We’re approaching the end of 2020, and it’s time for a recap of the things that did and didn’t work for your freelancing business, so you can march full-speed ahead into 2021 with renewed vigor, and a new-and-improved business strategy.
Here’s seven things you should do as the tumultuous year of 2020 comes to an end:
1. Update your online profiles and portfolios (and keep an eye out for new potential clients)
Although most professionals don’t frequent their LinkedIn profiles that often, most freelancers depend on their online profiles to land gigs and jobs to pay the bills.
Doing a little clean-up of your professional profiles online will give you that boost of confidence you need for your prospective clients in 2021. Adding all of your most recent projects will also reassure potential clients about your productivity and hard work.
Additionally, building a respectable online network is crucial to improving your credibility with your clients, so why not take a good look at your profile and see if there’s other interesting people out there you can connect with?
You don’t necessarily have to go hunting for potential clients (although you should!), you can also try capitalizing on the new surge of digital freelance marketplaces of this year. Sign up on Ureed.com, for example, and explore a new pool of top employers from across the GCC and beyond.
2. Invest in your skill and career development
When was the last time you took an online course? or attended a workshop? or maybe took some time off to complete a diploma? or even a degree?
It’s the end of the year, and you’re just about to wrap up 2020, why not shell out a few bucks on developing your skills and career? There’s plenty of courses online that aren’t too expensive and are quite affordable, like the ones in or .
If you don’t know where to start, Ureed.com has an online academy for freelance translators with crash courses covering different aspects of translation, creative writing and other topics.
3. Give some thought to and reflect on last year’s goals
As the saying goes, “don’t dwell on the past,” but there’s nothing wrong with taking a hard, long look at the milestones or goals you’ve reached this year: How many goals have you checked off from your 2020 list? What are some areas you can improve on (marketing, time management, networking, etc.) as a freelancer? What do you want to do differently in 2021? Did you take an adequate amount of time off this year?
While you’re answering these questions, why not create your fresh, new business plan now instead of putting off until next year? Set up an action plan that includes specific goals, financial targets, and other aspects that matter most to you—go ahead and get personal with your list if you want to!
4. Reevaluate your rates
With the passing of time, and as you grow into a more professional, more established freelancer, it only makes sense that you review your service rates at the end of each year.
You should always be paid what you’re worth as a professional in your line of work. Don’t ever sell yourself short because one client thought you charged too much; there will be plenty of other clients who will appreciate the work you put in and pay you handsomely for it.
However, with the we’re seeing today, it’s also worth taking these factors into account when setting your rates for next year. Make sure they’re stable, can cover your expenses, and are appropriate for the world’s current situation, at least where the economy’s concerned.
5. Schedule some time off
I bet you didn’t see that one coming, but time off to recharge and relax before the start of another grueling year of self-employment is probably just what you need right now.
Schedule some time with your friends, your family, your pet, or just yourself. You’ve had a long year; it’s good to treat yourself with a few days off (or seven, if you can afford it!) as a pat on the back for a year-long job well done.
6. Manage your monthly expenses
As freelancers work independently, they come with their own toolboxes that they pay for on a yearly, monthly, or sometimes even weekly or daily basis.
When you aren’t part of a company that already pays for your desktop, laptop, office equipment, and other essentials, it’s easy to lose track of all of your monthly expenses.
It’s also just as easy for those bill to pile up without you noticing, until it’s the 31st of December that is.
Find out if there are any online subscriptions that don’t serve you anymore that you can cancel. Are there any online tools you haven’t used in a few months that are eating up at your monthly budget? Look for a more budget-friendly alternative that’s just as good, if not better than what you already have.
7. Go through your current list of clients
It’s never easy to end a relationship, especially one that’s lasted a long time, but sometimes it has to end.
You might have a client who’s always late on payments, isn’t respectful of your time, or underpays you. It’s your choice, given your situation, whether or not it’s worth keeping a client like that. But keep in mind that there might be newer, better opportunities out there for you in 2021, and so sticking with this client might get in your way of actively seeking those other opportunities.
Taking risks can be an uncomfortable process, but by the end of this year, make it your goal to break up with clients who aren’t providing you (or your wallet) any added value.
We’ve had many challenging curveballs thrown at us in 2020, but it’s made us all the stronger, all the wiser, and all the more resilient.
This newly-gained experience is something you’ll carry with you into the new year, and will hopefully kickstart a better, more productive career path in 2021.
Start the new year with a brand new freelance experience on Ureed.com – connect with top employers from the GCC and start landing your dream projects now.