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7 Ideas to Take Advantage of your Downtimes

<p class="p2">As most freelancers know, the week-to-week workload is often unpredictable. You quickly go from being overwhelmed by the quantity of work to facing an empty to-do list.</p> <p class="p2">The calm periods can get stressful. Clients are on holidays, projects have low velocity, the response time of emails increases drastically, and you're left with only a few hours to bill.</p> <p class="p2">Your downtimes are precious, you should leverage them. Here are a couple high added value ideas for your business.</p> <h2 class="p2"><span class="s1">1. Prospect new clients</span></h2> <p class="p3"><span class="s1">It is the ideal moment to find new clients. Spend time doing in-depth propositions for projects that you'd love to work on. Contact all of your business contacts to re-offer your services. Being the top-of-mind freelancer is never a bad idea.</span></p> <p class="p3">Broadcast your availability, someone, somewhere, probably needs you or will need you sometimes .</p> <h2 class="p2"><span class="s1">2. Update your website and social media profiles</span></h2> <p class="p2">Like most freelancers, you invested a lot of time building your online presence at the very beginning, then time became scarce and neglecting ensued. Make sure your value proposition is still clear and that your project listing is up-to-date. If your design is outdated, spend some time polishing it.</p> <p class="p2">If you aren't very active on social medias, visit each of your profiles and update your personal informations. You can also show the world you're still alive by posting something.</p> <h2 class="p2"><span class="s1">3. Learn something new</span></h2> <p class="p2">Make sure you keep your toolset actual by reading about new trends. It is easy to fall behind theoretically by being too absorbed by the day-to-day tasks. Order a technical book written by an influential figure. Read all these bookmarked blog posts you always said you would go through soon. Go to a local meetup to get different points of view on your craft.</p> <h2 class="p2"><span class="s1">4. Pro-bono work</span></h2> <p class="p2"><span class="s1">A lot of Non-Profits Organizations (NPO) need your help. They provide </span>a good opportunity to enrich your portfolio while gaining good karma. Find a cause that you care about and offer your services for a project.</p> <h2 class="p2"><span class="s1">5. Launch a blog</span></h2> <p class="p2">You've been thinking about it for a long time. The day has come to spark conversations around your craft by starting a blog. It requires discipline though, be careful about being overly motivated on day one only to turn your platform in a ghost town the next week. Plan ahead, create a publishing calendar, stick to it. Creating content is rewarding if you do it steadily.</p> <p class="p2">It is a very good way to gain notoriety and can become a very good business development channel.</p> <h2 class="p2"><span class="s1">6. Do some paperwork</span></h2> <p class="p2">Delaying the inevitable? Just face it; you'll have to go through that paper pile at some point. Clean your desk, put some good music on, and treat each document (receipts, contracts, estimates, invoices, etc.) one-by-one. An easy way to sleep well at night.</p> <h2 class="p2"><span class="s1">7. Take a break</span></h2> <p class="p2">Taking a couple days off to recharge your batteries will greatly increase your productivity and focus in the long run. Don't underestimate the power of disconnecting, taking a step back on your life usually has great impacts. Go play golf, go to the spa, travel the world. You deserve it.</p> <p class="p2">Do you have any ideas to add to this list? Join the discussion in the comments.</p> <p class="p2">Happy billing!</p>

I like building cool products and marketing them.

Philip Barclay CMO@Momenteo