One of the industries hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic has been freelancers. If you are trying to make ends meet in the gig-economy hammered by the novel coronavirus, here are four tips to help you survive – and thrive – during this time of uncertainty.
As the world economy ground to a sudden halt due to the incredibly fast spread of the mysterious novel coronavirus, many industries faced sudden and massive financial burdens. Many will never see their doors open again, while some lucky brands are surviving on the bare minimum of sales and staff.
For freelancers and gig economy workers, the pandemic has been catastrophic. Individuals who relied on the presence of individuals to bring in income are facing unprecedented challenges when it comes to earning a living. The result can be a scary situation as many are unsure where their next paycheck will come from.
So what is a freelancer or gig worker to do in this time of uncertainty? With some courage and ingenuity, there are many opportunities hidden within the silver lining of COVID-19 – if you are bold enough to search them out. Here are four of our best tips for surviving and thriving in the new pandemic economy.
Optimize Your Digital Presence
As the entire world went home to avoid spreading the novel coronavirus, daily life went from the physical to the digital in a heartbeat. As a freelancer, you are likely comfortable with doing business online – giving you a step up on the many businesses and organizations that are facing the steep learning curve of navigating the digital marketplace.
However, just because you are familiar with doing business online doesn’t mean you don’t have anything to learn. Take this time to update and optimize your online presence to help your freelance services reach a much larger online audience.
- Does your website need a revamp with new content and information? Create some new and engaging video and photo content that will increase your relevance and build interest with potential clients.
- Have you invested in online advertising? Asking yourself “What is SEO?” Check out the advantages of implementing search engine optimization and targeted advertising on your website, social media, and other brand elements.
- Are you building your brand across other platforms? Make sure to see what other freelancers are doing online, and build your content platform to reach the most people to increase your traffic.
There is always something that you can do to optimize and increase the engagement of your online presence. (Are people secretly frustrated with your website? It might be time to use a backlink checker!) You never know what a little bit of time invested in a whole-brand online audit will return in long-term investment.
2. Check Out Freelance Opportunities With Big Box Brands
There is something rebellious about setting out on your own as a freelancer. When you leave the 9-5 and set out to establish your own career built on your passions, you can feel a sense of “sticking it to the man” when it comes to your life. Unfortunately, every ounce of rebellion means nothing when your funds dry up!
Did you know that many freelancers actually take advantage of partnerships with large retailers and online sales sites to help boost their freelance sales? Call them Amazon Influencers – those sneaky gig workers who utilize the massive resources of companies such as Amazon and other online retailers to build their brand while selling other products. With a simple advertising post online, a freelancer can gain income through unique partnerships while helping get their face (and brand) in front of thousands – if not millions of hungry consumers.
It may be time to see if you are the influencer type. Check out many of the online resources available for helping brands become influencers online, and see if you have what it takes to give your freelancing a quick steroid shot during a dry economic period.
3. Brush Up Your Skills With A Temporary (Or Longer) Job
There are times when difficult economic times force you to make hard decisions. It is likely that you jumped into the freelance market because of the many perks involved – your own schedule, freedom to sell the services or products you love, and more. However, with the pandemic economy bringing many gig economy opportunities to a halt, now may be a good time to take a look at diversifying your skills with a temporary – or perhaps longer-term – career move.
This doesn’t mean that you have to find a job you hate! Take a look at job boards to see if any places that relate to the specific skill sets you use in your freelance work, and consider this new venture as a training period. If you are a graphic designer or tech freelancer, you may find opportunities to grow by looking at Apple jobs or other pandemic-proof tech companies.
Applying for new jobs can help you learn other tangible skills that may have grown rusty during your freelance work. This time will be great with brushing up on your ability to answer interview questions – an important skill you need no matter what you do for a living.
4. Consider Diversification With Revenue Streams
Just because you are a freelancer doesn’t mean you can’t try your hand at creating wealth through other popular avenues. If you are trying to find ways to increase your revenue outside of your main gig or freelance work, now may be the perfect time to try your hand at some passive income streams.
With the stock market taking a beating from the sudden economic shocks around the globe, many individuals have seen massive losses in their personal wealth. At the same time, a dip (or crash) in the market may be just the right time to jump in and increase your wealth with stock options. By taking time to jump into a crash course on the stock market with starting tips or brushing up on the wealth of information already on the web regarding the best practices to exercise stock options, there has never been a better time than now to try your hand at investing in some of the most popular stocks at never-before-seen values.
Get By With A Little Help From Your Friends
The four strategies above are helpful, but not foolproof. The novel coronavirus is just that – novel. With that uncertainty comes new and changing information and situations every day. Freelancers must be willing to make tough decisions and come up with creative solutions to help navigate this new normal.
One way to start moving forward is to seek the help of other freelancers and individuals who are skilled in helping entrepreneurs and business leaders adapt to changing situations. Don’t be afraid to seek the help of skilled experts to take your brand to the next level. Search out wisdom. Reach out to fellow gig workers. Get creative and find a tech cofounder for your next venture. The best asset for any freelancer is a network of individuals who are all navigating the pandemic together. For a freelancer in the pandemic economy, the community will be the new currency.