As another year comes to a close, it’s important that we take time to sit back, reflect, and do a bit more than ask ourselves “Where the f*** did that year go?!” (Just me asking that?).
The end of the year is a great time to do a few tasks to round out your freelancing business for the year and prepare you to head into next year with a bang.
5 Tasks to Close Out Your Year as a Freelance Writer
Send holiday cards
To who you might ask?
Anyone who was important to your freelancing work this year. At the very least, that means the people who hired you.
If someone sent you payment for work- send them an end of year note.
This doesn’t have to take a lot of time, but the payoff can be big. Use something like Paperless Post, spend a little money, and send warm, but professional, end of year wishes.
Remember that not everyone celebrates the same holidays, so acknowledging the New Year or simply wishing “Happy Holidays” are safe options.
Thank them for the opportunities they gave you this year, mention that you’re looking forward to continuing to work with them in the New Year, and that you hope they have a happy holiday season. Boom!
If you’re sending a card to someone who hired you early in the year, you’re getting back on their radar for Q1 of the next year in a very nice way.
Goals are great for your business because they give you direction and aim. Once you’re clear on your goals, you can take the time to determine how you’ll get there.
Consider what you accomplished this year, both financially and in the work that you did. Use this year to help you set goals for next year. Yes, you might want to meet or exceed what you made this year, but how will you do that?
To set goals for next year, consider:
- Is there a certain type of work you did that pays well that you can do more of?
- Is there work that’s not rewarding and doesn’t pay well that you might want to cut back on to allow you the time and energy to work with other clients?
- Can you raise your rates?
- Is there a type of writing or a certain niche you’d like to break into this year?
- Are there areas of your business or your skill set you’d like to improve, like improving your organization (Try Trello!) or getting better at proofreading your work?
Answers to questions like these can help you set your goals for next year.
Update your portfolio
Hopefully, you did some writing this year that you’re proud of. If you’ve been adding this work to your portfolio throughout the year- good for you!!
Many of us put tasks like these on the back-burner. As your work slows down toward the end of the year (which is typical), don’t panic. Instead, use this time to get to some of those tasks you’ve been putting off.
Updating your online portfolio, your resume, and even your LinkedIn profile can be good habits to get into at least once a year if not more often.
Take some time to relax
It’s the end of the year- you deserve some relaxation!
This is the time of year where your client’s offices may close down for a period of time, people’s budgets are spent and they’re waiting for next year, or they’re simply enjoying their holidays.
Take a cue from this and spend at least some of the holidays enjoying yourself.
You’ll likely still have some work, so consider how you can plan ahead to take more than just a day or two off. Getting this time to recharge can help you head into the New Year energized and ready to take your freelancing business to the next level.
Get your taxes under control
The end of the year is a good time to wrap everything up and get organized for when taxes are due. This way, you’re not stressing in February, March (and even April) when you’re trying to get last year’s info sorted and still tracking what’s going on in the current year.
Wrapping up your taxes at the end of the calendar year is a good habit to get into. This is one of those tasks that’s easy to put off but you’ll thank yourself later.
Even if it’s simply making sure all of your receipts are entered and categorized (into whatever system you used), making sure your miles are tracked and up to date, and that all your income has been recorded.
Remember that quarterly taxes (if you’re in the US) are going to be due in January, so taxes are pretty much always around the corner. Getting into the habit of closing out your taxes at the end of the year is a great business habit to get into.
One year quickly moves into the next. I constantly look at articles I wrote last month and am shocked that it was actually six months ago that I wrote them!
The end of the year is a perfect time to tackle these five tasks that will help your freelancing business. You can, of course, add to the list and get into an end-of-year routine that works for you. Happy New Year!