TSPB 007# The Perfect Freelancer ScheduleJul 29, 2023
Read Time: 5 Minutes
Creating the perfect daily schedule as a freelancer is going to be different for everyone, but this is the one schedule I have found that has allowed me to 3X my business and book celebrity clients.
50% of your time should be spent working on client work, and the other 50% should be focused on business development. This 50-50 split took my freelance business from 60K a year to over 150K a year as a solopreneur design agency.
Let’s break down how this is perfect for both the beginner and the advanced freelancer.
The Perfect Freelancer Schedule
As a freelancer, you are responsible for completing your existing client work, keeping your current clients happy, finding new clients, and booking sales calls with new clients all at the same time.
Not having a proper balance between all of these tasks will lead to a gradual drain of clients over time, your income not increasing, and frustration that you are not growing. The key to finding balance in your schedule is making sure you take on only a few at a time clients and that you are increasing your rates on a quarterly basis.
This will help you maintain clients that are paying you increasingly more over time while getting rid of low-paying clients that eat up your time. This constant cycle of leaving clients will give you time to prospect new clients and work on developing your business.
This is where the 50-50 split comes into play.
Client Work Schedule
The first half of your day should be spent working with existing clients. Keep your existing clients happy, and they will keep your income stable while also helping you establish a referral system.
As you work through client work, make sure to continue strengthening the partnerships you have developed with your clients. Focus on delivering great service and building your relationships with each of your clients, as this will become key when you ask for referrals from them down the round.
I like to structure out my client work schedule in the following way:
- Start my morning answering client emails, questions, and any pre-scheduled meetings.
- Then I start with the most challenging task of the day, whether it is a large client project or revisions to an existing project that will take a long time.
- I then continue the rest of my morning by completing tasks in descending order of difficulty, always making sure to tackle the longer, more complex tasks first.
Ordering my mornings in this way allows me to take on more complex tasks when I have more energy and complete more manageable tasks once I have gotten the important stuff out of the way.
This system helps me prioritize client communication and important projects before smaller tasks that can be finished later or on a different day. This also helps me create great work for my clients and keep them happy.
Most of the time, I finish client work for the day around noon or 1 PM unless a rush job or a huge project comes in. The remainder of the day, from 1 PM to 5 PM, I dedicate solely to business development and sales calls with potential clients.
Business Development Schedule
The second half of my day, I dedicate purely to business development and meeting new clients. I make no exceptions for this due to how important it is to keep my pipeline filled with new client work.
Business development will look different for every freelancer, depending on their service, skills, and industry. I define business development as the following.
- Working on outbound marketing efforts (social media, cold outreach, networking)
- Improving internal business systems (Client onboarding, client management, service delivery)
- Meeting with prospective clients (Sales calls, events, social media engagement)
- Productizing your knowledge (Creating digital products, creating courses, creating content)
Each freelancer will prioritize each of these tasks differently, but nonetheless, they are vital to growing your freelance business. Failing to keep up with your business development can lead to losing clients, not gaining new clients, or worse, having your business become outdated.
Prioritize working on your business systems daily to grow your business over time. I find that scheduling business development during the second half of my day is best, as this is when potential clients are available to meet on sales calls.
I also find it easier to work on business development once all client work has been completed for the day, so you are not distracted by incoming client requests or tasks that still need to be completed.
Overall make your business development a daily task that you complete to continue to scale your freelance business, network, and lead generation. Failing to do so will stifle your business. If you find that you have too much client work to focus on business development, you will need to start making time to work on your business instead of in it.
What To Do When You Have Imbalance
If you have an imbalance in your daily schedule and have too much client work to focus on business development, it is time to consider raising your rates.
Raising your rates will accomplish the following:
- Low-paying clients will stop working with you, allowing you more time to find clients that will pay you more per project.
- You will have time to work on your business development which will help you find better-quality clients that fit your ideal client profile.
- You will have more time to work on tasks that will help you build your audience online, build digital products, and organic inbound leads that will help you grow your business.
Raising your rates every 6 months to a year when you are overbooked is key to increasing your income while doing less work and creating time for business development.
If your imbalance is not having enough client work, working on business development and gaining new clients will help you bring your freelance business back into balance. You can only have a successful business by finding the balance between the two as a freelancer.
Just remember, as a freelancer, you are the only one who is in charge of your daily schedule. Use this 50-50 rule as a base to find what works best for you and your freelance business. There is no one size fits all schedule.
The perfect freelancer schedule is the one that helps you accomplish your goals and allows you ample time to work both on client work and business development. Focus on balance to avoid burnout and a dwindling client base.
When you have an imbalance in your business, prioritize what is important at the moment to make your business stable, and then create a plan to bring balance back into your daily schedule.
The key to creating the perfect daily schedule in your freelance business is finding balance. Working on to much client work will create neglect on your business development which will reduce the quality of your work, your life, and your happiness.
Aim to have a 50-50 split between client work and business development to continue to grow your business, expand your client base and grow your brand awareness online. Business development is just as important as your client work, if not more important, for your overall success as a freelancer.
→This week’s action step: Create a loose daily schedule that you can start working into your work day. Make sure there is a balance between your client's work schedule and the time you take to work on business development.