Who doesn’t love Friday?
I know as a work form home mom, Friday doesn’t necessarily mean that a weekend off is coming. Hello, we are moms. There aren’t any days off. But even as a busy SAHM, the weekends give way to more rest and recreational opportunities, and you don’t feel as guilty about taking a small break.
However, Friday is also a super unproductive day in the freelance world. This isn’t because you aren’t rocking your job, but because everyone else in the business world has checked out. Send a pitch on Friday, and it might end up never seen. Need an editor to answer a quick question? Forget about it. Try to get interview quotes and people are suddenly on vacation. You get what I mean.
So how do you stay productive on a Friday even when everyone else is anti-work for the day?
Here are a few ideas:
Research Companies and Article Ideas
Use your Friday time to research companies that would be a good place to pitch or use as a credible source. You can also research article ideas by seeing what a publication has already done, researching their popular pieces, and putting new spins or refreshes on old articles. Whenever I research an outlet, I will start with a generic term, such as “mortgage.” I will search in their site’s search bar for that term and see what kind of results pop up. Another way to search is to Google site:(website) (search term) – i.e. site:mint.com mortgage.
This quickly shows you what the website has published, the different headline titles, and how old each piece is. Quickly I know that Mint.com has very old mortgage pieces. I can then use this as ammo when I pitch. In my pitch I might include something like, “I noticed you have very strong mortgage pieces, but they are from 2013-2014. I would love to provide you with newer mortgage articles that not only have updated advice, but that personal voice your recent pieces have.”
Repeat after me, “I will not send a pitch on Friday.” The last thing I want to happen to your beautifully crafted pitch is that it goes unseen at. There is a good chance the person you pitch might want to accomplish inbox zero Monday morning and trash everything that looks remotely like spam – not even looking at your pitch with discerning eyes.
But Friday is the only free time I have to write pitches.
You can still draft pitches, and I highly recommend it so you can get a head start of everyone else for the week. Have your polished pitch ready to go now and then you can send it first thing Monday or Tuesday morning. Since your pitch is hitting the person’s inbox at a time they are ready to productive, there is a greater chance they will see your email.
Network on Social Media
What do productive people do when they want to check out for the week? They flood to their social media accounts. Use Friday as a way to network and get your name in front of your ideal client. You aren’t talking business today, just getting your name seen. No talking shop.
What are your ideal clients tweeting, posting on Facebook, or LinkedIn? Don’t just look at the company’s social media profile, but look for the actual editor/content manager’s profile. This may come as a shock, but they are human and enjoy human interaction too.
Get Ahead on Work
How amazing would it feel to have Monday roll around and you don’t wake up in a panic because of all the work you need to accomplish that week? I know for a lot of articles, you might be waiting on interview quotes or more direction from the editor, which can slow down your process. However, you can still do initial research, outlining, and even tackle the hook and conclusion, which always seem to slow me down in the writing process.
You can also get ahead by scheduling HARO (Help a Reporter Out) interview requests so that by Monday afternoon, you have all the interviewees you need for your piece.
Do Creative Work for Your Own Business
You can also use Friday as your day off from paid freelance work and use it to grow your creative side business. For me, that is blogging and writing books. Sometimes it is hard for me to tackle blogging or children’s book writing because they don’t offer immediate pay. They are my investment seeds I have to plant and hope that they will grow into fruitful trees later on.
Your side business can lead to amazing opportunities and income though, even if you don’t get rewarded for your work a month or two later, like freelancing. Let’s be honest. Our creative side businesses are usually more fulfilling to our souls and bring us more joy than our freelance work anyways.
Work on your personal side business guilt-free knowing you are filling up your cup for the week and increasing your chances of returning productively to freelancing on Monday.
Schedule Social Media
Many outlets like to hire writers who are active on social media. They know this will increase how many readers will see a post, especially if you post it. I have dragged my feet on my Twitter game long enough, and have accepted this is just the way it is. Outlets want social writers, even if social media is the least productive task on the planet.
I like to schedule social media postings to happen automatically throughout the week so that it looks like I am engaging, but in reality, I am not getting distracted by it. Here are a few things you can schedule through programs like Later or HootSuite:
- A recent article you wrote
- An article from an outlet you want to break into
- An update or post from your writer’s website
- Fun stories you are working on
Your Fridays don’t have to be wasted just because no one else in the industry is at their best productive self. I want to hear from you. What do your Fridays look like?