What could possibly be worse than a dwindling economy and an uncertain future? A pandemic. Right?
First, I hope and pray that you are all safe and will make it out alive, if not better.
Second, I hope you read Walter’s detailed guide on how to survive the Coronavirus crisis. In this post, I share even more ways you can cope.
Just like any other business, the freelancing world is filled with many challenges. And now amidst calamity, all you could be thinking is:
“What am I supposed to do now that all industries are on their knees?”
You are not alone. This kind of thought cuts across all sectors and industries.
However, there is a ray of hope. Did you know you could utilize this period to better your career?
Yes. There are clients out there still looking for top-notch freelancers.
Here’s how to keep going:
Re-evaluate Your Industry
Frankly, the effects of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic have been felt more in some industries than others.
A simple Google search will show you how the travel industry is close to defunct. Airlines stay grounded as countries implement measures to curb the spread of the disease. Public transport is also on its knees.
The hospitality industry has also been majorly affected. This is because travel and transport are huge players in this industry. Many countries are evacuating their citizens in foreign countries. This industry has been left with minimal to zero revenue.
So what does that mean to freelancers?
If you have been writing in these industries, this means your clients no longer have a source of income. Zero income means zero or minimized expenditure. By now, you must have already noted a decline in workflow or even total silence from your clients.
Most Profitable Niches to Work for During the COVID-19 Period
One character that any freelancer should use to their advantage is adaptability. This means that you should be able to adapt to various changes, industries, and writing styles.
Rather than sink in self-pity at the recent turn of events, you should focus on how you can get yourself out of the rut. Remember that the general situation of the economy is not directly proportional to your personal financial situation. Or why do we still have people importing German machines? Or buying prime property off the real estate market?
To reap big in this period, you can focus on the following industries:
Fitness and Wellness (Home Workouts)
Gyms and wellness centers have been shut down.
Now that most people are confined in the comfort of their homes, there is a need for content on how people can stay fit and healthy.
As a writer, you can focus on finding clients that dwell on home workout regimens.
Also, with the kind of news on mainstream and social media, people are looking for means to prevent unnecessary panic, stress, and worry. This has increased the demand for self-awareness and positive content. These companies are churning out content now more than ever.
Remote Work and Conference
Until now, remote work has not been fully embraced in most sectors. But now we are witnessing a seismic shift.
Other than industries whose services have been classified as “essential services” during this time, the rest have asked their employees to work from home.
This means that they are wondering how and where to start, as well as what tools they need.
On the other end, companies that provide solutions for remote work needs are now busier. These are the companies that provide virtual conference calls, team management, or complete remote work access for all employees and teams. Such companies, like Zoom, are booming.
Just check out how the Zoom stock is soaring in the middle of the Coronavirus pandemic, for example.
As the demand for such services increases, the companies also need more content for their marketing. The limelight continues to focus on them as companies look for answers on how they can solve their needs.
On the other hand, use this as a chance to pivot your freelance career.
Many companies are looking for ways to increase revenue, even as they move into an entirely digital world.
This means that they are turning to B2B companies for the answers they are looking for.
For instance, you can turn to companies that provide tips for professionals in the real estate and finance markets. Companies like these will be highlighting the effects of COVID-19 on these industries.
Also, note that some of these companies offer B2C content on their blogs. So don’t feel confined to B2B. The important thing to do is think of how you can pivot within your niche and provide content that is relevant to the current world situation.
Other niches you should consider venturing into
Here’s a list of niches that are doing great right now. Consider applying for jobs in these fields.
- Delivery services
- Health (general)
- Mental health
- Online education
- Digital marketing
- Artificial intelligence
What type of content should you provide for your clients?
To answer this question, you can focus more on what you are good at. Use the skills and experience to pivot.
Alternatively, you can use this opportunity to venture into that which you’ve always desired.
Here are the types of content that are in demand;
- Online courses – Many people are going to use this opportunity to take a new course. If you can create a course outline, video scripts, online course sales pages, and email sales funnels, then this is the time to reap big.
- Blog posts – Businesses know that even while they might shut down some of their operations, staying relevant is critical. Keep in mind that some of these companies also want content tailored around what is happening right now. Pitch and offer them stellar freelance writing services.
- Social media ad copy – Remember those companies we mentioned that are in demand right now? Their marketing needs are also on the rise. There’s no better way to reach their prospective clients than through social media. Pitch these companies if you can write social media ad copy.
- Transcription – People are doing a lot of videos and podcasts right now. You can offer them transcription services.
How to Manage Finances
With your income set to be affected, you sure need some finance tips. Here are a few you can consider:
Get Paid Upfront
No one knows what to expect in the near future.
When closing a deal with a new client, ask for at least a 50% deposit, and a fixed date for the rest.
Asking for your payment upfront not only shows your clients’ commitment but will also cushion you in case something happens after you’ve delivered your work.
After all, this is something you ought to be normally doing.
Spend Money Sparingly
This is the period when you should cut back on spending. You want to save as much as you can.
Audit your monthly expenditure. If you find any unnecessary channels that you spend your income on, cut them off.
Also, if you can find cheaper alternatives for your basic needs, go for them. This includes transport, food, and clothes.
This is a long-term tip whose returns you will see long after the pandemic is over.
Look for means to make money work for you. After all, you need passive income.
For example, due to the current state of the market, stock prices are falling. You can buy shares right now for a lower price and cash off years later. Or buy cheap real estate that you can develop or sell later.
Be wise when investing, though. You don’t want to buy shares of a company that won’t wake up after this.
This is one area that you may need to consult an expert beforehand. Or simply take your time researching online.
Far from being freelancers, we are humans. We need to be consistently on the lookout for things that might ruin our wellbeing. In the current situation, we are susceptible to anxiety, stress, and worry.
The followings tips help maintain our sanity during these times;
Switch off the TV
No really, let’s face it. All we see on TV nowadays is panic-inducing news. If you want to get updates, get it from credible sources. Remember, the media’s goal is to sell. The only reason you should watch TV is for movies or interesting TV series when unwinding.
Focus on the Positive
Many reports highlight deaths and impacts of the pandemic. However, did you know that 79% of the reported cases recover? That’s a positive way to look at it. Also, you can see this period as a time to strategize on your goals, whether business or career-wise.
Listen to Medics’ Advice
I am not in any way trying to negate the possible impact of this pandemic. That is why I insist that you should pay attention to what scientists say and take it seriously. Kindly stay indoors for the sake of your family. Remember to wash your hands.
Avoid Panic Buying
Many people have been emptying store shelves due to panic. While stocking up basic supplies is necessary, think about your neighbor. We all need to be prepared. Also, you don’t want to buy things then end up throwing them away when they go bad.
Being in the confines of your home is not an excuse to not take care of yourself. Do not be inactive. Drink a lot of water. Watch your diet and do some simple indoor-workouts. Also, you can go for a stroll just around your estate while keeping the social distancing rule.
Self-quarantine puts you at risk of losing valuable connections and relationships. There could never be a better time to use social media, phone calls, and messages. If you prefer video calls, you can use Skype, Zoom, or FaceTime. Keep in touch with family and friends and assure them of your love. After all, no man is an island.
In these trying times, do not allow the fear, panic, and worry to bring you down.
Be different by focusing on how you can pivot your business and get the most out of this time. You can change your niche if it is one of the most affected. Pitch companies that deal with fitness, wellness, B2B, and remote work.
Also, you can write blog posts, course content, and social media ad copy. More companies are looking for content that is relevant to what is happening globally.
Remember to stay positive and wash your hands. Let’s continue this conversation in the comments section.