The Freelancer’s Guide to Preparing for the Holidays

by Greg DePersio

2 min read

As a freelancer, the holidays can be challenging when the businesses you rely upon for work temporarily closes up shop. Besides saving money to ride out this down time, preparing for holidays includes engaging in professional development and creating products to help you market your services in the new year.

Plan Your Holiday Budget

Businesses that hire freelancers usually go dark during the holidays, which could leave you without a new project for three weeks or longer. For this reason, it’s a good idea to start saving a portion of your earnings as early as September. Consider using your bookkeeping software to plan your holiday budget including rent, utilities, credit card bills, travel, and entertainment. Even if you don’t make any money during the holidays, you’ll have a worry-free few weeks if you can meet your financial obligations.

Snag Last Minute Jobs

While some of your clients may close down in the first or second week in December, others might work straight through the holidays. Since you never know who might still be in the office, consider sending a email to your clients at the start of the holiday season letting them know your schedule. Sharing this information is an effective way to earn extra money for the holidays, as you never know who might need you to complete a last-minute job.

Consider Outsourcing

You might be planning to avoid work over the holidays altogether. If this is the case, consider asking a freelancer you trust who you know will be working over the holidays to take jobs from any of your clients while you’re on vacation. To avoid misunderstandings and possible loss of business, ensure to let your clients know well in advance of the holidays that you’ve asked someone you trust to fill in for you. It’s also a smart idea to consider offering them the same quality guarantees as when you complete the work yourself.

Focus on Professional Development

Freelancers always need new skills. Even if you’re planning on spending most of your time with friends and family, consider using your downtime for professional development.

Companies such as Coursera offer a range of courses that build subject-matter knowledge. Additionally, other companies like Udemy and HubSpot offer sales and marketing courses that could be beneficial to your business. Besides these three companies, many more also offer free and paid courses for students with various budgets.

Start a Blog or Write an eBook

Over the past year, you’ve amassed lots of experience that you may wish to share with new freelancers. If you’d like to stay productive during the holidays, consider starting a blog, upgrading an existing blog with new content to it, or writing an eBook. If you plan to complete a book or add a lot of new content to your blog, spend some time in your favourite social media platforms networking with prospective clients and other professionals in your field. Consider asking them to share links to your content, which is an effective way to potentially gain business in the new year.

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