The calendar says October which means we’ve entered the fourth and final quarter of the year. Just as it is with a football or basketball game, how we “perform” in the final three months will determine whether our year was a winner or not.
Of course, come January 1st we’ll be starting over again, but I like to believe that quite a few freelancers share my thinking – how can I maximize my work now so that I finish the year with flair and, hopefully, turn a profit?
Well, the left side of your brain (analytical) has to work with the right side (creative) to pull it all off. You can do all of the analysis you want, but it is your creative side that puts words on paper – or on the screen – permitting you to make money in the first place.
The two lobes of your brain, however, must work in partnership. If they don’t then you’ll be at war with yourself and probably be nursing a major headache. Who needs that?!
Courtesy of your brain, read on for some cerebral tips to help you finish this year with eagerness and maybe even some more money in your pocket:
Left Brain Activities (Analysis)
If you’re lacking business, you can take the following steps to build up your workload:
- Contact previous customers – Perhaps a few years ago you had an assignment with a client that was successfully completed. You’re already a known quantity in their eyes, but you’ve since lost touch with them. Reestablish contact by means of a friendly note or phone call reminding them of your previous work and current availability.
- Review current assignments – One of your active clients is working out quite well, but you wonder if they have additional work for you. Maybe you’re writing articles, but have noticed that their web pages could use a makeover. Use your influence to outline what you believe could be improved on their website (problem) and what steps you would take to make said improvements (solution).
- Leave your comfort zone – Everyone has preferences when it comes to contacting customers. You may prefer to win customers through Elance or Craigslist when making cold calls to local businesses would do you much good. Resolve to try something different in a bid to expand your business.
Right Brain Activities (Creative)
Being a content building machine has its advantages, but that gets old. Mix things up by doing the following:
- Write outside your niche – Being an expert within your niche offers many benefits. Steady work. Recognition. Job satisfaction. However, it could also keep you from landing more work. Consider writing beyond your subject area, putting aside health and beauty articles for a time to write about animal care or military benefits. Or whatever.
- Use editorial style sheets – Maybe you’ve gotten a bit careless with your work or your writing style could use an overhaul. Challenge yourself by downloading editorial style sheets from Demand Studios or your local university to help whip your prose into shape. Be open to editorial criticism if your work needs improvement.
- Examine your priorities – Just how well are you managing your time every day? LOL Cats may be cute and your expertise on a writing forum may be valued, but neither task brings home the money. I’m not saying you shouldn’t interact with people online, but if you’re endlessly stumbling or tweeting throughout the day or feeling your blood pressure rising when reading political blogs, then you may need to set limits to your nonremunerative activity.
A challenging economy notwithstanding, you can put both lobes of your brain to work to come up with ways to help you work better, faster and smarter – just the steps we all need to take in order to run a profitable enterprise.
Are you reworking your strategy for the remaining months of the year? If so, I would love for you to add your comments below. Let’s get the discussion rolling!
Photo Credit: Mózgowie Człowieka