• Advice

The holiday season is coming – how beginner freelancers can make the most of it

I still remember the thrill of getting my first ever freelance assignment – after 3 whole months spent creating and perfecting proposals, I had finally made it. Someone thought I was the best fit for their project. They chose ME.

It was December 21st, 2011. In hindsight, I think the timing helped a lot. It was a $20 gig, and as an established freelancer, I know now I wouldn’t go through the process of setting up a new client for that small of a sum 4 days before Christmas.

Which leads us to the point – as a beginner freelancer, the holiday season is a potential goldmine for you.

When nobody is working, who’s there to save the day?

It’s one of the beautiful things about freelancing – you can choose when to work. And established freelancers choose indeed. After a profitable year, do you think they are going to take that $50 project that arrives on December 27th and is due on December 28th


I asked a few clients of mine, just to double-check my theory. They all confirmed. Finding freelancers to take on jobs during the holidays can quickly turn into a nightmare.

And that is where you come in as a beginner.

Let me be clear – you are not making this for the money. And I don’t recommend freelancers to skip the holidays – I don’t want anyone to end up burned out from reading this article.

I want you to be available at a time of the year when (almost) nobody is, so that you can take projects nobody wants. 

Our clients are just like us – they’re humans. If you are there to save their day on Christmas Eve, they will remember you on January the 28th, when a big project comes that’s right up your alley.

Reciprocation is a growth hack!

The big question is… how can you let them know you will be available?

The perfect email campaign

You are lucky, because in this case, the best way is also the simplest one – send them an email! More specifically, plan a small cold email outreach campaign and execute it.

There is a perfect timing for this, and it goes from December 1st to December 15th. Earlier than that, you risk potential clients to forget it. Later than that, they’ll probably be too busy to even notice.

Deliver the great news right in the subject line – This freelancer is available throughout the holidays!

In my experience, this works better with agencies. They tend to have a wider client base, possibly in different countries, including some where being open during the holidays is perfectly normal.

But I am not just talking about potential clients. Quite the opposite. This is also a perfect opportunity to get back in touch with previous clients of yours who’ve been dormant for a while. 

They know you and the quality work you deliver. If they are open during the holidays, they’ll be very happy to know you will be there to support them.

Extra tip: if you are not sure whether or not they’ll stay open, check the email signature of your contacts within the organization. Usually, it has all the info you need.

Not ready to take on projects yet?

What if you are an aspiring freelancer, not yet ready to take on work? Maybe you are starting to freelance as a side hustle. Maybe you are suffering from imposter syndrome. Whatever the reason, if that’s your case, the holidays can still be a fruitful time for your freelance business!

Here are a few ways you can make the most of your time off:

  • Start creating a list of potential clients you’d love to work with, then research who the contact person would be within the company. That’s who you should target.
  • Take a hard look at your promotional materials and professional profiles. Are they up to date? Is their quality good enough? Now is the time to fix any potential issues.
  • Create a roadmap for the new year, with a list of small, easy-to-accomplish goals for each month. It’ll help you tremendously to stay the course, even when you don’t feel like your business is going anywhere.
  • Get a photograph! If you have a LinkedIn profile, you need a headshot. And if you don’t, what are you waiting for? Go create it!
  • Take a course. You are unlikely to find any live webinars running during the holidays, but there are several options for on-demand training online you can take at any time of the year. 

(If you have one you’ve been eyeing for quite a while, you may even ‘suggest’ someone to get it to you as a Christmas present)

The holiday season is coming – are you ready to make the most of it?

Domenico Trimboli Born and bred in Rome, Italy, Domenico became a six figure translator in 2017. Today, he blogs about translation and freelancing. Self-employed since 19, he has never worked for a boss in his life.

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