“What do you guys do when you have more work coming in than you feel you can cope with? I can only work a few hours per day but this week I seem to have jobs coming out of my ears!”

This was the question asked by one of our superstar members this week, and frankly, I’m over the moon for her. While it can be daunting to have mountains of work piling up and little time to get it done, it sure is a good sign that she’s doing something RIGHT. She’s in demand! There really is no better feeling in this business.

So what is the solution if you have more work coming in than you can handle?

I gave her three pieces of advice.

1. Use referrals effectively

A referral is the process of passing a piece of work or a client to another contact. It’s an excellent way of turning down work without burning bridges. For example, I was recently offered a financial blogging job with a prestigious pensions company only to find I probably wasn’t going to be the best person for the job. Instead of telling the client to go away and find another freelancer, I referred them to a trusted freelance writer on my network. This had several major benefits:

  1. The client was happy and felt looked after, and therefore is more likely to recommend me to one of his colleagues.
  2. The freelancer was happy and may return the favour to me in the future
  3. The process had the potential for financial gain, as I could have charged an introduction fee to either party.

2. Look at costing

Too much work is sometimes a sign that your costs are too low. The more you charge, the fewer clients you need and the less work there is on your desk. Remember, it is the quality of your work that’s important, not the quantity. By making a list of each client’s value, you can figure out who to refer and who to focus on. The key is here balance. You don’t want to refer your lower value work to another freelancer only to take on more work with your profitable clients and find yourself overloaded again. The skill here is shifting and adjusting workloads to find a flow that works for you.

3. Evaluate your time

Sometimes it FEELS like there’s too much work, but in reality it is manageable. The problem, often, is a poorly organised schedule. Using an app like Trello can help to sort the priority work from the bits that can wait. Sometimes, visual organisation of your workload in the form of a list or calendar can make all the difference. If a schedule re-shuffle can help, referrals aren’t necessary and you get to keep 100% of your income.

One of the services we offer in our Learn Freelance Writing group is customised advice. By becoming a member, you can have one-to-one support in managing your workloads and referring clients when needed. Interested? Sign up today and enjoy the amazing feeling of being in demand!