Waiting GamePosted on: Oct 09, 2014
As much as I'd like to be constantly busy churning out creative masterpiece after creative masterpiece, inevitably the working day of a freelancer has quiet times. It could be that you're waiting for a client to approve a quote, or waiting for feedback on a piece of work, but it's normally the case that you're anticipating some kind of green light from your customers. I'm no good at waiting, even if it's only for a couple of hours.
However, there's no point working on something if you haven't got the right information, as you'd only be wasting your own time. Maybe I'm still too used to life in a busy office, where there's always someone at the door, the phone is ringing, a colleague needs your help or it's your turn to do the tea run. When it's just little old you in your home office, it's a different ball game.
Whenever I have some time on my hands I keep busy doing the following:
Tidy up! I'm getting a bit OCD about my new desk, and I find having too much clutter around me very distracting, so it all gets tidied away out of sight.
Touch base with old/potential clients. It's always a good idea to keep in touch with all of your clients, but sometimes we forget 'the one that got away'. They may not have had any projects for you a few months ago, but maybe the situation has changed since then.
Update your resources. There are so many free design resources out there, from fonts to stock photography, it's always worth seeing what's new.
Tutorials. Again, there are so many tutorials and tips out there for designers you would need a lifetime to watch them all, so why not watch a few when you have time to do so.
Self-promotion. It's not enough to be good at what you do, you have to shout about it. That means blogging, tweeting, Facebook-ing and networking regularly. I'll admit I still need to be more frequent with all of these myself! Self-promotion also means ensuring your website is up to date with all of your latest work. And when was the last time you asked a client for a testimonial? People aren't going to drop one in your lap, you have to ask. Having testimonials on my website has done wonders for me; it instantly reassures potential clients that you're professional and will do as you promise.
And if all else fails, stick the kettle on!
If you're a fellow freelancer I'd love to hear your tips for making the most of quite times.