Thriving as a Freelancer in a Post-Pandemic World
Freelancers often work remotely, but like most people who work from home, it wasn’t their usual business. If you work as a freelancer, you may have found that the pandemic has exacerbated your work-related problems, from a drop in freelance assignments to payment delays, especially with international clients. With all of these challenges, you can still survive after this pandemic with these four tips:
1. Diversify your skills
You need to be proactive and reach out to your past and existing clients to see if they might have jobs for you. Right now, your clients may have limited work, while some may have nothing to offer you. While they may not have the job you normally do for them, you might be surprised that they still have some gaps for you to fill in the meantime. Because of this, you need to develop new skills in order to take advantage of the new job opportunities. There are currently many free courses and webinars available to help you develop yourself to gain skills for jobs like photography or data analysis with the statistics software R or Python. As you broaden your professional horizons through education, you will also develop a sense of purpose, which will be an important trait for you after the pandemic ends.
2. Use intelligent tools to simplify your processes
“Freelancing sometimes makes you your own boss. However, there are challenges associated with this type of work that should not be ignored. When you work as a single employee, you will find that you have many responsibilities and many repetitive tasks to handle. To make work easier, you need to automate your work by doing the tasks yourself that you consider insignificant, such as: For example, converting documents from Word to PDF and sending large files while saving and sharing your documents. “
Some of the smart tech tools you will need are:
Productivity tools: Some of the tools you can use to enhance your output include ZenWriter, Teux Deux, Password or Toggl.
Management tools: You can use Basecamp / CampFire, Trello or Google Apps to manage your projects and track their progress.
Email Apps: You can use FollowUp.cc, SaneBox, or TextExpander to track customer emails, organize your emails, and generate standard email templates.
Network tools: Since you need to collect more clients, you can use tools like WordPress, Pluggio or AWeber / MailChimp to network.
3. Manage your finances
These are transformation times! If your freelance business has been badly affected, or you likely feel like you need to scale, the ideal thing is that you take the time to assess whether what you are intending to do is working to your advantage. You need to dive into the basics of your finances and cut down on any expenses that can create unwanted bumps. You’ll also need to adjust your operating costs, insurance, utilities, and debts where you can. Once you’ve got rid of the little things that are taking a toll on your finances, it’s time to put your energy into lucrative projects and activities. economic activities hardly affected by the economic downturn.
In some cases you may not have emergency funds available. If you have them, the time is right to use them as it seems like an emergency. However, there are other financial alternatives that can be explored in this day and age. For example, it is necessary to closely follow the aid package. Your freelance business can benefit from the package.
4. Promote your well-being
The pandemic has brought about a lot of stress that can negatively affect your mental health. Psychologists posit that taking time off and participating in activities that you enjoy will increase your productivity, creativity, and success. You shouldn’t be tempted to turn yourself into a workaholic as you increase the chance of burnout and losing clients if you don’t do a quality job. Therefore, take part in self-care practices such as For example, chatting with a friend, going for a walk, or exercising to replenish your energy.
5. Take advantage of the network
You should pretend that everything is going well at this point. Although it may be the most immediate reflex action for the freelancers to proceed with the appearance, at this point it is wise to be open to the various problems you are facing and ask for help. The network of your customers and colleagues can be an invaluable resource during this time. Some people face such difficulties and may have found ways to deal with the situation. You may also be connecting with long-term customers who you may not currently be able to hire, but can refer you to other customers who can.
Sometimes, because of your commitment to the network, you may not collect specific business opportunities or jobs, but you are sure to find support and encouragement. In the difficult times as they are happening, that is a lot in itself. Broader networking opportunities are being created in many places for companies affected by the COVID-19 crisis. For example, in the UK there is a community called the Coronavirus Business Ideas Exchange which provides a platform where you can discuss the challenges different companies are facing and share tips.
6. Use the right VPN for a secure online presence
One of the most important skills you need when working remotely as a freelancer is the ability to use a VPN or virtual private network for privacy protection. VPN is usually a paid service that allows you to browse the internet safely and privately while using the Wi-Fi hotspots publicly. A good way to think about VPN is to have a secure tunnel between your PC and the destinations you will be visiting on the internet. Learn more about VPNs if this catches your attention.
7. Optimize the new routine and workspace
Much like the millions of people around the world, there may be no alternative but to work from home. While home office setup seems exciting and convenient, productivity can be seriously impacted. However, there are several things you can do to make sure you don’t lose focus during this transition.
First, find a room that can be used as a dedicated workspace. Stick to fixed working hours and have clear boundaries between work and private life. Eliminating distractions and feeling responsible are two key aspects of working remotely. You can also make the place nice and cozy by adding some plants. If sunlight isn’t reaching this room, don’t worry, you can use LED grow lights that mimic the sun. Being surrounded by plants increases your productivity and encourages your creativity.
This pandemic age has challenged everyone, but there are many things that you as a freelancer do to stay one step ahead of your business. It may be difficult to change what is happening, but you can revise the way you think about it so that you succeed. Use the tips above to improve your appearance!