Are you struggling to make a consistent income as a freelancer during COVID-19? I know that we are all dealing with troubles during this time. Even in my industry, HR technology, we had a few bumps in the road. My work is starting to turn around now, but for a few weeks, I didn’t know how much work I’d get during this time. I am fortunate that I can still make money doing what I love, even now. I hope you get to experience the same thing in your business. I reached out to a few of my freelance friends to share advice on how to thrive during COVID-19. I hope you take this advice to heart as you build your business.
Listen To The Podcast
This week on my weekly podcast, The Ambitious Freelancer, I got to share some excellent tips and tricks for freelancers struggling right now. In today’s episode, 10 Ways To Uplevel Your Freelance Business During A Pandemic, I am sharing ten excellent strategies that can help you organize your business and get in front of the right customers. Need some new strategies in this tough freelancing time? Listen to the episode below.
1) Take Time To Build Up Testimonials
Everything is off-center during this time. You need something that will give you and your service a leg up over the competition. Use this time to ask for testimonials from current clients. Testimonials help you build a know like and trust factor with potential clients. When you have some great testimonials featured on your website, people have even more reason to trust you at a time when you need all the leverage you can get with potential clients. Clients won’t connect with people they don’t trust during this time. Any money that goes to freelancers is spent on freelancers who take time to build relationships and trust.
Go through your current and past client roster. Who would make a great fit to feature as a testimonial? If you can get a picture to use or a video, even better. Who have you gotten the chance to serve as a freelancer? Highlight those people all over your website, especially on places like your home page and hire me page.
Amanda Cross, The Happy Arkansan, and The Ambitious Freelancer
2) Stay Flexible
Stay flexible! Look for new ways to apply your existing skills, even if it means taking a gig “below you.” Don’t be afraid to do what you need to do, especially if it’s only temporary. However, I highly recommend setting a “deadline” for yourself. For example, if you don’t land enough paid gigs in a month, get a part-time job, or pursue another way of getting money. Having financial stability is always the #1 priority.
Sam Tetrault, Samanthability
3) Be Honest About The Time In Your Calendar
Don’t treat your calendar like an aspirational document. Your calendar, like you, is part of the real world, where children vomit on keyboards and dinner burns, and washing machines break down, and your Great Aunt Mabel FaceTimes.
Two hours of blank space on your calendar is NOT two hours to get work done. In the best case, it’s 90 minutes, and in the real world, it’s more like 45 minutes, maybe an hour.
When you start to treat your calendar like part of the real world, your life will be a lot easier. When you recognize that a 2-hour block of white space translates to about an hour of work, you’ll plan accordingly. You’ll know how many of those blocks you need to complete a 2-hour project, or a 5-hour project, or a 20-hour project, and you’ll give yourself enough time to get the work done.
Instead of saying, “Oh, this takes 5 hours, so I’ll get it done by tomorrow,” you’ll tell the client “I’ll have this to you in 10 business days.” And that way, you’ll be able to manage everything, even when the dog poops on your chair and your four-year-old refuses to eat anything except string cheese and uncooked pasta.
You’ll make that deadline — or you’ll deliver early.
And that will make your clients really, really happy.
Abbi Perets, Successful Freelance Mom
4) Take Time To Learn A New Skill
It can be hard to stay productive when you’re stressed about money. So, make sure you’re taking care of yourself during this time. I also think that when business is slow, it’s time to learn a new skill. Use resources like Skillshare or YouTube tutorials to learn something new and add it to your list of offerings.
Marisa Mohi, Marisa Mohi
5) Create Another Stream Of Revenue Through Digital Products
My best tip is to use your knowledge or expertise to create a digital product you can sell online. Digital products don’t cost a lot to create, and you can market them over and over again to generate passive revenue for your business. You can sell an e-book, an online course, a downloadable workbook, or something else. Think about what problems your ideal clients have and a solution you can offer them. You can market the product on social media channels, through your email list, and even through Facebook ads. This will also set you up for success and give you an extra amount of income each month when things eventually return to somewhat normal.
Austen Tosone, style and beauty content creator and beauty content director at Jumprope
6) Save Your Energy For Things That Matter Most
We are collectively experiencing low energy levels right now, so save that energy for what really matters! This can include things like:
- Taking the daily decision-making out of the process as much as possible (e.g., take 15 minutes at the beginning of the week to plan what tasks you’ll work on each day, so you don’t have to try to figure it out as the week goes on)
- Giving yourself flexibility from one day to the next (e.g., do routine tasks in the same ORDER every day, rather than committing to a rigid schedule of doing particular tasks at set times)
- Aligning your personal life with your professional life as much as possible (e.g., check where they can support one another, rather than working against each other, in terms of your task list management system, schedule of activities, etc.).
All of this will help to boost your energy levels and improve your focus and clarity—which will also give you a sense of control over the situation (and I think we all need that right now!).
Sagan Morrow, Sagan Morrow
7) Keep In Touch With Your Network
Don’t stop communicating. Keep in touch with your network – and connect with new people through things like Twitter chats. If you disappear, then suddenly reappear when this is over (and it WILL be over), you’ll have a lot of ground to make up. Continue to post and engage on social media, keep blogging, and send messages to check in with your connections.
Michelle Garrett, Garrett Public Relations
Conclusion: You Can Do This
I know things seem pretty bleak right now. This is not the new normal. This is just our current reality. I hope that you can make it through this tough time with grace, love, and client work. I want to see you on the other side of all of this mess. I know that you can do it, but you have to be willing to work hard and make the shifts necessary to survive.
What are you doing to pivot during this uncertain time?
PS: Do you want more tips? Check out my freelancing section! It’s filled with tons of helpful tips for starting and succeeding with a freelance business. Also, check out my podcast, The Ambitious Freelancer, for weekly tips and tricks.