5 Ways to Save Time in Your Freelance Writing Business
Time is money, writers. Most of us are fully aware that this statement is true. The more time you have, the more productive you can be. However, many of us find that our time is taken up with unforeseen problems or small tasks that build up over time. So, if you’re sick of answering messages, writing social media posts or sitting in meetings, instead of getting to the real work, read on.
Organize, Organize, Organize
You can’t save time if you’re not willing to organize your time well. For example, in addition to planning a weekly meeting with clients, you can also call clients beforehand to find out if they’re still available. This way, the meeting can be cancelled if the client can no longer attend and you’ll know how long the meeting is likely to last.
Here are some videos that can also help:
Find Something That Works
Many people like to answer their emails and social media messages first thing in the morning as a way of getting them into the swing of the day. However, that may not work for you. Perhaps you prefer to dive straight into the larger projects and leave the smaller tasks until the end of the day. Maybe you’re finding that you need an assistant to take those smaller tasks off your hands so you can concentrate on the important stuff. Don’t worry about setting a tried and tested schedule for yourself- just do whatever works for you.
Make Use of Services
The busier you get, the more help you’ll need. If you can delegate to others, your time will be free to make money. It could be anything from a social media manager to a computer consultant. If you haven’t got the budget for hiring staff, you could make use of online tools. There are plenty of them to choose from and you can do anything from manage your schedule with an online calendar to time your social media posts.
Check out this post: 5 Incredible Software Programs All Business' Should Consider
Make Use of Templates
Whatever kind of documentation your business needs, you can bet there’s already a template for it. A quick online search should find you any kind of template you need. Whether you’re looking for accounting forms, an NDA agreement or employment application forms, you don’t need to spend your time creating them from scratch.
Of course, sending pitches and approaching people for work opportunities is a vital part of your day, since, without clients, you won’t have work. But it’s vital to make it as smooth a process as possible. Templates are your best friend, here.
The idea is to create a basic outline of who you are and what you do - along with some links to your previous work. This will allow you to adapt emails to the person you are approaching, but the bulk of the pitch is already done. Try it out - honestly, it will save you a lot of time!
My No-Fluff Freelance Writing Starter Pack is full of templates and other items that will save you a lot of time running your business.
Social media can be great for picking up work and driving business to your site. But it is also a huge time drain. Focus your efforts on automating your social media updates to avoid it taking up too much of your valuable time. There are plenty automating apps available - check out IFTTT or Tailwind.
Outsource when it makes sense
When you are freelancing, the temptation is to do everything yourself. You’ll build a website, do your SEO, start the marketing process and a whole lot more besides. However, as IT specialists Kumo point out, the reality is that you will be a lot more efficient by finding partners to do the hard work for you.
So, whether you want to host your site on the cloud or try out a new SEO techniques, find someone that can do it quicker, easier and better than you. The time - and, therefore, money - it will save you will not be insignificant.
Buy a notebook
Finally, the sad truth about being a writer of any kind is that it’s impossible to turn on the creativity like a tap. And while you might set aside writing hours every day, there is no guarantee of finding inspiration.
In fact, it’s more likely you will be struck with a fantastic idea just before you go to bed or when you are in the shower than during dedicated hours. Don’t waste time sitting around brainstorming when you could be writing.
The answer is simple, though. Buy a notepad and write down your thoughts when they happen. I use Keep Notes on my phone as well as OneNote for ideas because I can access them on my laptop, too.
A voice recorder is another option - anything, basically, that will help you remember your moment of inspiration and can give you a kickstart during your writing hours. I must admit, I'm a notebook horder.
One at a Time
Starting a new project before you’ve finished the last can be confusing. You may even find that you make mistakes and have to do the work over. Stick to one project at a time so you have clarity about what you’re doing. Never take on more than you can handle. It can be tempting to take on several projects because it means more money. However, promising something you can’t deliver will end up making you and your business look unreliable.
When you want to save more time, a few tweaks may be all you need.
For more tips on saving time and keeping your focus, check out 3 Ways to Be More Productive as a Writer.