Never is a strong word. And, if I’m honest… I don’t really mean it when I say “never do this.” There will be times when you have to do what I’m about to recommend against. But when those times happen, it’s best if it’s because something was out of your control.
Okay, so what is this thing to never do?
Never finish a project on the day it’s due.
I’m sure you’ve heard this about managing deadlines before — that you should always finish with at least 24 hours to spare so you can give your work a fresh look before sending it in to your client.
That is an excellent reason to always finish early. But there’s another reason that’s just as important.
Things come up.
You get sick.
You get bad news from a friend.
Your kid gets sick.
A cousin you haven’t seen in years announces they’re passing through town.
You need a long-overdue mental health day.
If you’re in the regular habit of finishing your work at least 24 hours in advance of when it’s due (and preferably two or three days), then a beautiful thing happens.
You gain that control over your schedule that people always mention when they talk about the benefits of freelancing. Because on any given day when you get up and look at your to-do list, there’s nothing on there that’s urgent.
It’s all important. It’s all work to advance your business or to deliver a great result for your client. But there’s nothing that anyone is looking for today.
Which means, on any given day, if you need the day off, you can take it.
Sure, that might still mean that you have to work a little extra over the next day or two. It might even mean that tomorrow you have something that’s due right then and there.
But if you adhere to this rule of managing deadlines most of the time (like 95% of the time), then when you need to skip a day — to take care of yourself or a loved one or to visit with a surprise guest or to just play hooky — you can do it. And that is the freelancer’s life at its best.
New on the Site
Do you have an email list? If yes, do you have a Welcome Series you send to people who sign up for your list? In our latest Reality Blog, Andrew Murray explores the value of a well-written Welcome Series and shares what he’s putting into his own. Check it out.
Headlines are important. They don’t make the sale, but they do get the attention of your reader so you have a chance to make your sale. If your headline is not working well, you’re missing a lot of opportunities… and your results are almost certainly suffering. In John Torre’s latest post, you’ll find six tips for writing strong headlines.
There are a lot of good reasons for choosing a niche and a lot of ways to connect with people in your niche once you’ve decided what it is. This Roving Report walks you through the reasons for niching… and gives you lots of ideas for how you can start to grow relationships within your target market.
Mark Your Calendar
February 7: Join me for our live Monthly Member Update webinar. This month, I’ll be talking about the importance of self-care for writers, and some fun things you can do to make sure you stay mentally, physically, and creatively at your best.
February 13: Our next Practice Assignment is due. This time we’re doing something a little different — we’re practicing optimizing an existing web page for the search engines. You can find the details of the Practice Assignment right here, and the 13th is your deadline to submit it for the chance to be included in our live review, which will happen later in the month.
Around the Web
Do you use a bullet journal? Here are some fun ideas to try…
If one of your goals is to land higher-paying clients this year, then you’ll want to give this a read.
“Be lovable” and other tips for writing effective email marketing messages.
Have you ever wondered about the differences between lead generation and demand generation? You’ll find a thorough exploration of the two right here.
That’s all for now. Make it a great week!