Summer time is the best – picnics in the park, sangria on the terrasse, road trips to the beach. Sunshine and warm weather just put everyone in a better mood.
Unfortunately for us freelancers and business owners, summertime also usually means things get a little slower. With everyone taking time off and skipping out of work early, it’s not always the easiest time to get new business.
Clients have put things on hold until they return to work, or they aren’t launching anything while the kids are home from school. Great for them, not so great for your bank account.
It can be tempting to use this down time as an excuse to take the summer off and spend your afternoons at the beach. But if you’re not at that point in your business, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and make a plan.
Here are some suggestions on how to spend the summer slowdown.
When you need money quick
Offer a summer deal
Create a flash sale or summer deal to entice people to buy now. You can do this in a few ways:
- Bundle 2 or more of your services or products together. For example, bundle your design services to create a super package, or include your course or ebook when they buy a service.
- Add a bonus to your usual package. For example, get 10 extra social media images for free with the purchase of 1 month of content creation, or throw in a bonus coaching session with you.
- Offer a discounted price. If you go this route, be sure to make it very clear what your normal price is so people don’t get the wrong idea about your pricing or value.
Once you decide what your summer deal will be, tell everyone about it. Send an email to your list and your past clients letting them know that if they are thinking about working with you they should jump on the chance now. You can also spread the word on your social media channels and to your network.
Look for work in new places
If you have recurring clients or steady work coming in from word of mouth, you probably don’t have to go out looking for new work very often. But if the slow summer months mean this work is drying up, it’s time to start hunting for new clients.
You can start by letting your network know that you have openings in your schedule and just straight up ask them to make a referral. If that doesn’t get you anywhere, start knocking on doors. Reach out to local businesses and offer your services.
During the summer your community is probably extra happening with festivals, concerts, and other events. Don’t be afraid to reach out there, though many of them might be volunteer led and won’t pay (but could be a great portfolio item for you if you are really interested in the group or event). Brainstorm other businesses that might be looking for your expertise for their busy summer months, or their fall/back-to-school launches that they’re prepping for now.
And don’t forget about job boards. People hate on them due to the time it takes to sift through job listings and apply, but there are good clients on there that need your expertise right away.
Check out the big guys, but look for niche freelance marketplace sites in your field too. Some of these will try to hook you up with recurring work, which can be a nice way to pad your bank account with steady income.
If you want to build up for the fall
Create a product
Take advantage of less client time by creating the information product or course you’ve been mulling over. If you start now, you can have something to launch or beta test by the fall.
Work on your systems
Spending time on your systems now will free up time in the future when the work picks up again. There are plenty of things in your business you can automate, like your client onboarding, invoicing, and contracts.
If you’re not sure where to start with this, check out the Stress Less & Impress course to save you boatloads of time with every new client.
Just get organized already
You know all those administrative type tasks you’ve been putting off? The ones that sit on your to-do list every single week and never gets checked off? Maybe this is the time to start tackling those.
Bookkeeping, organizing your desktop, creating an operations manual, cleaning up your email list, etc. The task might seem boring now but you will be proud of yourself when you finally get to check it off.
Of course you should take some time to enjoy the summer weather this year, but be sure to put some time into your business too. Whether you need to hustle to get new clients, or you’re just streamlining things for the future, your future self will thank you in the fall. So grab an iced latte and get to work!