Managing workloads and keeping a regular flow of projects is hard when you’re freelance. No matter how much you try and organise your time, there’s always a project that gets cancelled or postponed.
So, when you thought you were going to be mega busy, it turns out you have nothing to do. When you have a famine, the main problem is cashflow. So try to build up a buffer of money that you can draw on when work is thin on the ground.
Conversely, when you have a number of consecutive projects nicely lined up, they all end up happening at once due to circumstances completely beyond your control. If you are swamped with work (and that’s a nice problem to have), talk to your clients. It could be that an ‘urgent’ project could actually wait until next month. Don’t feel panicked by deadlines – in most cases they can be moved.
Think about subcontracting
If you genuinely ARE snowed under, there are only so many hours in the day. If you are suffering from a deluge of projects, the quality of your work will be compromised if you try and do it all. A tip here is to subcontract it to another freelancer whose work you trust.
I once won a mega project to write a building society’s website. The deadline was fixed and there was no way I could get it all done by myself. I didn’t want to lose the project so I brought on another writer and we proved to the client we could both write in the same style and voice.
We both did 50% of the writing and delivered it on time. But keep control of the work in situations like this and make sure you remain the main contact, or you risk losing future projects to those whose names you passed on.
How do you cope when you’re faced with a feast or famine situation?