One of the scariest things for a freelancer is looking ahead at their calendar and seeing nothing but blank spaces on the to-do list. When your freelance sales pipeline is low and you don’t have any upcoming projects, it can be a bit alarming.
But the ebb and flow of busy times for freelancers is often normal so don’t get too worked up if you don’t have a lot of work coming up. Instead, use the tips below to attract more projects and keep calm (and busy) during your slow times.
8 things to do when your freelance sales pipeline is low
Follow these suggestions to make the most of your freelance downtime:
- Create new sales materials.
- Spend productive time on social media.
- Improve your skills and/or learn something new.
- Create new offerings and/or packages.
- Create an asset you can sell.
- Reconnect with past clients.
- Promote new offerings and discounts to your email list.
- Repeat what’s worked well in the past.
Ready to start drumming up new business? Let’s go!
Create new sales materials
It’s easier to land new clients when you have materials that help you market and show off your skills. So use downtime when your freelance sales pipeline is low to create sales materials that will help you secure new business.
Write new blog posts for your website. Write blog posts that show off your knowledge about your industry or subject matter.
Write a guest post for another website. Get additional exposure by writing a blog post for a third-party site that targets your ideal customers.
Create a freebie giveaway. Develop an offering that you can give away as a lead magnet on your website.
Create case studies. Review past projects and create a story that shows the client’s problem, how you helped solve it, and the results that came from working with you.
You can learn more about using downtime to prep new case studies for your web dev portfolio here.
Spend productive time on social media
When your freelance sales pipeline is empty, you might find yourself on social media more often than usual. And, that’s OK as long as you’re spending productive time on social media.
Productive time on social media is when you use platforms to build awareness for you and your brand and connect with prospective clients and partners.
Don’t waste time frivolously browsing through your social media stream. Instead, use your time on social media wisely.
Update your LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn is a great place for freelancers to find leads, so update your profile, link with connections, join groups, and seek out references.
Answer questions on social media. Don’t wait for clients to come to you. Go out and find them on social media by searching for hashtags or questions related to your industry. Engage with users and provide value to users who could be an ideal client.
Connect with other freelancers like you. Instead of looking at other freelancers as competition, look at them as a support system. Their busy time could be your downtime, so build relationships where you can pass work back and forth to each other.
Read more about social media networking for developers in this guide.
Improve your skills and/or learn something new
When your sales pipeline is active, you don’t have as much time to read a new business book or take an online course or go to a local in-person class. So when your freelance sales pipeline is low, take time for one of the educational opportunities you haven’t been able to pursue.
Take a lesson to improve the skills you already have and take your abilities to the next level.
Or, step away from your core offerings and learn a new complementary skill that you can add to your repertoire and use to provide additional services to your ideal clients.
Create new offerings and/or packages
Having a new or upgraded offering is a great way to resell to existing clients and sell more to new clients. So while you have time off, consider what else you can add to your offering list. If you learn a new skill, add that to your service list — or find a way to pair it with your other services to create valuable packages.
Create an asset you can sell
Another way to create opportunities for making more money is by creating a product you can sell. Rather than relying on selling your time, you can create a tangible asset that you can sell to customers.
Even better, you can create an info-based or online offer, such as an ebook or course, that you can create once and then sell over and over in your eCommerce store.
Use your downtime to create the project or at least get it started. Then anytime you find yourself with extra time, return to the product until it’s complete and you can get it on your site or shelves for purchase year-round.
Reconnect with past clients
Happy past clients are one of the best resources for finding new work. Not only are prior clients likely to work with you again, but they are also likely to refer others to you.
So when your freelance sales pipeline is low, revisit your past client list and reach out to them to promote one of your upcoming offers.
To improve your chances of getting work through the outreach, personalize your messages and promote the offer most likely to resonate with the specific client.
Let past clients know you have upcoming limited availability. Encourage clients to move forward with projects they may be putting off by letting them know you have time now, but you won’t in the future.
Ask for referrals. Let past clients know you’re seeking new work and ask for referrals. You can even offer something to them in return for sending a new client your way.
Promote your new service, package, or asset. If you spent time adding to your freelance arsenal by learning a new skill or creating something new to sell, let past clients be the first to know.
Promote new offerings and discounts to your email list
If you pitch your old client list, but still find yourself with an empty freelance sales pipeline, tap into your email list. Reach out to prospects who have connected with you in the past, and create offers to turn them from passive readers into paying customers.
Repeat what’s worked well in the past
We all know the saying, “There is no reason to reinvent the wheel.” This advice rings true when your freelance sales pipeline is low. If you aren’t busy, but have been busy in the past, look back to see what helped you land clients the first time.
Go through your client list one by one and take note of how you acquired the customer. Look for trends and set your upcoming marketing initiatives to follow the tactics that worked best for you in the past.
Keep your freelance sales pipeline full
The tips in this post will help you fill your freelance sales pipeline in the event that it becomes low. But, these tactics will also help you keep your pipeline full so you never have to worry about rushing to find new work and clients.
Regularly implement these processes so your freelance business always has clients waiting at your door. For more tips on how to stay busy in your freelance business, check out the post How to find your perfect clients: A comprehensive guide.