When Business Is Slow As A Freelancer

shallow focus of clear hourglass

I have been planning on writing this blog for about a week now and every time I have sat down to do so, I have been the queen of procrastination—I have made the excuse that there’s always a task that is more of a priority than this one. I realise that this is primarily because I have been so busy in the past few weeks (working on proofreading and copyediting projects) that my mind seems to believe that I am now going through a business slump. Believe it or not, I didn’t realise this until I finally sat down to write this blog (which is supposed to be going live tomorrow!).

So, we’ve established that our brains can play tricks on us. I am not being productive because on some level I am disheartened that my business is slower than previous weeks, and I have allowed myself to wallow in this feeling a little bit. However, this is the reality for a lot of freelancers when they first start out and indulging in feelings of disappointment isn’t helpful.

I have a few tips below on how to make the most of your time when business is slow. These tasks will definitely benefit you and your business in the long run.

  1. Work on marketing your services: this is something that I can say I have stayed on top of. You need to remain consistent and apparent on your social media platforms even when business is slow, so continue connecting, commenting, sharing, and posting. The client base that you are trying to build want someone who is reliable. Showing up on social media on a regular basis builds a level of trust between you and your future clients.
  2. Improve your skills or learn a new skill: take this free time you have to increase your knowledge so that you can better serve your clients. I have enrolled on a line editing course; a skill that I know so many Muslim authors will value. This also does bags for my confidence as a Muslim editor and helps keep imposter syndrome at bay.  
  3. Create content: even though I have already admitted that I am guilty of not taking this tip seriously, I would say this is one of the most productive ways to use your time when business is slow. So, create more blogs and social media posts that you can have ready when you need them most. For example, if you have created content ahead of time, you may be able to accept that project that has a short deadline.  
  4. Have trust in Allah: pray to Him for openings and believe that He will deliver. The Prophet (May Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) has told us that Allah says: ‘I am just as My slave thinks I am (I am able to do for him what he thinks I can do for him) and I am with him if He remembers Me.’ So, don’t be shy in your dua—ask Allah for whatever level of success in your business that you desire, and He will grant you that through His bounties and grace, in sha Allah.  

I hope these tips are useful when you experience a slow period as a freelancer. I can say that I am better prepared for a similar situation in the future!