Newsletter #11 – Why You Need Personal Quarterly Reviews As A Freelancer

“Knowing is not enough, we must apply. Willing is not enough, we must do” ~ Bruce Lee​

​​​Hey everyone!

Hope you enjoyed last week’s mega-article on earning $100k to $400k as a content writer—and thanks to everyone who emailed me with feedback and questions.I’ve replied to all of you now (I hope)

In this week’s email:

Have your say in the annual writer income survey and stay tuned for the 2023 Copywriter Salary & Income Report!

​Learn how and why you should be doing a personal quarterly review for your freelance business​

Why you should plan a personal quarterly review​

Not to freak you out or anything, but it’s now APRIL.

That means we’re in Q2 of the business year.There’s a mere 273 days until 2024 🤯

If you feel like you’re not quite where you want to be this year, now’s the time to stop drifting and get proactive. Making time for a regular evaluation of your freelance business helps you lay solid foundations for success and growth.

If you aren’t doing this, your business will feel a lot like you’re lost in a forest, all alone, with no map and no cellphone coverage. All successful businesses need a roadmap. So let’s get started!​

Quarterly Review Checklist

Block out some alone time

This is a must. You should also get out of the house to do this personal business review. Home comes with a whole pile of distractions that can make it difficult to focus.

Set aside 30-60 minutes to go to your favourite cafe, park, or coworking space for some planning time.​

Grab a pen and paper

It’s often easier to think, reflect, and set goals without your laptop. Start planning like it’s 1993. A notebook and pen is all you need for this.

What went well?

Celebrate your wins: Congratulate yourself for how far you’ve come already in your freelance businessHave you grown your network? Made new freelance friends? Met interesting new people online?

Did you earn more? Did you work less? Did you find new clients? Did you figure out something in your business that you were previously stuck on? Did you learn some new skills? Your business wins come in all shapes and sizes. Don’t overlook them!​

What were the challenges?

Reflect on any work situations that made you stressed, angry, or upset—and think about how you can avoid this in the future

Did you overload yourself with work again? Did you say “yes” to low-paying, or less than ideal clients? Did you have enough clients to meet your income needs? Did you mess up timelines, underdeliver, or screw up a project in some way?​

Audit your clients

Do you need more clients, or do you have a few too many? Are they the clients that make your business enjoyable? Is it time to raise your rates? Is it time to let some old clients go so you can level up with better clients?

​Tidy up your social accounts

If you rely on social media to get work, this is a good time to declutter your feedsCut the fluff by muting or unfollowing people who aren’t helpful or interesting. This will reduce the tsunami of daily notifications and save you a ton of scrolling time.​

Cancel any subscriptions you aren’t using

If you’re like me, you might sign up for apps that you don’t really use…and then completely forget about. Do a quick scan of your bank account to see if you’re being billed for anything you’re not using.​

Make your plan for the next 90 days

Now you’ve reviewed everything in your business, you can start to note down exactly what needs to change so you can steer your business in the right direction. Be as specific as possible with each bullet point. What are you craving? How do you want your business to feel? What are the steps you’ll take to get there in the next 90 days?

For example:

I need to find a niche to make it easier for me to pitch clients. I’ll listen to some podcasts about niche finding, and ask some other writers I admire how/why they chose their niche.

​I need to earn another $1,000 a month. The fastest way is with cold outreach. Block out time to pitch 10 new clients a week

​I need to start creating content to build my authority. I will open a free Substack account so I can write, and then look at monetizing this as an income stream

​I only want to work 4 days a week. I will cut one of my clients loose to achieve this

​I need to practice saying “NO!” so I don’t keep taking on work I resent. Write down what my ideal project/client looks like, and then say “no” to everything that doesn’t fit

​I need to learn about SEO so I can charge more. Ask around my network to see if there’s a good free course to get started

​I need to stand out more online. I will get a better headshot and create new banners for my social accounts

​I’d like to get more work from referrals. Make an effort to connect with more freelancers in my niche every day, and build good online relationships so they remember me when opportunities come up.

​I need to plan my time better so I can spend more quality time with my family. I will look at my services, productivity, and workload, and see if I can make things more efficient. I will finish work every day by 4pm, and stop working on weekends.

​I need more predictable income so I’m not so stressed every day. I will prioritise getting two good retainer clients in the next 90 days.

​If planning for a whole quarter feels too restrictive, you can check in on yourself monthly and make adjustments as you go.​

Pro tip: Don’t overcomplicate things, or you won’t get this done! You don’t need a fancy journal or planning software for this review—just a pen, paper, and some time alone to think things through.

Interested in learning more about the benefits of quarterly planning? Check out the New York Times bestselling book The 12 Week Year.​

How much are other writers earning?

Us freelancers are a nosey bunch. So if you want to know what your colleagues are earning, or whether you should put your prices up – now’s your chance.

The annual Copywriter Club Salary & Income Survey collects anonymous details of 1000+ content writers and copywriters—sharing their findings to help the copywriter community get a better understanding of income and pricing.


Memes Of The Week

And one for my fellow Witcher fans 😉​​

What’s the #1 thing you need help with right now?

Got a quick question about your freelance biz, or just want to say hi? Hit reply to this email—I reply to everything :)​

Need to get unstuck in your freelance business?

Book a 60-minute coaching session and we’ll create a tailored action plan to help you get ahead.

P.S. If you enjoyed this week’s newsletter and want to support it, you can:

Forward this email to a friend and invite them to sign up here​​
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