How To Prepare Your Clients For Your Vacation
Independence Day is around the corner and chances are you're planning to spend your holiday (and maybe the rest of the week) celebrating with your family and friends. But have you told your clients yet?
Freelancing has a lot of perks, like working from anywhere, anytime. But those perks can also have consequences, like your clients expecting you to be available from anywhere... anytime. Take it from me, the gal who woke up at 4 a.m. to get emails out and spent the entire day on the phone with journalists from the comfort of her private villa's pool in Costa Rica because she failed to clarify to her client that she wasn't actually planning to work on her holiday... You need to prepare your clients for your vacation and here are a few tips.
Put it in their calendar
I'll start by sending an "Audrey OOO" email that breaks down the dates I'll be unavailable as early into the client relationship as possible. You don't want to start getting meeting invites for the week you're planning to be on holiday before you've communicated that you'll be on holiday. Once I send the email and my client acknowledges the dates, I'll follow up with a calendar invitation for those dates so my clients have a visual reminder in their schedules.
Freelancing has a lot of perks, like working from anywhere, anytime.
But those perks can also have consequences, like your clients expecting you to be available from anywhere... anytime.
Set holiday hours
Working during vacation isn't ideal but we all have to do it occasionally - freelancer or full-time worker. If you know that working during your vacation is inevitable, set holiday hours for checking and responding to emails. This will help manage expectations and give you peace of mind while you're spending time relaxing and enjoying time with family. I like to set these hours for 90 minutes at the start and end of my day.
Freelancer or full-time, if you have assignments due before, during or even shortly after your holiday - get it done ahead of time. Be proactive and turn in assignments early. If you work with a team, send them an email with all of the things you'll complete before you leave and ask for their input to make sure nothing is left out. I like to send an email on the one week mark before my vacation starts, reminding people of the dates I'll be OOO, highlighting what I'll get done before I leave and a call to action for any requests that need to be addressed before I sign off.
Got any other tips for prepping clients for your vacation?
AUDREY ADAIR IS A FREELANCE PR CONSULTANT AND FOUNDER OF 'THE SCOPE'. SHE'S BASED IN LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA AND SPECIALIZES IN WORKING WITH CLIENTS THROUGHOUT THE VIDEO GAME AND ESPORTS INDUSTRIES. FOLLOW AUDREY ON INSTAGRAM AND LINKEDIN.