You’ve heard it before: freelance work can be feast or famine. Busy one day, nothing to do the next. Over the past 5 years or so of my freelance life I’ve been lucky. The famine times have been rare.
Right now, my business is in a famine. Up until last week I was fairly busy. This week: nothing. I have a couple of projects that are just waiting for final client input to finish up, but those won’t take much time. Most of my clients have on-going work, so I’m confident that I’ll have new projects starting soon (and probably several clients will call on the same day, if history repeats). But looking at an empty project list is disconcerting.
It’s only been a few days, too, but I’ve grown used to clients contacting me much more often with small and big projects.
I know that I should never have allowed myself to get into this situation. I should work harder on marketing to find new clients, to keep my pipeline full. I have some reasons that I haven’t done that, but no real excuses. I know better.
My finances aren’t in optimum shape, either. I like to have a minimum of 3 to 4 months worth of cash in my business emergency account. Right now I have less than that. Again, there are reasons for this, but no excuses.
So what can I do? Here is the beginning of my plan: check in with on-going clients to see what they have coming up. Follow up with potential clients who were interested but not ready when we last spoke. And get in touch with old clients to say hello and remind them that I am here. I’ll do all this today and tomorrow, and take it from there.
It’s not all bad. Instead of sitting around stressing out, I took a hike today. Sunshine and Colorado blue skies (and exercise) helped raise my spirits. And I have a few “need to” jobs to do: entering my receipts into my bookkeeping spreadsheet for one. I’ve been procrastinating doing that, but I know I’ll feel better when it is done.
Have you had a work famine? How did you make it through? What do you do to keep your work pipeline full?