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After the madness of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, things tend to start to slow down work wise. By this point, your clients are probably wrapping up projects for the year, so as freelancers, we tend to see a slow down at this time as well.
This can be absolutely great if you’ve got plans to travel or spend tons of quality time with your family and friends.
But if you’re feeling like you might want to take advantage of this downtime to make progress in your business, we’ve got some ideas for you that will set you up for success and put you ahead of the game when everyone comes back to work in the new year.
Plan For Next Year
You’ve probably got big goals for your business in 2020. Make more money? Leave your full-time job? Go remote? Work with bigger clients?
The best way to reach those goals is to create a plan.
Start by really reflecting and defining your goals. How many clients? How much money? By when? Write these down.
Once you know what you’re working towards, it’s time to plan out how you will market your business and reach those goals. Will you start guest blogging or pitching to be on podcasts? Will you use Instagram or Facebook to reach your clients? Will you attend more networking events?
Pick one or two marketing strategies and break it down into smaller tasks. This way you’ll know what you should be working on each week to move your business forward.
Our Freelance Marketing Plan can take you through this process step by step, and help you make a plan to reach your biggest goals in business this year.
Get Ahead With Your Content
With client work slowing down, it’s a perfect time to work on your own marketing! Take some time to plan out your marketing calendar, and get to work on creating it.
Here’s a few ideas to get your content going:
- Write a series of blog posts that will attract your ideal clients, and help them to solve their most pressing problems
- Create a new opt-in or lead magnet to build your email list
- Write an email welcome sequence for everyone who downloads your new lead magnet. Tell them a bit about your story, what you do, and how they can work with you.
- Plan out your Instagram for the entire month of January. Use a tool like Plann or Planoly to write engaging captions and build your feed.
Create A ‘Pitch List’
Sending cold emails over the Christmas holidays is unlikely to get you many responses. But you can still get ahead of the game by doing some holiday homework. Instead of sending pitches during this down time, do all the pre-homework now so you can be completely prepared to hit send in January.
Start with your Pitch List. This is people, entrepreneurs, publications, and businesses you want to work with. Spend a few hours researching who these people are and how you can get in touch with them. Find out names of the best person to reach in the company and their email address. Keep it all in a spreadsheet.
Once you’ve got this part done, you can start writing drafts of your pitch. And voila! You’re ready to hit the inboxes of your dream clients the first week of January!
If this seems overwhelming, we have a course that teaches you exactly how to do this in no time.
Plus it comes with templates to send to those clients, so your work is basically half done! Grab The Essential Freelance Pitch Pack to work on over the holidays so you can pitch like crazy in the new year.
Take A Look At Your Client Process
For service based businesses, the experience you create for your clients is a huge part of your brand and business. A great experience will always lead to positive testimonials and, often, amazing referrals to new clients.
Have a look at your client experience and try to identify areas to improve. Here are a few ideas:
- Create a client onboarding document that guides new clients through the exact process of working with you
- Use Asana or Honeybook to allow your clients to see the task list and progress of their projects
- Write email templates to send to each client once your project is wrapped, asking for a testimonial and telling them how to refer you to other clients
- Check out invoicing software that makes it super easy for clients to pay you. We love Freshbooks, but Honeybook* has this feature too.
Spruce Up Your Website
If you’ve been neglecting your website for a while, a slow down in work is the perfect time to show it some love. Here are a few quick improvements you can make to your website:
Add new testimonials – Update your site with fresh testimonials you’ve received throughout the year. Testimonials can be added to your home page, your services pages, and a stand alone ‘praise’ page. Web designer Elizabeth McCravy has a whole podcast episode dedicated to making the most of your testimonials.
Update your services if things have changed – if you’ve changed how you offer services this year, or plan to in the new year, make the changes to your site now. Whether you’re tweaking pricing, adding or removing things from packages, or creating an entirely new offering, this is a great time to do it. In the new year, let your past and current clients know about the exciting changes you’re making in your business so they can book with you.
Check on your SEO – SEO is something we often forget about, but it’s hugely important for any service-based business. We have a whole guide on what SEO is, and how to make it work for your freelance business. Dive into it over the holidays and make a few small but powerful tweaks.
Relax! Enjoy Your Family And Friends
Of course, you don’t need to spend the holidays working! If you want to take a real vacation and rest with your family, give yourself permission to do so. Rest and relaxation are key components of building a healthy business.
How will you spend your holidays this year? Are you taking a break or planning to get ahead?