I’m writing this post in March, so I think we can safely assume that I’m not going to fall into the make-then-break-the-New-Year-resolution trap.
Yet it’s early enough in the year to still be okay(‘ish) to take stock of what did or didn’t work the previous year and consider what I want my business to look like this forthcoming year.
With this in mind, I’ve come up with my short list of resolutions for better and hopefully more profitable freelancing.
1. Be even more selective about freelance work:
My workload is such that I now work for two or three clients a year.
When you consider that I spend a minimum of 4 months writing a book, I simply can’t fully immerse myself in the experience of writing and researching for more than one person at a time. It isn’t fair on my client, me, or my family – they’d never see me.
So, given that I’m spending so much time working for someone, I need to ensure we’re a good fit and this of course takes a good deal of forethought.
If you’ve taken my Freelance course, you’ll know that I don’t uphold the ‘feast or famine’ scenario that freelancers sometimes talk about. If your workload is so sporadic that you’re either extremely busy or have nothing at all, then – sorry to break it to you – but you’re not planning your workload properly.
You should be having conversations a year, six months, or at the very least, three months in advance, so that you know what your next project is.
You should also be working hard at gleaning retainers, so that you have something ticking over in between and/or after each project.
This has worked really well for me these past couple of years. I’ll be doing more of the same this year.
2. Get health(ier):
I’ve got the health(ier) eating down to a T, so I’m happy about that. I am now taking a quick half-hour lunch break to blow away the cobwebs.
But I must squeeze in some exercise.
I mean, proper get sweaty exercise.
I hate gyms – wild horses won’t get me in one – but I have been too busy to find an alternative that I will enjoy or stick to.
So, “Find Time To Exercise” is on the agenda this year to keep me in tip-top working condition.
3. Give myself a pay rise:
I actually did this towards the end of last year, when I completed a writing project.
I find the end of a project is an ideal time to reflect on what went particularly well and as a result, increase my fee for next time round.
The previous project will often have thrown to light ideas for a new service package, so there will invariably be an opportunity to offer it to a new client, or suggest it as a retainer for a former one.
Are you taking time out to ensure you’re charging the fees you truly deserve?
4. Stay organised:
I’ve turned into ‘one of those writers’ with quirky writing habits to keep on top of my writing schedule.
Like most writers, I must first gather together my thoughts. I can’t afford to waste time staring at an empty screen, so I find it helpful to jot them down in my notebook the night before.
I can arrange whole chunks of writing this way, so it means my fingers can fire away when I’m back at my desk.
I have also become mega focused. I shut down my browser, sign out of Outlook, put my iPhone on ‘do not disturb’ and let the landline go to voicemail.
My dear patient husband even knows that if he pops back home for something, there’s absolutely no point in attempting to have a conversation with me because I’ll (truthfully) be too focused on what I’m writing to hear him (honest).
Oddly enough, it’s not too distracting if I have some music on in the background to help the writing flow. (Smooth, Bosa Nova if you please).
What tweaks do you need to make in your schedule, to ensure you stay focused on your working day.
If time is money, then your time is your most precious asset. Be careful how you use it.
So, that’s my rather short freelancing list. The personal one is another matter altogether!
What are your freelancing goals for this year?