Running a freelance writing and virtual assistant business takes time. But, as a busy mom of soon to be eight kids, time is at a premium around here. In order to continue working, here are the strategies I use to maximize my part-time freelance biz.
Ensure The Work Is Worth It
If I’m going to take time and attention away from my kids, it sure better be worth it.
I can typically earn close to $100 an hour writing. My VA rate is much lower, but it’s still more than I was earning as a teacher.
Not all work is going to work with my rates. Not all clients are good clients for me.
And that’s okay. There are plenty of places looking for quality freelancers. If one opportunity doesn’t work for you, keep pitching!
Don’t Let Things Pile Up
If I forget to update my income tracker for a couple of weeks, it takes a long time to sit down and figure everything out.
Conversely, if I make sure and tackle it at least weekly it’s a fairly simple task.
Paperwork is the same way. If I take care of filing and sorting right away, it doesn’t take forever to process when I finally get around to it.
I’d rather spend 5 minutes on a task a little more often than be buried and have it take hours.
Learn to Work With Interruptions
When you put this many people together in one house, there’s going to be interruptions. Life happens. Babies poop. Toddlers spill. Teens need help solving an algebra problem.
Being able to stop what you’re doing and jump back into it a little bit later is an essential skill for freelancing mamas.
If you’re struggling, here’s a post with more details:
How to Freelance in Noise
Look for every bit of efficiency you can squeeze into your biz.
You’ll also want to work quickly in your other tasks.
Get the dishes knocked out quickly instead of complaining about them. See how fast you can work with your kids to clean the house. Race the clock. Get things done!
Make the Most of Your Moments
It doesn’t take a long time to post a social media update.
Or update an old post for SEO purposes.
Or find potential clients to pitch.
There are plenty of tasks you can tackle in 15 minutes or less. The key is being prepared to work when those free moments arise. Here’s a post I wrote over on Horkey Handbook that shares 50 different tasks you can do with a little time.
Knock out a couple of these everyday, and your part-time freelance biz will start growing before your very eyes!
You can also always be thinking. Think time is a great way to make the most of your time when you actually get a moment to sit down and work.
Integrate Your Kids
When you’re working you miss your kids. When you’re with your kids, you know there are things for your business you could be doing.
Combining the two is a great way to make the most of your hours.
Integrate your kids into your business. There are plenty of tasks that kids can help with! Put your kids to work with you, and come together for a common goal.
You have shared your why with your kids right? Getting everyone on the same page is huge!
Minimize Your Decisions
Your brain doesn’t have unlimited space. When you’re so busy answering minor questions or thinking about what’s for dinner, you simply don’t have the brain power to grow your business.
Survival mode isn’t very pretty, or productive. (Trust me, I’ve been there before!)
It’s much better to have a plan. Actually a lot of plans. Know what’s for dinner (and breakfast and lunch) with a meal plan. Figure out who does each chore. Keep track of when you deep clean each room.
These plans will keep you sane! If you’re looking for help minimizing your decisions, check out my 32 lesson course Balancing Diapers and Deadlines. It’s written just for busy freelancing parents who are struggling to get it all done.
Look for Recurring Work
Looking for new work takes a lot of time. It’s much better to find recurring work that you can count on each month.
Of course you never know when a particular contract will end, so you don’t want to stop pitching completely. But, when you aren’t doing it for each and every assignment, life is so much easier!
Flesh Out Your Pitches and Ideas
I’ve discovered that pitching with details makes it much easier to write the assignment when it’s granted.
When I’m brainstorming ideas, it’s easy to throw out a title. But, by the time I actually start writing that post I may have completely forgotten what direction I was going in.
Now, I try to pitch details. If I’m pitching for 5 Movies with White House Scenes in Honor of the Election Season, I take time to write down the five movies I was planning on including.
That cuts down my time considerably when writing, and saves me research.
Even if the company I’m working for doesn’t want those details, I type them up in a Word doc for myself. Then I just send off the titles.
So if you have a great title, take a couple of minutes to flesh it out.
Growing a Part-Time Freelance Biz Takes Effort
There’s no magic formula to growing a business. It takes time, and a lot of hard work. These strategies are the ones I’ve used to help me grow over the past year.
But I know there are more out there. What tips can you add? Let’s support and encourage each other to grow our businesses!
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