What to Do When You Are Between Projects

There are periods in the life of every freelancer when they are underemployed.

Besides relaxing and enjoying some down time there are two things that you can do:

  • Improve your marketing effort
  • Expand your skill set

Improving your marketing effort

Do you have a website yet? Why not? This is the time to set one up or fix up your existing site.

Companies like Yahoo and Microsoft offer domain names, web hosting and design tools to get your site up quickly and easily. I did my site using Microsoft. It has all been for free up until now, but they recently announced that they will start charging for the domain name.

How about AdWords? You may want to consider signing up if you are not already using it. If you are a current user try tweaking your ad. You might be surprised at how many more clicks you get by changing one or two words.

Expanding your skill set

By skill set I’m referring to both tools and knowledge

I’ve earned quite a bit of money over the past few years by making helpfiles. I never took a course in RoboHelp. I learned by downloading the trial version and doing the tutorials and by experience.

Often when I’m working on a manual I offer to convert it to a helpfile. I always charge a flat fee for this service. When I did my first few helpfiles I didn’t make much per hour but I felt that the client shouldn’t have to pay for my learning curve. You can also do the same with software demonstration software such as Captiva. In any case I suggest that you download the trial version first and purchase the full version only after you have a client for the output.

My background is in Biology and was always lost whenever a project entered the realm of electronics.  During one of my slow periods I decided to plug this gap in my knowledge and bought  an Electronics Learning Lab from RadioShack. Can I now design a power station? No, but I can intelligently discuss material that is connected to electronics. It’s also fun learning new things.

Finally you may want to consider taking a look at additional part time employment like this guy:


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