If you’re earning a living as a freelancer, you already know that jobs come and go, and a bit of downtime between projects are inevitable. But downtime doesn’t have to be wasted time. There are always things you can do to help ensure that these lull periods are the exception to the rule. It’s important to work towards pushing your freelance career forward, even when you aren’t doing any paid work. Here are 10 things you should do in your downtime…

1. Up skill yourself
Consider taking some night classes or online courses to boost your freelance skills while waiting for the next client to call. Take some time to research the new developments in your field, and set out to be ahead of the game, so that you can snap up new jobs! Set a timeline and a budget for your on going professional development.

2. Review your goals.
When the jobs are pouring in, it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day deadlines. That’s why it’s important to use your downtime to re-evaluate your career. Are you getting the type of jobs you want? Are you moving in the right direction? If not, then now is the perfect time to adjust your strategy.

3. Follow up on prospective clients.
Revisit your old black book of prospective clients and get in touch or follow up. Downtime is the perfect opportunity to build up a new and exciting client base, to fill up the near future with projects you actually want to take on.

4. Build your online presence.
Put your free time towards creating and planning your social media content. Write those blog posts you’ve been putting off and schedule them into your content calendars for the next few months. When you get busy, marketing is often the first area to suffer, so make sure you use the time you have to prepare in advance.

5. Keep in touch with past clients.
Don’t drop off the face of the earth, even if your last contract was a one-time deal, make sure you keep in touch with past clients.

6. Have some fun.
When you’re in between contracts, use the time to inspire yourself. Put time into your passion projects or pro bono clients, write that story you’ve had in the back of your mind, or take that photographic expedition. You’ll need to feel inspired and energised once the paid work starts coming in.

7. Get on top of your paperwork.
If you struggle to keep on top of your bookkeeping records when you’re juggling deadlines, then use the downtime between jobs to catch up on your admin and paperwork.

8. Keep up with the latest trends in your industry.
When you’re not working on a freelance project, use your spare time to catch up on current news and changes in your industry. Subscribe to relevant magazines and blogs so that you can keep your ear to the ground for important events and conferences.

9. Get networking.
You know those networking events that you’re always too busy to attend. Well, here’s your opportunity! Don’t underestimate the power of networking if you need to drum up a bit of new work.

10. Update your portfolio.
Is your portfolio up-to-date with all your latest work and projects? If not, then what are you waiting for?