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Summer is coming. Are you ready to grow your freelance business?
For most freelancing moms, summer means no more school. Whether your kids go to public school or are homeschooled, summer time equals more free time for them.
If you’re hoping to grow your freelance business this summer, you have to have a plan in place. Otherwise it’s too easy to get lost in the summer fun. Then you’ll look back in the fall and realize that you didn’t actually accomplish your goal.
You don’t want that.
But thankfully, it is possible to have fun with your kids AND grow your business. Here’s 12 ways you can make it happen:
1. Make a Plan of the Day
The plan of the day keeps me sane, especially during the summer when we’re off the school routine. Here’s how it works:
Each morning the kids and I sit down and pencil out our schedule for the day. During the summer it’ll include more outdoor exploration and water play, but we’ll still make time for our chores. And my writing. That way I also know what I need to accomplish and how to get it done.
2. Pitch Daily
If you aren’t pitching, you probably won’t grow your freelance business. Pitching is how you introduce yourself to those who need writers or a virtual assistant. It’s how you get your name out there.
So make it a point to pitch daily. Commit to sending 1 pitch each weekday. That’s not as overwhelming as sending a ton, but it’s enough to get you in the pitching groove. Each month you’ll send 25 pitches–which totals 75 by the time fall arrives.
3. Get Your Kids Involved
If you haven’t started integrating your kids into your business, summer is the perfect time! Not only will you keep their skills up to date, you’ll also be getting some help. Here’s a post with different ideas to try.
4. Implement a Family Writing Time
Learning to sit and work quietly is an important skill! Start implementing a family writing time to get some extra time for your business.
If your kids are young, start with 5 or 10 minutes. As they adjust to coloring, reading, or playing quietly increase the time.
5. Give Your Kids Time
One of the benefits of summer break is that you get to spend extra time with your kids. Don’t shoo them away all the time, or you’ll grow your business at the expense of your family.
We have a dedicated family play time each afternoon following lunch. The kids know it’s coming and look forward to it. I look forward to it as well, because I love playing with them!
You don’t have to spend a lot of time, but by putting your kids first for a while each day they’ll be more likely to play on their own more frequently.
Don’t have a freelance business yet? I definitely recommend the following courses to help you get started:
6. Look for Areas to Streamline
What are bottlenecks in your day? Are there certain times of the day that you start to feel the chaos? For some families it could be dinner prep. For others, the morning starts to fall apart.
Observe your life–write down the triggers for your family.
Then, look for ways to streamline this part of your day. You might need to adjust your meal plan. You may need to implement a solid morning routine.
The sooner you address these problems, the sooner you’ll be able to add extra minutes to your freelancing efforts.
If you need help streamlining, be sure to leave a message in the comments. You can share your tricky areas, and my readers and I can try to help you brainstorm solutions!
7. Increase Your Rates
As you build your business and improve your portfolio, consider increasing your rates for new clients. That way you won’t have to work as much, and you’ll still be growing your business!
Believe in yourself! You are worth it!
8. Plan Your Content Marketing
Are you always marketing? It’s not as complicated as it sounds.
If you have a blog, just make sure you’re posting regularly. Can’t stick to a weekly posting schedule? Plan on twice a month. Or monthly.
Just make a blogging plan and stick to it, even when life is crazy. That way you can grow your own audience as well. Your website is a fabulous way to land new clients.
Also think through your social media marketing. It doesn’t have to be complicated. Spend just a couple of minutes in the morning scheduling a few posts. Then later in the day log back on to respond to any interaction.
It’s easy to let this slip when life gets busy, but without marketing your business won’t grow!
9. Connect with Others
When you’re in the middle of diapers and deadlines, it’s easy to think you’re the only one in this situation. Connecting with other freelancing mamas helps. You are not alone!
Whether you’re connecting on Facebook or in real life, make it a point to get to know other freelancers.
You never know–you might get some unexpected work from your connections if they get too busy!
10. Hire a VA
It seems contradictory, but hiring help might be just what you need. If you’re constantly getting buried in emails, marketing, uploading posts to WordPress, or any other process, hiring a VA is an excellent way to push forward.
You’ll get to focus your efforts more on what you actually enjoy, and get a load taken off your shoulders.
11. Focus on Landing Recurring Work
One off gigs are fun, but they sure take a lot of time to track down. I’m focusing on finding more recurring work to grow my business. That way I’m better able to schedule my time.
If I know I have four blog posts to write for client A and two posts to write for client B, and will be working 5 hours for client C as a VA, I can plan for that.
The one-time things are often last minute. They might not always happen at the best time. But, when you’re just starting out and need the money they’re hard to turn down.
By finding a more long-term solution, your life won’t seem as piecemeal!
12. Set Boundaries
Much like number 5, this tip is all about not getting consumed in growing your freelance business. It’s easy to do!
But, you really don’t need to respond to emails at 11 pm when they come in. You don’t need to retweet something within seconds.
I struggled with this when I was first starting, and honestly I still do at times. I felt like being a good freelancer meant being available immediately.
But that’s not the case. You have to value yourself and your time. There’s a huge difference between responding to emails within 24 hours and and within 1.
If you haven’t put boundaries in place with your clients yet, summer is the perfect time to do it!
What About You?
How are you planning to grow your freelance business this summer? Do you have any concerns about balancing work and life?
I’d love for you to share in the comment section.
Lisa Tanner is a former teacher turned homeschooling mom with 11 kids. She's also a successful freelance writer. Lisa enjoys helping other busy moms find time to start and grow a side hustle of their own.