The holiday season is an incredible time for everyone… except freelancers.
When the end of the year rolls around, most people think about holiday parties, recipes for family dinners and vacation destinations, leaving freelancers far from their mind.
This is especially true for freelancers that work with big companies that shut down for the holiday season or are subject to yearly budgets that are depleted by the time the holidays come around.
While business is cyclical and such fluctuations are natural, the holiday lull can be a tough time for freelancers who may see income reduced by more than 50% during the peak holiday season.
So how can freelancers survive the holiday lull?
Spruce Up Your Services
As a freelancer, you continually evolve professionally, changing your skillset and capabilities. To make sure you are offering clients the best possible service, it is essential to routinely examine your offering and make sure they are relevant, up to date and accurate, and the holiday season is an excellent time for that.
Reviewing your services can also help you realize what additional complementary services you can offer existing clients.
Re-connect With Your Network
As a freelancer, you may not realize that you have an ever-growing list of clients and potential clients. Take the slow season to reach out to those clients and potential clients you would like to work with in the coming year.
A quick “Hi, I just wanted to touch base and see if you needed any more writing/design/development done. Wishing you a happy holiday season” is more than enough to get your network to start thinking of you again.
If you spruced up your services, be sure to let your clients know about any additional things you can help them with or services you now offer.
Build Your Network
While the holiday season may not have a lot to offer in terms of work, it is a time filled with parties and events that freelancers can leverage to their advantage.
Try snagging an invite to a company holiday party where you can get to know your client better as well as meet new people.
Don’t have a company party you can attend? Create your own opportunity by connecting with local networking groups and meeting up with other freelancers. While they may not be your classic client, you may be able to collaborate with freelancers that offer complementary services to enhance your offering for current and future clients.
Give Your Business a Face-Lift
Take the holiday season to focus on your most important client – you! Freelancers often forget that they are a business just like their clients, and their business could benefit from their skills.
The holiday season is a great time to give your brand a face-lift so you can start the new year with exciting news to share with your clients.
Ways to give your brand a face-lift include updating your website, writing new articles, creating engaging white papers, launching new videos and more.
Create a Product to Generate Passive Income
The best way to not worry about the decline in revenue during the holiday season is by having an alternative revenue source to depend on. You can do this by creating a product that can be self-sustained.
While this product may not replace your day-gig, having a steady passive income may make the difference between sinking and swimming during the holiday lull.
Plan a Promotion for the New Year
Freelancers can offer promotions just like big business (but they often forget to!). When business is down, the best way to get it back up again is by offering a promotion to your customers.
Content writer? Offer customers to create original content and repurpose old content to stay relevant. Graphic designer? Bundle up marketing collateral and offer packages that will generate more revenue and help your clients in the long run.
Take a Moment for Yourself
Sometimes the best way to survive the holiday lull is by letting it be. Take the down time to rest, recharge your energy and get all your ducks in a row for the upcoming year.
Don’t be too hard on yourself and always remember that holiday seasons come and go, and as long as you work hard during the year, your business will be strong enough to survive the slow times.