The world’s economy has been transforming for years, creating more opportunities for freelancers to take charge of their careers. More and more companies are now open to crowdsourcing, as a way of sourcing specialized talent for integral tasks within their respective organizations. However, with the spread of the global COVID-19 pandemic, opportunities for freelancers have become more bleak, and hard to come by.
Freelancers, gig workers and part-timers are typically self-employed individuals, who do not benefit from the same protection and privileges as those employed within companies. So with the cancellation of projects and events, how can freelancers sustain themselves during the crisis?
Here are tips for freelancers on how to minimize the impact of COVID-19 and protect themselves, throughout the crisis:
When a freelancer takes on a new project, they are wholly in charge of protecting their interests and ensuring they get paid. Freelancers should look over their agreements, and tighten up the clauses pertaining to cancellation and rescheduling. Ensure force majeure clauses are included and protect your interests, as well as those of the company. If you are unable to perform the service for whatever reason, due to a force majeure situation, this should also be highlighted.
These times are difficult for both companies and freelancers across the globe. However, clients may need the support of clients, more than ever. It is recommended to be present and schedule calls to explore ways in which both parties can support one another. Perhaps a shift in the client’s strategy is required and you can take the lead. Offer support in this regard, to find a solution to benefit both parties.
Be present online
Having a strong online presence, is integral. During a crisis situation, remaining relevant and visible is important to both get new contracts and take off after the situation subsides. Freelancers and gig workers should look to strengthen their online profiles, Linkedin profiles, websites or blogs.
If there is interesting content to be shared that will benefit different companies and their teams, upload it and work on the SEO. Perhaps it may generate leads if found by the right professional.
Assessing finances is vital, to understand how long you can sustain yourself. Now is the time to cut costs and hang onto cash reserves, until there is a bit more visibility in the market. Having 3 to 6 months worth of income is recommended.
Enhance skill sets
Freelancers, whether event managers, photographers, writers or business consultants, have an abundance of skills that are sought-after by companies. However, during the imposed down-time, brushing up on skill sets is a good idea. Take courses online and join tutorials that will help hone your skills, or tap into an area of interest that could benefit your career trajectory. Do not sit around idly waiting for opportunities to arise. Now is the time to work even harder on yourself.
There are many sites that you can upload your profiles onto, where you can take on remote work. Other sites are being set up that post job opportunities for freelancers. Check out jobsforlebanon.com, Behance and Upwork.
Connect with networks
Being confined, does not mean isolated. Ensure you continue to connect with your networks. Perhaps an interesting discussion with a friend can bring about an opportunity, or lead you to someone searching for your skills. Schedule discussions to brainstorm your current position and offering and join webinars.
The current crisis is tough for everyone. Ensure you are working on yourself personally and professionally to sustain and take off once the crisis subsides.
Check out jobsforlebanon.com for freelance opportunities from across the world.