What to do when your ‘feast’ has turned to ‘famine’

Posted on: April 15th, 2013

When you’re freelance, you need to get used to the feast and famine syndrome. One month you are so busy, you aren’t sure how you can cope with the workload and the next there isn’t a sniff of work on the horizon.

And, no matter how well you try to plan your schedule, you will always get a feast followed by a famine. Regular workloads that keep you ticking along just nicely never seem to happen.

The natural reaction when you enter a period of famine is to panic. But remember the old adage of ‘what you focus on you get more of’. So try not to panic.

Here are some things you could do when you’re not sure where the next project is going to come from:    

  • Contact or, better still, meet up with other freelancers. They just may be snowed under with work and in need of an extra pair of hands to help them.
  • Get back into networking or (if you are already networking) attend some extra networking events.
  • Email your clients with details of the recent projects you’ve been working on to remind them you are there.
  • Step up your sales and marketing activity – whether that’s via email, social media, giving talks or cold calling. You know what works best for you.
  • Spend some time scheduling tweets and posts for your Facebook business page.
  • Write some guest posts for other blogs.
  • Make sure your LinkedIn profile is 100% complete and up to date. Why not ask for some more recommendations?
  • Write a useful report or pdf that you could use as an incentive for people to sign up to your newsletter.

I had a quiet period about this time last year and did most of the above. I also wrote a couple of mini e-books for Kindle (now also on e-junkie) and sent out a mailshot to 25 benevolent funds. One of those 25 contacted me and I wrote their annual review for them. Soon after, I entered a (very busy) feast period that lasted seven months.

So, don’t panic and, above all, think positively.

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