From navigating bank holidays, to squeezing in your shopping, surviving hangovers and worrying about a lull in earnings, Christmas and New Year can be a stressful time for freelancers.
But before the festive panic sets in, remember that December and January are actually brimming with opportunity - if you know where to look. Our freelancer guide has few tricks you need to ensure that December and January work to your advantage:
Client bonding (and boozing)
If you work remotely, Christmas is the perfect excuse to drag yourself away from the computer, and remind your clients what you look like in real life! Drinks, lunches and parties are a great way to build relationships, show your clients you love them, and store up plenty of goodwill for the New Year. And did we mention that client entertaining is tax deductible?!
Presents! (and promotion)
Everyone loves unexpected gifts, so why not surprise your clients with a little something – and use it to promote your services at the same time. Gifts can be as simple as a handwritten card, some personalised chocolates, or something useful like a pen, diary or calendar with your contact details printed on. It shows you’re thinking of them – and helps make sure you’re front of mind for future projects.
Christmas and New Year provide loads of opportunities for creative content ideas, for blogs, newsletters, infographics and social media. Whether you focus on current trends, future predictions, or good old New Year’s resolutions – they’re all great marketing tools, particularly with thousands of office workers looking for a welcome distraction to accompany their mince pies.
The Christmas news agenda
The media can’t resist a good Christmas story, so make sure you’ve got some fun festive PR ideas up your sleeve, whether that’s office party disasters or the best way to cook your sprouts. Another handy strategy for bagging Christmas coverage is to target the eerily quiet news desks between the 25th December and New Year’s Day, when you’re likely to find that competition is significantly less fierce that normal.
Christmas is the time for… admin!
Okay, we know it’s not as fun as client entertaining, but if your schedule is looking scarily empty then don’t despair! Instead use it as an opportunity to take stock and catch up on all those bits of admin you’ve been meaning to do for ages, like clearing out your inbox, catching up on your blogging or sorting out your tax return ahead of the January deadline. And for other ideas, have a read of our article on how to maximise dry periods.
Clients shouldn’t be your only target when it comes to getting out and about, as journalists also tend to be a lot more amenable to a spot of socialising at this time of year. So, seize the moment, and work on that rolodex ahead of 2018.
New year, new business
For many clients, Christmas time is also planning and budget time, which means it can be a good moment to make an approach about your services. Get in there now with a clever pitch or a well-timed phone call to find out about their plans, and you could line up some exciting projects for the New Year.
Take a breather
As a freelancer, it can sometimes feel like you’re always on, so whatever your workload and stress level, try to make the most of the enforced Christmas break. It’s one of the few times of year when you don’t need to feel guilty about doing nothing – because everyone else is doing nothing too!
Wishing you a wonderful Christmas and New Year from The Work Crowd!
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