Spring has begun. I wouldn’t blame you for not noticing; the weather doesn’t exactly obey a seasonal timetable these days. But it really has, honest, which means it’s the ideal time to spring-clean not just your home, but your freelancing too.
Here are our seven ways to freshen up your freelancing:
- Spring-Clean… Your Clients
Take a long, honest look at your client list. It’s time to weed out the persistently late payers, the terrible communicators, the vague brief-givers and the downright stingy clients. You can do better; don’t get stuck in a rut.
- Spring-Clean… Your Accounts
The new financial year is upon us, so before the taxman asks the question, make it easier to give the answer by ensuring that all your invoices and receipts are stored safely and filed logically. Resolve to keep on top of your financial paperwork in future and buy any stationery or filing accessories that will make this easier (and keep the receipts!).
- Spring-Clean… Your Services
Which of your services gets the best return? Which makes the least? If you drop one of your less popular services, would you have more time and opportunity to focus on those that attract the best pay? Alternatively, perhaps it’s time to expand and diversify a little, offering something new that will complement what you already do.
If you’re a copywriter, why not offer editing or proofreading services as well?
Do you upholster chairs and sofas? Could you offer complementary cushions, throws, cushions or even interior design services?
Do you make wedding cakes? Then how about offering boxed cupcakes, delivered to local offices; table decorations; wedding favours; cake knife hire; wedding cake boxes; birthday cakes along with balloons, party bags or streamers… think big and think wide.
- Spring-Clean… Your Rates
Printer paper, broadband, utility bills, fuel, your phone contract; chances are, none of these expenses are going down. Your cost of living and the costs related to your work will have gradually risen throughout the last financial year and that means that you need to be realistic about the rates you charge for your work. Be brave, be professional, and approach those lower-paying clients with a polite but firm message about your revised rates.
- Spring-Clean… Your Work Habits
What’s working for you and what’s not? When and where are you at your most productive? Are you less inspired in the afternoon, meaning that admin or less demanding tasks are best tackled then? What interrupts your work or makes you procrastinate? Do you let work spill over into time that should be spent relaxing or spending time with people you care about?
Even if you think you’ve found the ideal workplace, schedule and work life balance, it can be good to try something new. Maybe it’s time to try a new time management tool or app. Perhaps you could move one or two work sessions a week to a cafe or library to fend off those feelings of isolation, or change your working hours?
- Spring-Clean… Your Workspace
Is your workspace set up so that it’s ideal for your work, admin and contacting clients? Think about lighting, heating, ventilation, space, access to the things you need, storage, organisation… a new lamp, filing cabinet or in tray could make all the difference, as could a good old-fashioned declutter or paint job. Perhaps you need to move your workspace? Could you use another room, rent an office or book a desk in a flexible working space?
- Spring-Clean… Your Portfolio
Your portfolio should show the depth and breadth of what you can offer, as well as showcasing the very best of your work. Try to look at your portfolio as a client would. Does it convince you of the quality and diversity of your work? Consider including snippets of written testimonials too, chosen to demonstrate your reliability, flexibility, punctuality and ability to go the extra mile and innovate.
After a good spring-clean, your freelance career will emerge all shiny and new and maybe, so will your enthusiasm! Let us know how your freelancing spring clean goes and what changes you make in your freelancing career.