As a freelance writer, I have several income streams (eg, self-publishing my own line of ebooks); writing for clients; affiliate marketing; etc. This makes for some very long, very busy days. One of the things it took me a long time to learn as a freelancer is how precious time management is – especially when I started to do things besides write for clients.
Following are three of my top time-management tips. If you’re new to freelancing and make these a habit early on, you’ll be successful that much sooner.
I. Market First – Always: If you don’t have clients, anything you might be spending time doing is a waste of time. So, tackle your marketing tasks first. I usually spend anywhere from an hour to three hours per day on marketing – and I’ve been freelancing since 1993. The lesson here is — for marketing to be effective, it must be consistent.
How does doing your marketing first thing save time? It gets you in the habit of doing it, which means you get writing jobs faster, and you don’t have to “squeeze” it in later and/or fail to do it altogether.
II. Create Follow-Up Tactics for Existing Clients: Eighty percent of your earnings as a freelance writer will come from 20 percent of your clients. This is known as the Pareto Principle.
Many freelancers get so busy chasing new clients that they forget to stay in touch with those who are already giving them business. I made this mistake for years. So, create some type of follow-up system early on in your freelance writing career.
How does this save time? You won’t have to spend so much time looking for new clients; who are harder to turn into paying clients than the ones who are already using you. – who are harder to convert into paying clients than your existing ones.
III. Track Your Marketing Efforts: I still need to work on this one – for it can be dicey, especially when it comes to mediums like social media. But, find some way to track which of your marketing methods are working for you.
An easy way to do it is to get in the habit of asking clients – every one – how they heard about you. Then, record this info in a database. Soon, you’ll start to see some emerging patterns; ie, which marketing methods are producing the greatest number of freelance writing jobs.
How does this save time? You can stop wasting time with methods that aren’t so effective, and double down on those that are.
How These Tips Can Increase Your Freelance Writing Income by at Least 25%
Let’s say you’re currently earning $36,000 per year as a freelance writer. If you started marketing consistently, ie, doing it first thing in the morning and managed to pick up three new clients who gave you just $3,000 per year each in work (just $250 per month each) right there – you will have increased your freelance writing income by $9,000 per year, which is 25 percent of $36,000.
Now how doable is that?! I can tell you from personal experience — very doable.
Whether you’re an experienced freelance writer with a stable of clients who keep you busy, or a newbie just starting out looking for clients – there’s ALWAYS something to be done. Your days should never be empty.
There is always, always, always something you can be doing – if you’re managing your time wisely, eg, marketing; expanding/tweaking your service offerings; creating infographics for your site/blog, etc.
Hope these tips help – and good luck in your freelance writing endeavors.