Summer is the best time for freelance writing. Freelance writers can work anywhere there’s WiFi and even plenty of places there aren’t. We can also rearrange our schedules for summer vacation or to coincide with outings or pool time. Summer is the time of year when my office working family members and friends don’t wonder if I really have a job, they wish they had MY job.
Summer can also be a frustrating time for freelance writers because they can’t always do the activities they like because they have to meet deadlines. So if you’re spending too much time on the beach, you might also have to cut some of that back in order to fulfill your obligations. I know if I want to spend afternoons in the pool I will also have to work in the early morning hours or into the night to ensure my work gets done.
Summer is only a couple of months away and with careful planning there’s no reason why you shouldn’t have some fun in the sun while still rocking the gig.
Here are some tips for preparing for summer vacation:
Preparing for Summer with Your Freelance Writing Clients
If you have regular clients who depend on you to write for them each month, let them know about your summer vacation as soon as possible. If you’re going away, downsizing or working different hours, be sure to advise everyone who will be affected. When you give them one or two week’s notice it could put a halt to certain projects or force clients to go to someone else, at least temporarily. Letting everyone know your plans in advance will allow them to get materials and assignments to you ahead of time, and allow you to work ahead in anticipation. It will also enable you to line up trusted writers to outsource to if the need arises.
If your day will become shorter or your hours are changing during the summer, let your clients know this as well. Inform them of the best times to talk on the phone and how much work you’ll be doing for them during the summer. If you’re going to be waking very early in the morning to handle assignments, you might even let them know it’s best to contact you via email during these times. For important projects and your very best clients, you might want to share your cell phone information. However, make sure it’s with a client who won’t abuse the privilege.
Preparing for Summer with Your Blogging Clients
Blogging clients are different from regular freelance writing clients in that they may require a certain amount of posts per week. Discuss your vacation with your client and let him know you’ll be posting in advance so he doesn’t have to worry about the loss of traffic when you’re not around. The only problem might be with if you have to post current news topics. If this is the case, see if you can post some “evergreen” topics ahead of time. If your client agrees maybe you can forgo the news while you’re away, outsource to another blogger or post news during your down time rather than a specific day or time. Your best option is probably to post ahead when you have extra time. As with all clients, do make sure your blogging client will know when you will and won’t be available and whether or not you’ll be checking your email or taking cell phone calls.
Preparing for Summer with Your Web Content Clients
Web content clients are probably the lowest paying clients in your portfolio but they still deserve professionalism. All web content clients are different, however. If you can come and go as you please and you’re not expected to deliver a specific quota of articles each month, you can pretty much set your own summer schedule without having to let them know what you’re doing. However, if your client assigns articles or expects a certain amount of titles to be written each month, you’ll have to make certain arrangements.
Many web content clients want that writing to flow whether you’re on vacation or not. If this is the case, apprise them of your plans and discuss whether or not you want to work ahead to meet your quotas or let another freelancer temporarily take the gig. Always let clients know your availability and whether or not you’ll be checking your email.
Professional Courtesy is in Order
As freelancers we can do what we want. We don’t have to take gigs we don’t like and we don’t have to get permission from our clients to take a vacation. Still, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t act as professionals. Always let clients know when you’ll be away if only so they’ll know why you’re not responding to email. Discuss what will happen to the work in your absence and make sure there will be a job when you come back. If you’re not going away but changing to “summer hours” let them know this as well. The earlier you advise your clients of your plans, the easier it will be for all of you to make any necessary arrangements.
One reason many freelance writers don’t take a vacation or take off during the summer is because they’re afraid of losing income or clients. With the proper planning, neither has to take place.
Do you vacate or downsize during the summer? How do you handle this with clients? Share your tips below…