The holidays can be a tough season for freelancers and solopreneurs. There’s no paid time off when you work for yourself. Adding the extra holiday expenses and additional social obligations to your already long to-do list might have you a little bit stressed.
We know that some things are a little tougher when you’re the one calling the shots in the business and the holiday season is just one of them. Before you go reminiscing about paid vacations and office potlucks, we want to remind you that you are in charge of your business! You get to call the shots which means that you really can make it through this crazy season with your sanity intact!
You need to get a few things in order first before you dive into holiday fun.
1. Be clear your boundaries
Setting clear boundaries with your family, friends, clients, team members and yourself is one of the most important things you can do this time of year!
One of the best perks of being self-employed is that you get to make the rules on how you and your business operate. Get clear on how much you want to work this holiday season, when you want time off and when you need to work and then communicate it to those around you!
- Add your holiday hours into your email signature
- Email or communicate with your clients about your holiday hours. Give them plenty of lead time about your hours so they are able to plan in advance for their needs
- Create an out of office email autoresponder that informs individuals of your hours and when you’ll return
- Designate “business hours” if you’re feeling stressed about completely disconnecting. For example, commit to only checking your email and social feeds twice a day. Be sure to reflect that in all communication
- Don’t worry so much about making your clients angry when you take time off. Most will understand that you are a human and you need time to recharge. Also, many of your clients will be taking time off as well!
2. Plan your content in advance
Even though you might be taking some free time from your business, your business still needs to run even while you shop, travel and relax. You deserve time off but you don’t want to lose any momentum.
It’s important to try to keep marketing and customer communications as normal as possible. If you have been regularly posting on social media, publishing blogs and sending out email newsletters, then you have set an expectation around your content. Whether or not they realize it, your audience has been trained to expect regular communication with your business. Don’t disrupt the pattern.
Luckily, you have automation to come and save the day! Things like emails, blogs, and social media updates can be scheduled in advance. This may take a little prep work on your end but it will save you plenty of last-minute stress.
If you’re having trouble figuring out what content to share over the holidays when you are taking it easy, here are some recommendations:
- Curate content from other sources.
- Reshare older blog posts. The end of the year is a great time to do a “Best Of” social media.
- Share personal or behind the scenes posts. Remember that your business is you and that your fans and followers want to see a more personal side of you. The holiday season provides a great opportunity for you to share more personality, behind the scenes or personal posts.
3. Use your time wisely
Taking time away from your business can actually grow your business in the long run. When you’re relaxed and not trying to force brilliant ideas, they are more likely to come to your organically. You might be surprised at how much inspiration shows up when you aren’t hunched over your computer.
It’s also important to note that this time of year can be a goldmine for new clients and connections. You can still market your business when you’re not at your computer. During the holidays, you are frequently spending time with people you don’t see very often. Whether it’s a cousin at your grandmother’s Thanksgiving dinner or a friend of a friend at a holiday party, these are people who could know potential customers for your business. So get that elevator pitch down and remember there are opportunities everywhere!
4. Reflect Back
The holidays can give you a little breathing room to reflect on 2018 and get a jumpstart on your 2019 goals.
Take a look back at your metrics to find common themes, popular topics or peak posting times. Data like your most popular blog content, the month with the highest website traffic, your most popular social media channel and your biggest month of sales can help you to better plan your 2019.
You can also use the holiday season to check in on past clients. A solopreneur’s business can depend heavily on their past clients and keeping in touch is an excellent way to keep your business connections strong. This is also a helpful practice if you’re looking to rev up referrals or gather testimonials for 2019.
Once you have a clearer picture of 2018, you’ll be in the right place to start planning big things for 2019… once you get back to work post-holidays, of course!
Here’s the thing: you created this business for you. And while there may be many reasons that you started it, we’re willing to bet that one of them wasn’t so you could work all the time. You deserve to relax and enjoy some freedoms of self-employment.
Empower yourself to own this holiday season just like you own your business. Take control of your time and energy, plan ahead and communicate clearly and be grateful. Because not only will you be able to enjoy the holiday season, you’ll be energized and excited to return to the business you love!