As one might imagine, a typical day in the life of a freelancer is anything but. One average workday might consist of a virtual client meeting, hours of writing and editing and tracking payments. The next day could include searching for new clients, writing a blog, updating a personal website and spending time on a networking website. As for the hours, freelancers pretty much make their own as long as they can meet any deadlines assigned.
How to Get Freelancer Work
Freelancers pretty much split their time into three main categories: marketing their services, working on assignments and administrative work like getting office supplies and billing. When first starting out though, you can expect to spend more time setting up your workspace and trying to get clients. In the beginning, an average day might consist of putting together a portfolio of work, designing a website and searching for connections on LinkedIn.
Write to Done stresses the importance of on-and-offline networking for freelancers. That old saying about who you know is more important than what you know can be true when it comes to strengthening connections you already have and forging new ones. Join business and writer networking sites and if they hold local meetings, sign up to attend. These are proven ways to meet potential clients, plus you can volunteer your services to meet more people and build up your portfolio.
Freelancers also spend time in their average workdays updating their websites and posting on Twitter, Facebook and other social media. Staying in the spotlight builds familiarity with potential future customers, and including links to your website can direct them to it. When assignments are non-existent or light, freelances also apply for work online. Webflow shares more than 20 freelance websites, and you can scroll through the list to see which ones match up with your talents and experience. Applying for freelance work can be time-consuming, as many will ask open-ended questions or have other requirements you’ll need to complete.
Average Work Day for Established Freelancers
Freelance workers who are skilled and lucky enough to land reliable clients spend most of their time working. For writers, this includes organizing assignments, researching, writing, tracking time and invoicing clients. It can also involve interviewing executives, a lot of back and forth emails with clients and virtual meetings.
Time management can be challenging for freelancers, because there are so many distractions at home – it could be your children, pets, beautiful weather outside or those tasty leftovers in the refrigerator. Goats on the Road recommends using tracking tools like Google Calendar and Asana to stay on top of assignments, and sticking to a general routine. For example, you could get to your workstation at 9 a.m., spend 30 minutes going over your assignments, and work until noon.
It is important to take a lunch break and to leave your desk and move about a few times during the day as well. You could pause your work at 3 p.m., go out for an hour walk, come back and work until 6 p.m. Another option is to take off on a weekday to do all your errands and work on a Saturday. This way, you avoid the crowds who shop on weekends. So in a nutshell, the average workday for a freelancer can be whatever you need it to be as long as you stay organized, motivated and dedicated.