Every freelancer, at some point, has had a freelance wobble. It might be when chasing an invoice, or trying to find clients during quiet times, or when dealing with a particularly obnoxious client. We’ve all had that thought of “Oh, shall I just jack it all in and get a job?”
And it’s totally ok if you do feel like that! It’s our flight response, in the same way that most employed people want to hand in their notice after a tough day.
But how do you know if it’s that flight response, or if it’s time to get a job?
Before you dust off your CV, here are ten things to consider first.
- Do your market research. This is so often an overlooked aspect of freelancing, but it’s essential for making sure you’re offering what your clients want. In fact, I’m doing it at the moment. Get in touch with the kind of people you want to work with, and ask if they’d mind giving you 15 minutes of feedback in exchange for 15 minutes of picking your brain/a £5 Starbucks card/a freebie you can offer them exclusively.
- Check your copy is on point. Realised that you’re speaking to the wrong potential clients on your sales page? Not tapping into their problems/solutions? Or maybe you’ve gone too niche? Review your copy and update it.
- Polish your packages. Once you know what it is your potential clients want, make sure you have the packages ready for them – and ideally have a low cost, medium cost and premium offerings. There’s lots in this workshop with Sally from The Pricing Queen on pricing your packages if you need more help on that front.
- Reach out to agencies. If you’re struggling a bit on the client front, working with agencies is a good way to supplement your income and potentially get ongoing work. Contact agencies in your local area to see if they’re looking for freelancers with your skillset.
- Need a cash injection quickly? Power hours are a good way to get instant income (as they’ll pay up front) for an hour of your time – and it could potentially lead to more work as they get a taster for what you do.
- Look at your passive income options. Here’s a free course to get you started.
- Is it time to up your prices? Now is the time to review this if you’re working lots but not earning enough. If you’re in demand, it’s a good sign that you’re in a position to up your prices. Equally, if your prices are much lower than the competition and you’re not getting the clients, it might be time to up your prices to better reflect the quality you offer.
- Reach out to your network. You can do this through the Scary Email, or by posting on LinkedIn or your personal Facebook profile sharing that you have some availability for clients at the moment. In fact, a lot of people overlook their Facebook profile for sharing what they do, when it’s full of people who want to support you.
- Assess what has worked in the past. In a few coaching sessions recently, I’ve asked “What has worked best for you recently for finding clients?”. Every time, they reply with something along the lines of “Oh, X, but I haven’t been doing it much recently!”. For example, LinkedIn. Or in person networking. It’s so important to track what works well for you, for times like this when you need reminding how best to focus your time.
- Look at other options. There’s absolutely no shame in looking at other options if freelancing is, at the moment, not working for you. Many freelancers in the Facebook group have part-time jobs, or have taken on contracts or full-time jobs when things have gone quiet. The brilliance of freelancing is that you can be flexible, and you can dip in and out of it over the years. I’ve taken on two part time jobs since going freelance in 2009, the first because we were going to buy a house and I didn’t have enough time under my belt to qualify for mortgages, and the second because it was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up. You may also find your freelancing experience and skill set makes you very valuable to employers.
Whatever you decide, know that it’s the right decision for YOU.