How to Balance Marketing and Client Work as a Freelancer

Navigating the demands of marketing your skills while fulfilling client projects is often a tough balancing act for freelancers.

How to Balance Marketing and Client Work as a Freelancer

Navigating the demands of marketing your skills while fulfilling client projects is often a tough balancing act for freelancers.

On one hand, you need to attract new clients to keep your business running. On the other hand, you have deadlines to meet and projects to complete for current clients. So how do you find the time and energy to do both?

Here are some tips for balancing marketing and client work as a freelancer.

Schedule Time for Marketing

One of the biggest mistakes freelancers make is not scheduling time for marketing.

It's easy to get caught up in client work and put off marketing until later. But if you don't make time for it, it's unlikely you'll ever get around to doing it.

Set aside specific times each week for marketing activities such as networking, social media outreach, or creating content. Consider these to be non-negotiable appointments with yourself. And be sure to block out the time on your calendar like you would any other meeting.

When deciding how much time to devote to marketing, consider what type of clients you're targeting and how competitive the market is. For example, if you're competing in a crowded field, it's important to devote more time to marketing than if you specialise in a niche area.

It also helps to pick one or two marketing strategies and focus on them rather than spreading yourself too thin by trying to do everything at once. This way, you can be sure your efforts are yielding results.

Finally, be realistic with yourself about how much time you have available each week for marketing activities.

Schedule tasks and set deadlines

As a freelancer, it can be difficult to stay on top of both client work and your own marketing efforts.

To ensure that none of your tasks get neglected, it is wise to create a sensible schedule and assign deadlines to each task. This keeps you on track by creating designated times for specific tasks and allowing yourself enough time to complete them without overcommitting.

It can also be helpful to block off certain times in your day that are solely devoted to focusing on each task, ensuring that you don’t get distracted by other obligations or commitments. For instance, you may decide to schedule client work from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and use 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. for your own marketing activities.

It is also wise to stick to this routine as much as possible so that it becomes natural and eliminates the need for constant reminders or procrastination. This structure allows you to devote enough time to both tasks so that neither gets neglected. By creating a sensible schedule and setting deadlines, you can make sure that all of your projects are given their due attention and make the most of each day.

To stay on top of things, remember not to overcommit yourself—if something takes longer than expected, don't be afraid to adjust your schedule to allow yourself enough time to complete it.

Prioritise Client Work

Client work should always come first when it comes to your priorities.

After all, that's what pays the bills! Make sure you have a clear understanding of your deadlines and deliverables so that you can plan your schedule accordingly.

If you're struggling to balance multiple client projects at once, consider using project management tools like Trello or Asana to keep track of everything in one place. Not only will it help you stay organised, but it can also be a great way to keep your clients informed and in the loop on progress.

Try to build in some extra time for each task as well, just in case you need it. This can help prevent any unexpected issues that could arise and give you some wiggle room if something unexpected comes up.

Finally, make sure to take regular breaks throughout the day so that you stay focused and energised. Working too hard can be detrimental when it comes to productivity and creativity!

Taking a few minutes away from your desk every once in a while will help keep you motivated and on track.

The word "prioritise" is written in wooden letter tiles.
Photo by Brett Jordan:

Delegate When Possible

If you find yourself overwhelmed with both marketing and client work, consider delegating some tasks.

For example, you could hire a virtual assistant or outsource some of your marketing efforts. This can free up more time for you to focus on client work while still making progress on your marketing goals. You could also hire subcontractors or other freelancers to help with client projects. This way, you can take on more projects while still managing the marketing side of your business.

Finally, don't be afraid to ask for help from friends and colleagues. Ask if there are ways they could support you with either marketing or client work. This could involve anything from providing a few words of advice to taking over some smaller projects.

Asking for help is not a sign of weakness, but rather of shrewdness.

Automate Your Marketing Efforts

Another way to save time on marketing is by automating certain tasks.

For example, you could schedule social media posts in advance using tools like Hootsuite or Buffer. You could also set up email campaigns using an email service provider like Mailchimp or ConvertKit.

Automating these tasks can help ensure that your marketing efforts are consistent without requiring constant attention from you. Additionally, you can use analytic tools to track the success of your marketing campaigns and make adjustments as necessary.

Remember that while automation can be a great way to save time on marketing, it’s important not to rely solely on automated messages. Make sure to check in regularly with clients and prospects via email or social media so that they know that you are available to meet their needs. Being responsive will help build relationships and encourage people to do business with you.

Focus on High-Impact Activities

When it comes to generating leads and forming relationships with prospective clients, not all marketing activities are created equal.

As a freelancer with limited time, it is essential to prioritise high-impact tasks that will produce the best results. Participating in industry events or conferences, guest posting on popular blogs in your niche, and offering prospective clients free consultations or workshops are a few examples. These types of activities enable you to connect directly with prospective clients and demonstrate your expertise in a manner that distinguishes you from competitors.

In addition to focusing on high-impact activities, it is essential to utilise limited resources strategically. Consider investing in a travel budget, for instance, if you enjoy attending events. This will allow you to attend more of them. Dedicate time each week to researching and writing high-quality blog posts if guest blogging is a successful strategy for you.

Lastly, it is essential to keep in mind that marketing is an ongoing process. You should always be on the lookout for new ways to reach potential customers, experimenting with a variety of approaches, and evaluating the outcomes so you can adjust your strategy accordingly. You can find the optimal balance between marketing and client work with discipline and strategic planning.

Prioritise small wins

Rather than trying to tackle everything that needs to get done at once, it is important to prioritise small wins. Breaking down larger tasks into smaller chunks can help you feel like you are making meaningful progress and will ultimately improve your workflow as a freelancer. Keeping track of what you have accomplished in small increments can also keep you motivated and remind you of why it’s worth putting in all that hard work.

Don’t forget to celebrate these small wins—a little positive reinforcement can go a long way!

Don’t be Afraid to Say No

When an opportunity arises that would take away from your time dedicated to current or future client work, ask yourself if it’s really worth diverting your attention.

If it isn't essential or beneficial to either your marketing efforts or client work, don’t be afraid to turn down the opportunity. For example, if someone asks you to guest post on their blog but doesn't offer any compensation and won't provide any links back to your website or portfolio, it may not be worth pursuing because the reward isn't great enough for the effort expended. It is also important to remember that saying no doesn't have to be forever—just until a better opportunity comes along or until you're able to dedicate more time elsewhere.

Finally, remember that saying yes too often can lead to burnout and resentment from others who depend on you for services or tasks. Don’t overextend yourself by taking on more than what is manageable; instead, learn how to prioritise and say no gracefully when needed so that both your clients and marketing efforts benefit in the long run.

Photo by cottonbro studio:

Stay Flexible

When balancing client work and marketing as a freelancer, keep in mind that flexibility is essential. Some weeks may require a greater emphasis on one area than another, depending on project demands or seasonal fluctuations in business.

By remaining adaptable and flexible, you will be better able to deal with any challenges that arise while still progressing towards your client work and marketing goals. To help with this, set aside specific times each week or month for marketing tasks and stick to this schedule as closely as possible. As a result, you can ensure that you devote enough time to both aspects of your job, without neglecting one for the sake of the other.

Additionally, it is crucial to plan ahead. Try to anticipate any upcoming projects or tasks that will require a lot of focus and then set aside the necessary time for them ahead of time. This will free up more time for marketing activities when you are not as busy with client work.

Finally, remember to evaluate how you spend your time regularly and make changes as needed.

In summary, balancing marketing and client work as a freelancer requires careful planning and prioritisation. By scheduling time for marketing activities, prioritising client work, delegating when possible, automating certain tasks, and remaining flexible in your approach, you can successfully grow your business while meeting the needs of current clients.