For businesses of all shapes and sizes, the COVID-19 pandemic has made a rough go of things.
Retailers, airlines, cruise lines, and hotels have all realized significant declines in revenue and profits as the outbreak has temporarily shuttered businesses and limited travel. The freelance community has felt a trickle-down effect as writers, programmers, graphic artists, and others witness their clients redirecting funds once earmarked for content creation, application development, and marketing campaigns.
You may notice a decline in work from some of your steady customers, but you must also recognize that business is cyclical. Throughout your career, there will be lean periods, and there will be bountiful times. The key to survival for freelancers is staying mentally and professionally viable under what seems like even the most bizarre circumstance. So, until your workload gets back up to snuff, consider redirecting your own creativity.
Here are some ways that several types of freelancers can continue to stay sharp despite the current challenges:
Minding Your General Well-being
This health crisis has been financially debilitating for many people and emotionally unsettling for almost all.
Sheltering in place and forsaking most personal interaction is so foreign that following these guidelines elicits bouts of cabin fever— and a bit of soul searching.
For any freelancer—to maintain clarity and hone your skills—board games and binge-watching must eventually give way to more constructive pursuits. Hiking, biking, walking, running, and plenty of other activities, are all great ways to stay physically fit and release endorphins that have a calming influence on the mind and body.
On the professional end, each type of freelancer might now have opportunities to apply trades toward creative activities for which time had previously not allowed.
Honing Your Specific Skills
When you create several articles or blog posts per week, it may not be appealing to envision writing one more word in your spare time.
And yet, most writers typically have a pet project on the back burner. It might be a non-fiction book or a biographical novel, and writing the intro or picking up where you left off will help serve two purposes. You can keep your wordsmithing fresh, and tackle topics that you’re truly passionate about.
For most large companies, software development is a vital part of maintaining a competitive advantage. However, some businesses may need to trim spending on tech until sales approach pre-COVID levels.
Many developers, by the very nature of their credentials, might have been approached by family or friends who have ideas for games or utility apps. Do any of those concepts have merit? Do you have a prototype of your own that needs some attention? Now’s the time to ask yourself those questions, and act accordingly.
With more resources allocated to payroll and operations, your clients may be less focused on marketing efforts.
This may be the ideal opportunity for you to boost your own image as a graphic artist. It might be as simple as creating a new logo or as complex as completely overhauling a website but in either case, the downtime you might be experiencing can give you a chance to beef up your portfolio, and build your own brand.
With the pace of technology in digital imagery, it might seem that keeping up with industry movements and trends might be difficult when you have a calendar full of gigs.
If you’re experiencing a decrease in bookings, use the free time to take an online course in high dynamic range or macro photography. Diversifying your offerings can be an effective way to reload that calendar once the coronavirus restrictions are lifted and pent-up demand surfaces.
Most clients would probably rather train under your direct tutelage, but the pandemic has severely restricted the ability for fitness instructors to hold in-person, one-on-one, or small group training sessions.
If you look at the recent successes of companies such as Peloton, its popularity amid the chaos may give you an indication of how to create new delivery channels for your services. Bigger gaps in scheduling may afford you time to develop virtual training modules, which can become dependable sources of revenue even after the crisis subsides.
Make the Most of It
Lemons and lemonade. Clouds and silver linings.
Your experiences tell you that freelancing does not represent a straight downhill path to prosperity. There will be hurdles to cross in your freelancing career— even those of the unprecedented variety. Thus, as agility has always been important to large corporate entities, remaining nimble and responsive is equally important to your small business.
For both your personal and professional selves, focusing on adaptability and growth will push you through good times as well as bad. To help further your freelance career, visit UnlimitedEffect for the most compelling and comprehensive advice in any market conditions.