How to Get More Clients and Beat the Summer Slowdown
The weather is nice and the office is boring. How can freelancers jump ahead of the game, beat the slowdown, and land more clients than ever this summer?
It’s hard to land new freelancing clients during the summer. It's not 100% our fault. Clients are taking vacations and holding off on new projects. They proclaim, "No one wants to buy my services right now!" Then go off on a nice holiday too.
You see, I think it has less to do with the clients and more to do with us. Do more people slow down during the summer? Sure. But guess what -- it's winter in Australia.
I think it's less about a lack of opportunity and more about a lack of motivation. But, regardless, I'm going to present you with several solutions during today's article. By the end, you'll be left with no excuse to not go out there and skyrocket your business these next few months.
Expand Your Horizons and Look for Clients Internationally
While it can be a little easier and more convenient to look for clients within your own country, the magic of freelance work done over the internet is that distance doesn’t limit you. By expanding your horizons, you stand not only to gain a lot more clients, but also disregard seasonal or financial depressions that can affect your regions specifically.
You can also open yourself up to an array of different topics by searching elsewhere! Maybe your favorite sport or hobby that you can give practical advice on or have expertise on just isn’t very popular in your side of the world. For instance, soccer, or association football, isn’t nearly as appreciated in the United States as would be in say, England or Spain and an avid sport freelancer with a particular interest in soccer-related articles just wouldn’t have as much work in this part of the world and so he or she would do very well to seek the work out internationally.
Cultivate Strategic Partnerships With Other Freelancers
Marketing by yourself can perhaps lead to new opportunities that you don’t have to share. But building partnerships gives you another person to help market new ideas. They can also give a new perspective on how to acquire clients. This doesn’t mean you have to give up independence. These partnerships can be as involved as you want. The amount of marketing you can do with two, three or however many partnerships you make, the more available opportunities.
You can also build your own freelancing empire this way that will withstand any sort of seasonal changes. Maybe you don’t want to do the actual writing forever and see yourself more as an editor or manager. By building networks with other freelancers, you set yourself up to find freelancers to work for you, while also finding clients to build relationships with and generate steady work regardless of the season.
Reconnect With Your Past Clients and Potential Leads
When you work as a freelancer, you often work for multiple clients, often at the same time. They can be hard to keep track of, especially if they are a client you only did one job for. However, just because there wasn’t anything else available the last time you worked with them, doesn’t mean there isn’t anything now. Check back with past clients not only to see if they have anything new available, but also to maintain your business relationship. Burning bridges never got anyone anywhere in business. Cultivating positive relationships with your past clients will keep you in their minds.
Invest More Time Into Building Momentum With Branding
As a freelancer, you are often your brand, or at least what your niche is. Having multiple niches is an amazing asset, especially if what you generally choose to write about is specific to a certain time period of the year. While you may not have many articles to write, you now have plenty of time to invest into other aspects of your business that may get pushed to the wayside when work is steadier.
While getting out to market your branding, you will generate interest in yourself and the work you do. That may help you find work when things become more available. Build a blog on your topics that may generate a little extra advertising money while showcasing the work you are capable of doing. Maybe build a social media page built around advertising yourself as a writer, journalist, or whatever niche you work within. Regardless of how you go about it, make sure your target audience is aware that you are an option.
Keep Selling Anyway and Wait Until the Fall Harvest
We often don’t have any other choice but to keep working, as freelancing is our livelihood. Keep writing, even work that you haven’t been contracted to do. Practice makes perfect. The more you write, the better you become. Waiting is a tough choice, but keeping busy will help you pass time until things pick up a little more. Then, when things do get busy, you can make twice as much without having to work twice as hard, as you spaced it out over the summer. A freelancer has to be both a great writer and an amazing salesman. A true salesman never stops selling even when it seems like nobody is buying.
You have options. The summer slowdown can be hard and the lack of income can be depressing. However, if you give these a chance, you don’t really have anything to lose and have everything to gain. Given that you are an independent contractor, your reward is entirely dependent on the hustle that you’re putting out. So make the best of your new free time and see it not as an impetus, but as a chance to work on the neglected aspects of your business.
Being a freelancer means never relying too much on one income source. A slowdown in one area shouldn't cripple your business. And if it does... Well, that's an article for a different day.