They are necessary to some extent
I used to think that dry spells were a special place for beginners and the less skilled. Over time, I’ve been consistently wrong in my own freelance career — or maybe I’ve been right. One thing is for sure, being out of work when freelancing can be a devastating experience.
I am one of those people who likes to work. When I’m out of work, I can get restless. The thought of no money coming in can be crippling to the body. But after going through a fair share of dry spells, my stance on them has changed.
To some extent they are necessary. If you’ve been diligent with your income by racking up three or more months of expenses, the dry spell can be a liberating experience. Let’s face it, being constantly reserved gets tiring. A dry spell is the perfect time to reset and realign your goals. The secret to doing this is staying productive.
Here are some things you can do to stay productive when you’re in a drought:
Consider the reviews section of Amazon. Do you check it before making a purchase? OK, maybe you don’t, but many do. Research shows that 84% of shoppers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, and 91% of shoppers read online reviews on a regular or occasional basis.
If you think of your customers as shoppers in the marketplace looking for candidates to solve a problem, you’ll understand why I’m referring to Amazon reviews.
Testimonials are one of the most valuable parts of your freelance portfolio. This is probably one of the best ways to increase your conversion rates, credibility, and overall presence in your field.
The idea is to collect as many testimonials as you can, the more the better. Having multiple positive reviews serves as a stamp of approval that makes other customers trust your ability to deliver. This makes them more willing to purchase your services.
You can never have too many skills; Learning while you are hard at work with the client is possible but difficult. Being free from client obligations allows you to spend long, focused periods becoming better at what you do.
Taking the time to learn is one of the best ways to increase your chances of success in your career – this also applies to non-freelancers. Be sure to update your skills regularly. See dry spells as an opportunity to go all out.
It’s April in a few days, which means it’s time for tax returns – ie if you’re in the UK, I’m not sure about other countries; Keeping your finances in order can make the tax filing due period easier.
If you don’t have an accountant, it is your responsibility to sort out your own tax returns. Doing your paperwork when you’re in a drought is a great use of your time. You’ll eventually have to set aside time in the future to do this anyway, so if you can do more now, you’ll have less to do later.
Sometimes lack of work is a sign from the universe to relax – try to listen to the universe. Knowing when to kick back and refuel is just as important as knowing when to hit the throttle.
You know when you’ve worked hard. It is well known that we are much more productive when we are well rested. Don’t feel guilty for taking a break. Use your dry spell as an opportunity to get away: staycation, baecation, vacation, etc.
Marketing is all about promoting your services. If people don’t know what you can do for them, they probably won’t ask you. When you market yourself well, clients gain insight into how your services can benefit them, which can spark a conversation and lead to an opportunity.
The problem is that most freelancers don’t have time to focus on marketing when there’s work to be done. We rarely have time to update our portfolios, update our social profiles and resumes, or rethink the type of clients we want to work with and the requirements of working for them.
Using your dry spell as a period to make sure all of the above is updated is a productive use of your time. It can also help to significantly reduce the number of dry spells you will face in the future.
People always ask me how I am able to create content as prolifically as when I work full time as a freelancer. The answer is simple: I have no social life.
Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating. I have a social life, but the people I socialize with are also working on their dreams. It means there are few distractions in my life. Living alone also helps: it keeps me focused for long periods of time to knock out as much work as possible.
I’m not saying you should be like me. I am naturally introverted it is a happiness for me. If you are not introverted, my work philosophy may be hell for you. What I mean is, if you’re not working on a client’s work, you might as well spend time creating a backlog of content that you can deploy to help others in your field.
Not only is this a form of marketing, but you are also establishing yourself as an expert in your field.
Most of us work from home. Not only are we chained to our desks during harvest time, but we are also stuck at home. The dry spell gives you the opportunity to do something different, like show up for in-person meetings if they’re available.
Networking should be high on any freelancer’s priority list. During downtime, you can spend your time adding value to your network. This may mean helping solve problems, answering questions, or simply catching up with a professional colleague. If you can meet in person, do so.