’re smart, no more than a 1/3 of your income comes from one single client. You diversify your investments, so why wouldn’t you diversify your paycheck?
You may have less money because of the lost client, but you won’t be down for the count.
While dry spells can certainly feel like the end of your freelancing career, it’s important to remember that it’s not going to last forever. You’ll be able to move forward because guess what?
You still have other clients to attend to.
Another thing to remember when you’re in a lull?
I only say this incredible obvious statement because I WAS LITERALLY JUST THINKING ABOUT THIS.
That pesky voice in my head (I call mine “lil thick boi”) kept trying to tell me that I needed to be working/finding clients/being busy rather than accept that I’m less booked than usual right now.
Sometimes, it’s best not to fight it.
Now, if you have bills to pay… get your ass to work! But if you’re simply making a bit less than usual and still able to thrive, don’t beat yourself up… You’re smarter than that!
I’ll admit, my coach helped me work through this quite a bit. We walked through a visualization exercise on our call this week where we named that voice in my head (remember, “lil thick boi?”) and got acquainted with the words he says and the feelings associated with him.
What a journey that was. I can’t recommend investing in a coach enough. Or at least a therapist. It’s good to work through feelings, blocks, and limiting beliefs.
Now, enough with the abstract. You want to know ways freelancers can navigate dry spells PRACTICALLY. Well, I have a few tips up my sleeve for you.
Once you realize your worthiness isn’t dependent on how much work you’re producing for others, maybe it’s time to clean up your shit.
Your business shit to be specific.
Do an audit of your processes, the tools you use on a daily basis, your file organization, etc. Ask yourself: “How does my onboarding process look? Are there better tools out there I could use that would make my life easier or my work more efficient?”
Then, get to work!
Use the time that’s been freed up in your day to be a better freelance *insert job here.*
If you want to check out the ONE tool I suggest utilizing if you don’t already, you can read about that here.
Speaking of using the extra time in your day…
After you’ve cleaned up the backend, you can focus on the next steps.
Likely, you don’t want to be in this situation.
You’ve taken a hit — whether a client halted services because they’re OOO, they don’t have the $$ to keep you around, or they no longer need your services — but you don’t want to stay down forever.
So, what do you do?
Grab a pencil and paper or use the notes app on your phone to write down your goals, your ideas, your plans. Figure out how you want to proceed with your business.
Taking action, even as simple as writing down what you’re going to do today or this week, is enough to send a message to the universe that, “Yes, we’re movin’ now!”
If you’re done strategizing and ready to find a new client, consider these resources to help get you started.
**Another trick: Reach out to a current client and ask if they know anyone who could use your services (referrals are THE best!).
Not every dry spell has to mean you work harder than ever before to make up for the lost income or client.
If you want, it could mean a chance to rest, prevent burnout, take a breather, and reconnect with friends, family, or an old hobby.
It sure does suck when, as freelancers, we lose a paying client we enjoyed working with. What sucks even more is the extra time we now have that we don’t know what to do with.
In those times, it’s often when we want to give up and call it quits. I say, use that time to either rest or refine. You’ll know which is right for you in the moment. So, do that.
Now that I’ve talked about 5 ways freelancers can navigate dry spells, I’d love to hear your thoughts! Did I miss anything? Do you have other resources that would be useful for navigating the times of lull?