RonnieJosephRigdon Hey @RonnieJosephRigdon! Very interesting question and sorry to hear that the work hasn't been pouring down on you lately. I do hope it'll improve.
Before going into the freelancing full-time I had to balance a full-time job as a in-house translator of a translation agency and a freelancer on a side.
One thing I can tell you for sure is that it was really hard. Sometimes I had to wok 16 hours a day (and some times even more) in order to meet the deadlines of my freelance clients. And sometimes I had to work on my freelance projects while still being at work in the office.
When I was fired from my office job because they couldn't keep me busy I had to dive into freelancing head first. After 7 years I can still say that dry spells happen.
I don't know about your situation, but what helps me get through the dry spell is the support of my family (my wife in particular). When you run your own business you either need a nice cushion (a savings account) or a great partner who can carry you through the dry spells and provide for the family while you work on getting out of the dry spell.
The good thing is that dry spell is temporary and there will always be a feast afterwards. However, there are a few things you could do now in order to minimize the number of dry spells you have in the future:
- Outbound marketing and sales should be your daily routine. You might be the best translator in the galaxy, but clients need to discover you. Don't wait until they do and go to them. Offer your services. Be visible.
- Reignite the feelings of old clients. Repeat work can be a great way keep you out of the dry zone. Shoot them a message. Try not to come across as needy of course. Just say that you finally had an open window in your schedule and that you'll be more than happy to help them if they need any help.
- Study your market and niche. When things slow down you can spend more time on analyzing your niche and figuring out better ways to approach new clients.
- Do what you have to do to keep your business afloat and your bank account alive. If it means you decide to lower your rates to win a project - so be it. If it means you need to bid on Proz - there's no shame in it. If it means you take a part-time job at a cafe - do it. You're responsible for keeping your business alive. So when the times are tough you need to be able to stand up and fight and do whatever it takes.
- Don't panic, though. We've all been there. Think clearly and rationally. Do what's best for your wallet and allow yourself to be selfish.
These are just some things off the top of my hat. Let me know what you think and if any of this makes sense to you.