How To Freelance While Working Full Time

It’s the season finale and I decided to let listeners pick the topic! Tune in to hear my tips on how to freelance while working full-time. 

Season 1 Episode 9

How Much Time Should You Set Aside For Freelancing? 

I think you should set aside five to ten hours per week for your freelancing pursuits. 

Within this chunk of time you need to decide how much will be spent on: 

  • Admin work 
  • Pitching new clients 
  • Doing actual freelance work 

It will take some practice to find a routine that works best for you. 

Track Your Hours Devoted To Your Freelance Business 

To make sure you stay on schedule it is important to track your hours. This information can help you: 

  • Realize some tasks take way longer than others 
  • Build a realistic schedule that won’t leave you short on time 
  • Reduce the chance of undercharging 
  • Give clients a realistic timeline (because sometimes they honestly don’t know how long a project should take) 

You can use your phone to track your time but I use a desktop app called Toggl. It is intuitive and I can see how many hours I am allocating to different tasks in my freelance business.

Your First Priority Is Getting Clients 

When you first start your freelance business your priority should be signing on new clients. This could mean you spend five hours per week pitching yourself. It sounds daunting, but you can break up this task into smaller portions of time throughout the week. 

Don’t forget to follow up with your pitches. One email sent out could get a response, but it’s not very likely (unless you’re a genius pitcher, in that case, please help the rest of us). People are busy, people go on holiday, and people forget you reached out. Send them a friendly nudge one week after your first pitch. 

Rejection Is Part Of The Freelance World 

Not getting any responses or being told “no, sorry” can bring down your enthusiasm. In these moments I strongly recommend you reflect on why you started this journey in the first place. 

All you need is one person to say yes. It will give you the momentum and experience you need to keep growing as a freelancer. 

Make Connections 

Successful freelancers have extensive networks of other freelancers who work in the same field. They can pass jobs to each other, recommend each other for future gigs, and help one another. 

You should never be competitive with another freelance dietitian. There is plenty of work to go around and we will all succeed if we continue to support each other. 

If you admire a freelance dietitian, send them a message and let them know! Maybe you can ask for guidance and become as good as they are. 

Do Your Freelance Work When You Feel The Most Creative 

You are your boss. You can decide when the job gets done (as long as it gets done). Night owls of the world do their best creative work when everyone else has gone to sleep. 

Early risers prefer to finish tasks before the rest of us have woken up. There is no wrong time to do freelance work. I encourage you to experiment with different times of the day and see what works best for you. 

Positive indicators you are working in your prime time: 

  • You feel creative 
  • You feel innovative
  • You feel energized by the work you are doing 
  • You are excited to keep working on the project 
  • You get in the zone
  • You are productive 

If you want to learn how to freelance while working full time hit play on the episode button below! 

Did you miss last week’s episode? You can catch up here. 

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