Christmas is upon us already and this poses a dilemma for freelancers. You want to take some time off from your business. It’s understandable, but unlike an employee you can’t just book holidays off without worrying about losing money.
For freelancers, a day where you’re not working is a day that you’re not earning any money. So you need to prepare for the holidays and get yourself in a position where you can afford to take some time off.
Make Sure You’re Charging Enough
First of all you need to take a look at your rates and think about whether they’re enough. Freelancers have a tendency to undercharge for their services, particularly if they’re new to this, which can lead to some cash problems during the holiday season.
Generally you should be charging more than you might think because you have to cover the benefits you would usually receive as an employee. This means that you can’t expect to live on the same amount of money you’d get per hour in a normal job. You have to cover business expenses, sick days, parental leave, pensions and holiday pay.
If you’re charging enough to cover these then you can breathe a little easier during Christmas, knowing that you’re not going to struggle if you take a few days off from work.
Keep Your Clients in the Loop
You will likely have some outstanding work over the Christmas period and if you’re planning to take time off then you need to come to an agreement with your clients on deadlines.
You also need to let them know that you’ll be taking time off and you won’t be available to contact. You could let them all know personally but it’s also a good idea to have an out of office message on your email just to remind them not to expect a response until a certain date.
Bring Christmas to Your Marketing
If you’re taking some time away from work, then it’s always good to have some systems in place so that your marketing efforts keep ticking along. If you haven’t already, get a social media management tool so that you can schedule posts.
It’s important to keep active over the festive period. That being said, be careful not to overload people. During the holiday season, Christmas is at the forefront of everyone’s minds and a lot of other information will get filtered out.
Keep your marketing fresh and relevant by having Christmas themed posts or blog articles to share. Posting about Christmas or any other relevant holiday allows you to bring a bit of personality into your marketing and allows people to see the person behind the profile.
Make sure you’re joining in on the global conversation of the biggest holiday of the year. Share your plans, follow hashtags and get in the Christmas spirit.
Introduce some Christmas offers
Everyone likes a good deal, especially at this time of year. So why not get into the giving mood and introduce some offers and deals for the Christmas period? Having a Christmas deal is also a great way to grab some attention and encourage engagement over your social media channels.
Have you got any Christmas plans for your freelance business? How do you usually plan for taking time off? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.