I’m currently working on four different projects. Yes, don’t be alarmed. I still eat, shower, read a book before going to sleep, and spend weekends on a road trip or outdoors. Did I also mention that I run a full household with my twin toddlers, sans any help? Sure, my husband pitches in when he comes home from work, but I have this demanding workload on my own for at least 10 hours a day. And yes, I wrote about it here, please feel free to read if you want. I promise it’s not boring. This is also the part where you probably say I’m crazy insane to do this. But if you’ve been freelancing for at least a couple of years, balancing four projects is quite normal.
So what do I do? I manage (and write) all content for an online subscription magazine, the whole magazine I might add, so I allot at least a week per month for this. And then I also write for another online magazine and they give me at least 2-3 topics a week, also to be submitted within that week. There is a travel website that assigns me ten topics a month. And lastly, I do a couple of articles for a client in the translation industry. Pretty diverse, isn’t it?
How do I manage? How does my work calendar look like, you might ask? In a day, I can be writing 1 to 3 articles, each with different word count requirements, each with different topics. When I have submitted the heaviest loads, I have one week where I only do 1 article every other day, which I get to finish in 2 hours max. So that week is relaxing. And take note. My weekends are always free of work and that’s not negotiable.
Still with me? Writing it all down makes me a bit surprised as to how well I have been handling it. But to be quite frank, I don’t feel overwhelmed, not just yet. So the question remains, am I still looking for new client opportunities despite all these?
Yes. And let me tell you why and how to balance it.
Contracts come and go
You’d think that having this demanding workload is daunting, but what’s daunting is not having money to click “add to cart” or book that hotel. I confess I’m an online shopaholic and a frequent traveller, but at least I know where my paycheck goes.
When you apply for jobs on freelancing sites, you don’t know which ones you’ll end up doing. So, if you’re like me, I send proposals to all that have been posted within the past 2-3 days. Anything posted longer than 4 days has usually been taken up. And of course, you have to choose thoroughly. Only apply to jobs that you think you’re good at and will not feel like a burden.
I usually do this job hunt at the end of each week, for two good reasons. One is that I have met my deadlines, so I have time to go through each project description. And second is that I have that end of the week feel – am I too tired? Can I take more? And if the answer to that question is that I feel like I can handle more jobs, then I go hunt.
Another reason why I continue looking for new client opportunities is that some projects are a one-time thing. In the freelancing world, this is really common. So, if you want to earn more, then you need to take in more contracts. Plus, the hiring process online can take anywhere from a day to a week, and if you’re like me, I hate being vacant. I feel like I’m losing money, as I am also paid by the hour. Just look at all those online sales of make-up and baby stuff that I’m missing because my bank account’s empty!
Not that being vacant is a bad thing. I made my weekends free, to make sure I still have time to breathe and re-energize. And that is also the beauty of freelancing, if you land a big job and have enough money to skip working for months, so be it.
Sure, you can schedule your job hunting once a week, but it’s also not the only place to find new client opportunities. You can do networking in your co-working space. Who knows? A graphic designer might need a copywriter or the other way around.
And you can also do networking on LinkedIn or join sites like Copywriter Collective. Connect to potential clients, connect with other freelancers. There is always someone who is connected to someone. And there is also someone who is in need of someone.
Look for full-time jobs
You read it right. Look for full-time jobs. You’d say you hate the mundane 9-5 and you love being able to work anywhere. But who said anything about getting an actual full-time job? Let me tell you the whole story.
I applied to a lot of full-time jobs, but not exactly looking for full-time work. Once I get their attention, I ask if they would consider giving me freelance work instead of a 9-5. It’s not a sure shot, of course, but you need to try. And guess what? Two of those full-time jobs declined me for the 9-5 but turned to me for freelance work. There’s really no harm in trying.
Finding the balance between looking for new client opportunities while having a demanding workload all boils down to three things – scheduling your existing workload and your job-hunting time, your desire to work more hours and if you want to ensure the continuity of your workload, and asking yourself, “Is it worth it?”
Read another article from Geninna: The perks of being a stay-at-home mom and freelance writer (are there any?)
About the Author:
Daydreaming of pristine white sand beaches and attempting to beat her 40 books read in a year record, Geninna Ariton is a stay-at-home mom by day and a writer (every chance she gets). Nothing gets her happier than resting her feet up with Cabernet Sauvignon on her lips and her twins reading their books beside her. Her mailing address changes every year (for the past 5 years), and right now her postal code is in Romania where her husband is from.
She is currently writing for Inbox Translation, an awesome translation company with headquarters in the UK.