You can breathe a huge sigh of relief when you book so much work that you’re going to be busy for the next couple of months. This allows you to turn off your marketing machine instead to focus solely on client delivery.
Every so often, I attempt to book myself out so that I cannot worry about marketing and instead focusing on delivering the best possible content for my clients. If you’ve never had the opportunity to book yourself out before, it’s an extremely valuable experience that I strongly recommend.
Recently, I booked myself out for eight weeks of freelance business with about 3-4 days’ worth of effort. Then, I marked myself as unavailable and focused specifically on delivering those new clients projects. I did this process again as I prepared for a three-week summer vacation. I slammed my calendar full of clients leading up to my departure date, and this allowed me to drop fully off the grid for my entire trip while having brought in enough money to cover my business during that time.
What follows are my three best tips for booking yourself out.
Target Your Ideal Clients Only
The best way to make use of your time is to target your ideal clients only. Rather than being a jack of all trades writer, choosing to book a certain amount of business from a particular industry or on a particular type of project will mean that you make the most of your time.
For example, if you write whitepapers for software technology companies, you might choose to book yourself out with four whitepaper projects over the next two months. This will allow you to stay in the world of whitepaper writing and have all of your research be focused in a similar vein, thus making the most of your time. I did this with my SEO blogging clients.
Choose a Package
Next, you need to appeal to your clients by offering them some kind of package. Whether you’re focused on one-off projects or recurring business, clients need to be absolutely clear about what they are going to get by choosing to work with you.
Setting a minimum in order to work with you is the best way to encourage only your ideal clients to work with you on projects like this. For example, you might be targeting five clients offering a $500 minimum project. Having this number in the back of your mind helps you achieve success much faster. You’ll always know exactly how close you are to hitting that goal.
Urgency is perhaps the most important element of booking yourself out. Listing on your website that you only have three spots left for August and September, for example, shows clients that you are in demand and that you only choose to work with a select few people.
Everyone loves to feel exclusive and you are much more likely to sell out these spots when you are advertising them. You can also use this on phone calls with your clients or in emails (i.e. “I’ve got one spot left!”).
Those clients who have been thinking about working with you who haven’t ever emailed you back or the client who ordered something two months ago is perfect for this. Send a quick note: “Just wanted to see how things are going and whether there’s anything I can do to help.” I used this recently to fill my last “book out” spot and bring in an additional $1,000. Since people who already know you are more easily sold on working with you, it’s a great time to reconnect!
Use these tips to fill up the calendar and then shut down your marketing machine for awhile so you can focus on other projects, or just take a break!
Laura Pennington is a PhD candidate and former teacher turned freelance writer. Since 2012, she’s been writing blogs and ebooks for clients all over the world. She’s been featured in Business Insider and is a regulator contributor for the Huffington Post. She shares her freelance writing knowledge for new and advanced wordsmiths at www.sixfigurewritingsecrets.com
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