The feast and famine cycle is fairly common in the freelance world. Meaning you’re either up to your elbows in deadlines, staring at a screen through blurred vision stemmed from exhaustion or you’re trying to figure out what to do with yourself until the next gig comes along. Since I’m sure you can figure out a thousand ways to fill your time during the feast, today we’re tackling the famine side of the spectrum.
If you’re reading this article I imagine you fall under one of three categories:
- You’re currently experiencing a freelance famine
- You’ve been there, remember how terrible it was and want to be prepared for next time
- You’re a freelancer who has never experienced a famine (lucky you!) and want to be ready just in case
Regardless of why you’re here, the following information is sure to be helpful!
What is Freelance Famine?
If you’ve yet to experience a freelance writing famine in your business congratulations are certainly in order! And I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it will happen. I have yet to meet a writer that hasn’t experienced famine in one sense or another. In other words, it’s not a matter of if, but a matter of when.
For example, tomorrow, all my clients could email me saying, “Janine our budget has changed, and the article you submitted will be the last one for now. Thanks for working with us.” and BAM, there goes a chunk of my freelance income.
Welcome to a freelance famine.
My Recent Freelance Famine
I had an excellent client who had a fantastic income for me monthly and I submitted 3-4 articles a month to them. Then, with a 30-day notice, I was cut from the budget. Just like that.
What did I do you ask?
What I don’t recommend. I panicked. “It could take weeks or months to make up for this client,” I thought. Then, I took a deep breath and knew I had to get back in the game and work on my business and I hope the following tips I learned along the way are helpful to you in your own journey!
1. Pitch Away
Now that I lacked a client, it was time to pitch! The Healthcare Marketing Network helped me regain clients quickly because all my pitches were accepted! Never pitched before? You can take our free seven-day pitch course when you join the Healthcare Marketing Network!
2. Update your Website
Could your website use a revamp? There’s no better time than now! I didn’t revamp mine, but I did change my pricing structure and played with some new ideas to expand my services. It was during this time that I started to offer coaching and virtual assistance services and built two email lists, rather than one!
3. Find a Tribe
I found my tribe within the Healthcare Marketing Network, but you could find yours anywhere! Go ahead and branch out to find a tribe that supports you in your the work you do, as well as the freelance journey itself. In one of my original Thoughtful Thursdays in our Facebook community for writers, I chatted about finding even one person who does exactly what you are doing. You can help each other become accountable, and just like many things in life, it’s not about what you know, it’s about who you know!
4. Continue your Blog Postings
Keep up on your content calendar. The more traffic you drive to your site, the more potential clients you will have. This would also be the perfect time to take a look at your social media accounts to make sure they are optimized and tailored to your perfect client!
5. Never Stop Learning
Did you recently hear about a great book on freelance writing? Now’s the time to start reading it! If you’re a writer you’re likely an avid reader as well, but I have met writers that aren’t big on the reading side of things. If that’s you, try listening to audiobooks or podcasts during your commutes. If you have the time and resources why not invest in your business via an online course or local workshop? No matter how you decide to go about it, use this downtime wisely and your business will thank you!
The freelance famine is real, and it can make you feel like a failure because you are alone at your computer. You’re not alone though. At the Healthcare Marketing Network, we offer up a tribe of experienced freelancers to build you up! Whether you need tactical business advice, have questions about a client, or just need words of encouragement we’ve got you covered. We’re like one big, happy family and would love for you to pull up a chair at our roundtable!
Janine Kelbach, BSN, RNC-OB is a nurse entrepreneur with experience as a freelance writer, virtual assistant, and business coach. She helps solopreneurs/entrepreneurs with her proactive, diverse virtual assistant skills and keeps executives and business owners organized, prioritized, and less stressed.