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Finding Balance as a Freelancer: How to Manage Multiple Clients

Working as a freelance writer for Textbroker can provide you with many opportunities to develop lasting relationships with clients. However, if you deliver high-quality work, this can quickly lead to situations where orders stack up, and you are left juggling different freelance projects from multiple sources.

When this occurs, it is important to take appropriate steps to manage your workload so that clients remain happy, and so that you do not become overwhelmed. Read on for tips and strategies for staying organised with different writing projects, finding balance, and managing the needs of your clients.

1. Track Tasks and Create a Schedule

One of the most effective strategies for managing priorities and clients is to create a work schedule by breaking projects down and tracking your daily tasks. When you accept an order from a client, make a note of the deadline, and plan out what needs to be done. From there, you can estimate how long the project will actually take.

When possible, you should try to break down each individual project into multiple different tasks. For instance, researching the project could be one task, while gathering external sources to use could be another. The writing of the article could form another task, while proofreading the finished product may be the final task.

Next, you can start to plan out when you will actually work on each activity in your schedule. Repeat this process for any new orders that come in, and you can begin each day with a clear idea of what needs to be done and what the timeframe is. A variety of tools can assist you, from Google Sheets to project management apps like Trello.

2. Communicate Honestly With Clients

Another important tip for managing multiple clients is to communicate honestly with them. Many freelance writers, especially early on, feel like they need to accept all work that comes in, without hesitation. Yet, working relationships are a two-way street, and while your clients’ needs are important, your own needs matter too.

If you have multiple projects to work on and a new order comes in, you need to communicate to the client that there may be a delay in starting the work. If a deadline feels unrealistic, you should also explain this. If you are not going to be able to meet a clients’ expectations, it is better to convey this upfront or to negotiate.

At times, it may also be necessary to say ‘no’ to a new order, and some online authors struggle with this. While it may feel disappointing to have to refuse new work, it is better to refuse an order than to disappoint clients by failing to meet deadlines or by delivering sub-par work because you had insufficient time to complete it.

3. Learn to Prioritise the Right Orders

A key part of managing multiple clients involves prioritising the right projects. For instance, if you have been working with a client for a long time and you know they are going to reliably place orders every week, it may be necessary and even advisable to prioritise their orders over work from a client you have no previous history with.

There are, of course, many other factors that can influence your priorities. Generally, it is going to be sensible to prioritise well-paid work over orders that have a lower rate of pay. If you are an author who specialises in a particular area, it often makes sense to prioritise work that is focused on your area of expertise.

In some cases, it may also come down to prioritising engaging or enjoyable topics over more mundane ones. Regardless of the precise factors influencing your decisions, learning to prioritise the right orders is a valuable skill.

4. Try to Focus on One Task At a Time

Handling requests from multiple clients can sometimes feel like juggling or spinning plates. However, the best approach is to break down your writing services into individual tasks and then focus on one task at a time.

Work through each task to completion, and then move on to the next task in your schedule and do the same there. This helps to avoid situations where you move between tasks in a more scattergun fashion.

If you start to focus on more than one task at the same time, your work can start to feel overwhelming, and some level of confusion is almost inevitable. Focusing on one task at a time is better for productivity and will almost certainly result in better outcomes for all parties while helping you to hold on to your sanity.

5. Take Breaks and Know When to Stop

When work piles up, it can be tempting to try to cram as much into the day as possible. This can easily lead to situations where you work beyond your normal working hours or where you neglect to take breaks for meals. However, this is not a good idea because it is not a sustainable, long-term strategy, and it will lead to burnout.

You deserve to be able to take breaks from work, and it is important to do so – for your own mental and physical health, but also for the sake of your work quality. Schedule breaks over the course of the day and stick to them. Try to avoid the temptation of working through breaks or working too far beyond when you planned to stop for the day.

The same basic principle also applies to holidays or days off. Some freelancers find the idea of taking time off work to be daunting, but you are entitled to enjoy time away from work as much as anyone else. The main thing to remember here is to manage your projects properly in the build-up and to let clients know when you are going to be unavailable.

The Last Word

Textbroker can help to connect you to multiple clients and allow you to build lasting relationships. However, you need to balance the competing demands of these clients and learn how to work with multiple clients at once.

Create a work schedule and try to stick to it. Break down your work into individual tasks and try to maintain a policy of working on one task at a time. Communicate with your clients and let them know if deadlines are unrealistic. Develop a willingness to say ‘no’ at the right time and learn to prioritise the right clients and the right projects.

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About our author

JMMedia is a freelance author who has been writing for Textbroker since 2012. He specialises in the creation of SEO-friendly content on a variety of topics, including online marketing, music, travel, history, video games and sport. Away from work, his interests include reading, listening to audiobooks, and playing football.

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