Even if you are the most successful freelancer in the world, you will have ‘the fear.’
You understand what I mean. That dreadful feeling of fear that work is about to dry up. Those uneasy notions that you’ve finally hit your top and that everything is going to fall apart from here.
You naturally have a “little business attitude.” You’ll do whatever to ensure that the money keeps coming in. But you’re exhausted from trudging, almost every hour and every day. You recall the 2008 crisis and don’t want to go through that financial horror again. You have to keep going.
But wait! This does not have to be the case. Sure, you’ll have to work hard and keep paddling. But that doesn’t mean you have to exhaust yourself. Here, we give our advice on dealing with the anxiety of freelancing employment drying up, so you can fight another day.
Recognize that you cannot do everything
It is challenging to learn to say “no.” You don’t want to turn things off simply in case nothing else comes up. But you can’t do it all, or you won’t have a life. Accept that you must be very particular about what you do. Everything is a risk, and you must accept it. You can’t let work consume your free time – this is intolerable. Everyone requires relaxation.
If you take on a project that is causing you problems and have to work nights and weekends to complete it, you can learn from the experience and avoid repeating it. Simply keep note of your time on each project to provide a more accurate quote in the future. To better manage your time, use any of these great time-tracking applications.
Reconsider your savings approach
Money is frequently our most pressing issue. If we don’t get enough of it, it keeps us awake at night and compels us to make unwise decisions.
With this in mind, can you go a year without taking vacations, eating out, or buying new clothes? Can you reduce your spending? Because if you haven’t already saved a sizable sum of money, now might be an excellent time to start.
You should always have enough money to cover at least six months of expenses. Money in the bank represents less stress and more security, allowing you to take on more chances.
Be productive while avoiding distractions
We sometimes make ourselves feel busy to overcome ‘the fear.’ This is quite normal. It’s normal for us to feel in control when we do something, no matter how insignificant. However, if you’re not getting much work done and are spending too much time at your desk, it’s possible that you’re unproductive and easily distracted. When you need to be as profitable as possible, this isn’t ideal.
Be hard on yourself. Determine where you’re devoting your time and whether you can enhance things. Turn off all notifications. Avoid using social media. To be at your best, take regular breaks and enjoy evenings and weekends. Check out these productivity hacks for extra inspiration.
Maintain a consistent work regimen
So you quit your job to work for yourself and have more flexibility with your schedule. The truth, however, is somewhat different. You’re exhausted from working all hours. Enough. It’s time to reclaim control and establish a better routine. Set your working hours with yourself and your clients so that everyone knows when you’re available.
Unless you have a preexisting agreement in place, never answer your phone to clients in the evenings or on weekends. You don’t want them to think it’s okay or that you’re constantly available.
Form a daily marketing plan
Give yourself peace of mind by keeping a detailed list of daily tasks solely focused on your marketing. Whether it’s a half-hour spent on your website or an update to your Instagram feed, every little bit helps to get your name out there and in front of potential clients.
Distribute a monthly newsletter
It’s worthwhile to develop a mailing list of new and existing customers so you can remind them that you’re available for employment. Share your most recent case studies, testimonials, and news — clients want to know what you’re up to, and it can entice them to call you for an estimate on a new project. Check out our email marketing hints.
Analyze multiple revenue streams
Why aren’t you selling prints of your work as an illustrator? Where is that book you’ve intended to write if you design? Find additional ways to supplement your income, no matter what you do for a profession. Yes, there may be some initial slog. However, introducing a slew of new revenue streams could pay off in the long run.
Get out there and start networking
The majority of your best work will come from word-of-mouth referrals. That is why establishing a strong local network is beneficial to business. Make connections with other freelancers and companies in your area. Attend local activities and put on an excellent front. Because the more people you know, the more opportunities will present themselves to you.
Leave the home office, move to the city
Rent a desk at a co-working place or get your own office space in a booming creative hotspot if you can. Be welcoming and friendly; knock on doors and introduce yourself. Collaboration is commonplace in the creative sectors. It’s how we get by. And if you can relocate to the city, that’s even better. At the very least, establish a network on which you may rely if you do not want to stay.
Provide retainer support
If you design, illustrate, build, or shoot, your work will almost always be project-based. It’s not surprising that you’re all terrified. This is where you must be more strategic. How do you get your clients to pay you on a retainer? Where they pay you a set monthly fee?
Could you collaborate with a public relations expert, for example, to provide continuous design services to their clients? To take care of the minor details – could you sell a 12-month package that includes ongoing web assistance if you design and construct websites?
Consider this. There is always a solution. Especially when you consider that most clients prefer retainers because it allows them to ‘budget’ each month. After all, they are concerned about money as well.
Wiggle your belly and move your body
Your freelance difficulties can be exacerbated by stress. If you can gain control and become more relaxed about your business, you may discover that ‘the fear’ fades away. Move your body to relieve stress. Exercise does increase endorphins, allow you to calm your mind, and even aid in sleep. Every day, aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate activity.
Become organized to overcome your phobia.
Getting organized is often the best approach to deal with freelance anxiety. That’s correct. Lists are required. Sign up for a service like Trello or Teamwork and enter all of your project and business tasks there. You’ll feel more in control if you have everything online and on your screen. And having control kicks anxiety in the buttocks. Check out some additional project management tools that we recommend.
Tell yourself one harsh reality.
You can always get a real job if it doesn’t work out. This one hard reality will do two things: first, it will help you relax since you will know you have options if everything goes wrong (I’ve been telling myself this for over a decade); second, it will motivate you to keep going – even when times are rough.
Source: Creative Boom
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