The end of summer doesn’t just mean it’s time to put away your suntan lotion for another year. As fall begins, all over the world people will be returning from their summer breaks and refocusing on work. For freelancers, it is a chance to take stock, adjust systems and ensure that everything is in order for the months ahead.
Even if you think you already run a pretty tight ship in terms of your freelancing career, it is worth using fall as a chance to recheck details and ensure that you are well positioned to be as successful as possible.
Fall is a great time to review your financial arrangements. Many clients will be feeling well rested and happier after the summer months, so may be more open to a rate increase. It’s also a good time to prepare for the end of year billing period for clients on annual retainer arrangements.
Remember to include insurance matters in your financial management checklist as well. Freelance workers should always have appropriate insurance in place, just in case something goes wrong. It’s easy to send an email to the wrong person and if that message contains confidential client data then serious problems can arise, so check you have sufficient insurance for your peace of mind.
Client care is another area to address in the fall. Use the opportunity to follow up with former clients who you haven’t heard from in a while, to ask about their translation needs now that the summer break is over. Take the time to seek out new clients as well. Even busy translators can experience quiet periods, so be sure to have several options lined up for new work should you need it.
There is always room for improvement in how you manage your freelance career. Do you collect client feedback for each job, for example? If not, why not? If so, are you using the feedback to your best advantage, both to inform your future work and to promote your services?
Think through your online presence as well. Top translators are up to speed with the latest trending hashtags on Twitter and the best pages on Facebook for sourcing new work. Social media is a constantly evolving beast, so use the start of fall to review your presence and implement some updates in order to ensure you are at the top of your game.
What are your top tips for a productive fall? Why do you think it is the best time of year to review your freelancing habits? Share your thoughts via the comments.