The COVID-19 pandemic has definitely shifted work for everyone, including freelancers. Since many industries have shut down, clients are now budgeting their resources to prevent their businesses from shutting down during this time and laying off their projects.
Some of my clients are suspending my services to tide over this period. The nicer ones did give me a month’s heads up or at least, reduce my assignments gradually. A couple of my clients ghosted me aka did the disappearing act without answering my messages. The good thing is that I did not have any outstanding payment with them.
I have heard that some freelancers are having trouble trying to catch their clients for payments. This on top if limiting any expenses because they do not have medical coverage. While employees are covered with medical insurance as well as retrenchment benefits should they are let go due to the Covid-19 situation. As freelancers, we are really on our own this time.
Considering these challenges, it can be very hard to survive during this pandemic if you are a freelancer. If you need financial help, do consider reaching out to your government.
However, here are some tips to help you survive its impacts and hopefully, let you tide through this difficult time:
Sort out your finances
Freelancers often have different monthly incomes, but if you manage it wisely, you may have a backup fund somewhere to help you during these critical times.
If not, check your finances and streamline when you can. You should also look for alternatives if you are using apps or programs.
Read More: How To Save When You Are A Freelancer?
If you add all your usual expenses and find alternatives for them, you can definitely save a good amount of money to get you by during these slow periods. Ideally, you should have at least six to seven months’ worth of funds to help you during emergencies.
I am fortunate that I have set aside savings from my previous corporate life and I have been really careful not to touch those savings unless it was for necessary big purchases.
Know the industry you are working with and look for opportunities
Since you are not working that much during this pandemic, take the time to look into your industry and see how your clients are fairing. This will help you analyse if your current clients will have work after the pandemic or if you need to find new jobs.
With this said, always be on the lookout for new opportunities to help you have a stable income.
Train in new skills to survive
Since the pandemic began, several industries are now experiencing a boom and looking for new workers to help it grow.
If they are not under your skill set, don’t be afraid to learn about them because they may be able to give you new opportunities in the future.
This is to give you a new portfolio which is important, a diversity of skillset will help you to bounce around when a particular industry is impacted by recession.
For example, I am both a writer and a recruiter. So during this period, there are lesser writing gigs as clients are pausing their advertorial and marketing budget. And many companies will stop recruiting manpower as everyone tread carefully, not knowing how economy will unfold itself this year. I am picking up new resume writing skills (recruitment + writing, see what I did there?) – with many folks losing their jobs, I want to help them to get back on their feet.
Invest and plan ahead
If you have a backup fund in place and can make investments to grow it, take the chance to do so. As mentioned in the previous number, some industries are now booming because of the pandemic and they can be great places to invest your money to.
Look at these booming industries and see which industries you can invest on even on a long run.
Check for new opportunities through your network
Finally, the pandemic has shown to use how everything is connected. If one industry is shut down, the others will definitely feel an impact. If you need help, don’t be afraid to ask for help, especially now when your work is affected.
Ask your contacts if they have any gigs you can try out or help you look for work. If they can’t offer one right now, they can definitely recommend you to others in the future.
Keep boosting your personal branding through social media and LinkedIn. I have gotten a few gig offers through my website here, Facebook, LinkedIn and through friends. So even though I have lost some clients, new doors keep opening up.
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic definitely shifted how things work and as a freelancer, it is important for us to adapt to these changes. While we are used to handling multiple gigs, these gigs can still run out. With these steps, I hope that it can at least alleviate your worries and help you get your gig back on track despite the lingering pandemic. Good luck!
How to become a better freelancer and earn more? Check out my tips now:
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