This week, Diana Marinova reveals how to continue making money (and not lose clients) while freelancing on the road...
Assuming you’ve been reading Freelance Writers Online for a while, you’ll know it’s entirely possible to make money and keep working while traveling the world.
Kirsty sure leads by example on that, and she’s invited me to share with you a few insider’s tricks and tips on how to keep your income intact when taking your freelancing business on the road…
(NOTE: This post is not about passive income streams. It’s about getting your work done while on the road, without interfering with all the fun you are set to have!)
1. Planning makes perfect
I know, I know – the saying actually goes, “practice makes perfect” but in our case, planning is the name of the game.
You need to pre-plan your work hours and leave enough buffer time so that you can be as flexible as possible. After all, you won’t always have a solid internet connection to rely on so you might not be able to accommodate those last-minute details, new gigs and so on.
2. Send a note to your regular clients
This follows on from the last point. With your regular clients you already know what the workload is and what type of work is expected of you – not to mention those all-important deadlines.
However, be sure to send each regular client a note that you are going away on a trip and that you may be slower than usual with email replies. Inform your clients you will check your email at a set time – each morning/every Monday and Friday/whenever – this way they won’t go crazy if they don’t hear from you for a few days.
3. Ask for assignments in advance
On the other hand, if you have clients who give you work from time to time only when the need arises, send them an email well in advance of your trip. This way you achieve two things:
- You ensure you won’t get any last-minute assignments with a super-quick turnaround time – which you may not be able to accommodate while traveling.
- You remind these irregular clients of your existence in case they want to send any work your way!
If you’re going to spend May making that Euro road trip you always dreamt of, make sure you send that email in late March. It can be something as simple as:
Hi, Jim – long time no see! How’s business?
You asked me to write new blog posts every now and then and since it’s been a while, I thought I should give you a heads up about some time away coming up.
I am planning to spend May traveling through Europe and will be on and off the internet during that period.
I will keep on working while traveling but wanted to ask if you have anything planned for me? I would love to hear from you so I can book some time for your project while on the road if needs be.
Thanks and speak soon,
Nothing too demanding, but it does the trick. 😉
4. Only book accommodation with good Wi-Fi
When on the road, I usually book my accommodation via websites like booking.com. The great thing about a site like this is the huge pool of travelers’ reviews and feedback.
Check out other people’s comments about the internet connection in your preferred accommodation. Is it free or paid? Is it stable or constantly dropping off? Is it fast? Is it good in the west wing but not so good in the east wing of the building? Or maybe it’s excellent on the 1st floor and crappy on the 6th?
Do your homework – research the places you want to stay and don’t compromise when it comes to Wi-Fi.
5. Have a plan B (You really need a plan B)
I usually do one of two things in terms of a backup plan. (Or both if I know I have a big deadline coming up and really don’t want any surprises!)
- First, research cafes with Wi-Fi. You can use the same approach as with the accommodation. Look at other travelers’ reviews. Visit Tripadvisor and see what cafeterias, restaurants or shopping malls you can find in the area you’re traveling to.
- Research local mobile carriers. The big telecom companies offer prepaid 3G internet packages suitable for a USB stick to be used on your laptop, tablet or smartphone. If you choose the latter, make sure your smartphone can tether to a laptop – you don’t want to be writing an article on your phone – no matter how smart it is!
6. Don’t get all worked up while traveling!
I have tested the above tips and tricks many times. They work – I promise. Not once have I missed a deadline because I was traveling.
I read somewhere that travel is the only purchase that makes you richer. I agree 100% with that – and I’m sure you do too if taking your freelance business on the road is something you’re thinking of.
Above all else, enjoy your work and travels, and feel free to add any of your own tips in the comments section below.
Diana Marinova is a freelance marketing consultant. Born in Eastern Europe, she travels the world and lives in various countries while working online. Diana believes there's no reason to limit herself to a single work or living space. She has just launched her first product - the Meliway Travel Movie Maker - and blogs about freelancing and marketing for small business at www.dianamarinova.com/blog.