3 Easy Ways to Get More Freelance Work this Summer
Summer vacations are an untapped opportunity to get more freelance work. When freelancers, and employees at client organizations, go on vacation in the summer, the work still needs to get done. Some freelancers also like to work less in the summer—giving you more opportunity if you’re willing to work more. While employees usually can’t take extra time off, they may be taking things a bit easier in the summer too.
Help Clients Get their Work Done
That’s why summer is a great time for you to get more freelance work, and to build stronger relationships with clients. Clients need your help even more when other freelancers and employees are away.
Here are 3 easy ways to get more freelance work this summer.
#1. Take a Vacation and Get More Freelance Work
The #1 way to get more work from current clients is to tell them that you’re going on vacation. When we tell clients that we’re going away, they suddenly find lots of projects they need our help with.
Tell your clients about your vacation 4 to 6 weeks before you’ll be out of the office. This gives you time to squeeze in some of the projects your clients suddenly need help with. Letting your clients know about your vacation early also gives them time to find another great freelancer for any project you can’t get done before you leave.
If, on the other hand, you don’t tell clients about your vacation until the week before you leave, or if a client contacts you about a project and you’re not there, that client will probably never hire you again.
Refer Your Client to Another Freelancer
If you can’t take on a project because of your vacation, offer to help your client find another freelancer. There’s a very slim chance that doing this could result in the client giving future work to the new freelancer instead of you. But this has never happened to me or to any of my colleagues. Collaboration always beats competition.
You’re much more likely to get more freelance work by helping your client, who will really appreciate the referral. The client will want to give you more freelance work and refer you to other clients who need a great freelancer.
Those referrals usually lead to new work fast because:
- The client already needs a freelancer when he/she ask for referrals
- Clients want to do business with people they know—or people recommended by people they know.
And when the freelancer you helped has a freelance opportunity to refer, he/she is likely to think of you first.
#2. Send Some Friendly Emails to Get More Freelance Work
Sending out some friendly emails is another easy way to get more freelance work over the summer. Contact your current clients, prospects who’ve expressed interest in your services but not yet hired you, and colleagues to let them know you’re available.
Here are email templates for clients, interested prospects, and colleagues. Revise the language so it’s appropriate for each person and organization, and your personal style.
Email template for clients
Subject:Need Some Extra Help with Writing [OR OTHER TYPE OF] Projects this Summer? Count on me
Isn’t it hard to get your work done when people go on vacation? I’m staying put this summer [OR WHEN YOU’LL BE AROUND IF YOU’RE TAKING A VACATION] and would be happy to take on some extra freelance writing.
Just let me know how I can help.
Email template for interested prospects
Subject: Can I Help [NAME OF ORGANIZATION] with Your Writing [OR OTHER TYPE OF] Projects this Summer?
Isn’t it hard to get your work done when people go on vacation? I’m staying put this summer [OR WHEN YOU’LL BE AROUND IF YOU’RE TAKING A VACATION] and would be glad to help [NAME OF ORGANIZATION] meet your freelance writing needs.
[1-2 SENTENCES TO REMIND THE PROSPECT WHY THEY SHOULD HIRE YOU, INCLUDING MENTION OF THE CLIENT’S KEY NEED AND HOW YOU MEET IT. LINK TO YOUR WEBSITE OR LINKED IN PROFILE.]
Here’s an example of what I might write for my 1-2 sentences:
As a freelance medical writer for 26 years, I have lots of experience helping hospitals attract more patients. Here’s a link to my website, where you can learn more about my background and experience and see writing samples for other hospitals.
Should we schedule a brief call to discuss how I can help you this summer?
Email template for colleagues
Subject line: Do your clients need extra freelance help this summer? And how can I help you?
Hi [COLLEAGUE’S NAME]. When people go on vacation over the summer, many clients need extra freelance help. If your clients need more help, or you hear of other clients who need help, would you keep me in mind?
I’m looking for [DESCRIBE THE TYPE OF WORK AND CLIENTS]. [1-2 SENTENCES ABOUT YOUR RELEVANT EXPERIENCE.] You and your clients can learn more about me on my website [OR LINKEDIN PROFILE].
How Can I Help You?
If I hear about any clients who need extra help, or about freelance opportunities that might be right for you but not for me, I’d be glad to refer them to you. What type of work are you interested in?
Thanks [COLLEAGUE’S NAME].
Get More Freelance Work by Following Up
Following up regularly with prospects who’ve expressed interest in your services but not yet hired you and colleagues is one of the keys to getting more freelance work. Clients need to be thinking of you first when they need a freelancer and colleagues need to be thinking of you first when they have freelance work to refer.
#3. Do a Direct Email Campaign to Get More Freelance Work
Find and get high-paying clients using direct email. This takes more time and effort than the other two ways to get more freelance work, but it’s worth it. Just ask freelancers Kathleen Labonge, Brandon May, Malaika Hill, and Lisa Baker—who are all getting great clients through direct email.
Direct email means writing a carefully customized email that focuses on what you can do for that prospect. A direct email:
- Shows that you understand the prospect’s needs
- Uses language and values from the prospect’s website
- Briefly highlights how your expertise and experience can help the prospect.
Direct email works so well because it focuses on helping prospective clients solve their problems, not trying to sell your services. And it lets you choose the high-paying clients you want to work with, instead of taking whatever work comes along.
Get free direct email templates, examples, and tips
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