When you start out freelancing, it can be very overwhelming. You've got to think about a lot of things, what you want to focus on, how you'll manage clients, what hours to work, how often to bill a client, what rate you'll charge, etc… the last thing you're probably worried about is having no freelance work—or is it?

I know that when I first switched from part-time ‘side hustle' to full-time freelancing, it was something that CONSTANTLY plagued me. I worried that I wouldn't be able to find clients or maintain the current workload that I had, and end up with no work, no money, and loads of bills.

Not something you wanna be faced with as a new freelancer!

While this never eventuated for me, ie, I've never NOT had work coming up, I believe there's a reason why.

Planning. Taking Action. Executing.

In other words, I'm always networking, chatting to my current clients and getting referrals. If I've ever stopped and wondered, “how will I pay for that bill next month?” Something has always cropped up.

[Tweet “In other words, I'm always networking, chatting to my current clients and getting referrals”]

But I hear ya—you're thinking to yourself, “Lise, what the hell?! How does any of this help ME!”

Bear with me, I do have a point… And my point is this. If you want to ensure that you always have work on the horizon, then you need to always be taking action and gobbling up opportunities. Don't get complacent.

Still, I know that someone, somewhere will tell me that they have had periods of ‘dry spells,' so here's what I would do if faced with this situation.

7 Tips for Coping With No Freelance WorkHow to find freelance work when you've got none!

#1: Plan ahead

If you're busy right now, chances are you're probably not worried about looking for more work. However, this is exactly when you should look for more work.

Aim to apply for new gigs at least 2-3 times per week.

#2: Spring clean

If you've just come off a really busy time, welcome the ‘dry spell' and take the time to tidy up your business.

Issue invoices, follow up with your accountant. Basically, do all the admin tasks that you've put aside until a time when you're not so busy. Guess what? That's now!

#3: Don't slack off

Keep up your normal routines. Get up at the same time, exercise like you would; do all the things you would as if you were crazy busy.

#4: Outreach

Reach out to your network, better yet, got to some networking events. Meetup.com is great for finding meetings to attend. Take your business card and get out there and work it!

Remember social media? Twitter and LinkedIn are a freelancers playground when it comes to finding clients. If you've been proactive and planned ahead, these are the two areas that I would be focusing my attention on.

#5: Update profiles

Update your profiles on Upwork and Freelancer.

Take more tests and while you're there, apply for more jobs. I can guarantee you'll have a gig within 7 days, tops.

#6: Volunteer

If there is nothing at all coming up, then get out and do some good. It'll give you some brownie points and the Universe will reciprocate.

#7: Review your biz model

Take a long, hard look at your business and decide whether you need to change the business model you're currently running.

Do you need to charge more? Can you expand on your skill set? Is there a new venture you could step into?

#8: Read more

If you haven’t already, grab yourself a copy of “Side Hustle Blueprint: How to make an extra $1000 in 30 days without leaving your day job!” – you’ll find a ton of places to look for jobs there.

#9: If all else fails—take a holiday!

A stay-cation could be just what you need to recharge and refocus.

It's About Planning Ahead

The bottom line is, you really shouldn't hit any dry spells if you've planned ahead. Remember, a planned ‘dry spell' is a much better option.

The name of the freelance game is earning consistent income. 

If you’re struggling to find clients, read this post on finding higher paying freelance gigs, and this post on how to make a great first impression with a potential client.

Have you had a dry spell? Are you going to be the person that puts me in my place?! Leave a comment below…

Lise Cartwright
Lise Cartwright

Founder of Hustle & Groove and your creative business strategist. If you want to get notified of new posts just like the ones you see here, then make sure you join the awesome H & G community — Join Now!

    4 replies to "How to Cope When You Have No Freelance Work on the Horizon"

    • Elise Dopson

      I love this article, Lise!

      I recently changed my business model and it’s had a huge impact on my freelancing business. My pricing model changed and I’m finding myself attracting higher-paying clients as well as enjoying my work more 🙂

    • Vins

      Never give up! Master your craft, learn the basics of sales and marketing, utilise your existing network and never give up. You will definitely land a client or 2 soon.

    • Miki

      If you have never NOT had work coming up or being out of projects “never eventuated” for you

      Why are you writing about this!

      • Lise Cartwright

        Hey Miki – I wrote about this because it’s something that a lot of my members have struggled with. And as I stated at the beginning of the post, I believe there’s a reason why I’ve never not had work.

        I wish you all the best!

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