I’m on vacation! A real one!
Not just a little day trip to Spain like a couple weeks ago. But a plane (a couple, actually)! And sunshine! And beaches! And no schedule!
Freelancing freedom, is really what I’m trying to create for myself and help you create too. (It’s not just a name that sounded good so I bought the url and went with it)
And freedom for me, means taking vacation. When I want and where I want. (Asking for time off at my corporate job always felt like a selfish unacceptable thing to do- no matter how much I deserved it or was legally entitled to it.)
So you may be thinking, well if you’re really taking a vacation, why are you spending time writing this blog post?
Well ya see, I’m not 🙂
I’ll let you in on a little secret:
This post is scheduled.
I wrote it a few days ago. Thanks to the technology gods that make this freelance freedom possible, you get to read it now (while I’m on the beach drinking a mojito). Which means my business can still run and I get to enjoy some freedom away from it.
The truth is, this first real year in business, I haven’t really taken a proper vacation. I’m willing to bet you haven’t either. It takes awhile to go from crazy-I-have-to-make-this-work-hustle to I’ve-made-it-time-to-enjoy-the-fruits-of-my-labor.
And honestly, I’m not quite there yet. I’m still in the work-aholic stage of being a freelancer. But I’m getting closer, albeit slowly.
As I head off to taste a little freelancing freedom, I thought I’d share with you a few tips on preparing to take a vacation as an online freelancer so you can see that it is, in fact possible.
Hopefully this can help you take more vacation too.
Let Your Clients Know as Early as Possible
Whether it’s a last minute trip or planned in advance, let your clients know as soon as you know and be sure to remind them when you get closer to the date.
I’ve seen some seasoned freelancers even have on their work with me page the available months for booking and the months they’ll be on vacation. Hopefully next year I’ll be organized enough to say “I don’t work May, August & September” so it’s clear up front!
Of course the dream is to finish up all in-progress projects before you leave, but that’s not always the reality. Just be open and honest and they’ll understand!
Pre-Write and Schedule Your Blog Posts & Newsletter
Instead of letting your traffic slide while you’re away, pre-write your blog posts and newsletters and schedule them to post while you’re on the beach. Just like this one!
You can use the native WordPress scheduler alongside a plugin like WP Editorial Calendar to schedule and stay organized.
And if batch writing posts in advance is a little daunting for you, enlist a guest poster or two to take the stage while you’re away.
I’ve got a couple lovely FTF members who I’ve brought on to share their wisdom with you guys while I’m away. I get a break, they get to share with a new audience, and you get a break from me 🙂 Win win all around!
Schedule Social Media Updates
If you’ve spent time building up your reach, engagement and social media audience, it’d be a shame to lose that momentum during your vacation. Although not all platforms function the same way, Facebook in particular can give you some trouble if you suddenly disappear.
Use Buffer or Hootsuite to pre-schedule some helpful content for your fans, so your reach doesn’t drop off the face of the earth while you’re away. You’ll likely check in (unless you’re one of those amazing people who can go completely offline while away), engage and add updates about your trip, but this way you are still providing regular useful content to your followers.
Accept that you might have a lower month in terms of income.
That’s the life of a freelancer, vacation or not. Especially if you have longer term contracts that aren’t invoiced 100% up front.
But the reality is, I invoiced some clients on the 31st of last month that could have easily been invoiced on June 1st. And I’ve finished up some projects that I could have invoiced if I wasn’t on vacation right now, and instead I’ll invoice them in July.
If tracking money is important to you (and it should be) it’s the yearly amount that should matter. Not any given month. Some months are amazing and some months not so much (even if you’re actively working non-stop). Luckily I’m not a crazy spender- so a good month doesn’t mean a shopping spree and I know I need to keep enough aside if ever the next month is a bit dry.
You may think your business is going to tank if you step away for even a day, let alone a couple weeks. Wrapping things up before leaving and preparing for time away can be extra work. But hey, it’s worth it! That’s why you’re building this business for in the first place right?
Freedom. So prepare and then enjoy it.
So tell me
Do you take enough vacation as a freelancer? How do you prepare to take a break from your biz?
P.S. Follow me on Instagram to see what I’m up to while I’m away from biz!