It is obvious that the world has come to a standstill due to the spread of COVID-19. Every country is combating this viral outbreak the best way they can. Governments all around the world are looking for ways to help every single citizen.
The sick receive the needed treatment, and the healthy receive instructions on how to properly isolate themselves.
But, what happens to employees and businesses? Fortunately, there are various policies being implemented that are meant to provide aid to both the employees and businesses.
However, what’s in it for freelancers? Freelancers are major contributors to the economy. This is a fact for almost every country nowadays. And yet, we rarely see an initiative where they are included when it comes to aid packages.
Well, if your government hasn’t already decided to help out, you can take a look at this guide that should help you muscle through these dire days.
Build that nest
All freelancers are concerned these days whether their nests will be enough to get them through these tough times.
Of course, this nest is a rainy day fund. And every financially literate freelancer knows the importance of having a back-up stack of cash somewhere.
It is easy to say that one should always have a back-up fund just in case of an emergency. But, it’s wise to talk about methods that can help in the long run.
So, the first tip, in this case, has to be this simple saying — never count your chickens before they hatch! Do not count on a sum of money before it is credited into your account.
Once you receive a payment, you should be careful when allocating those funds for your needs. In other words, it would be wise to dedicate a sum that you have to spend. This is usually the money you use to buy food and other necessities.
Then have a part of the money deposited into your savings account. A savings account is something that every freelancer should have by the time they reach 30.
Finally, save some cash for your emergency fund. This is what might just save the day in case the crisis hits severely.
Repeat this sequence every time you receive money from your clients. This can make a difference should something bad happen in a short period of time.
Create a referral program
It’s time for solopreneurs to understand that loyal customers are the lifeline of their businesses, not the potential new ones. That is why most attention has to be placed on the current customers in the time of crisis. Not on acquiring the new ones.
No one is saying that you shouldn’t try to find new customers, but it is more likely that you will find financial salvation during the crisis in the customers that regularly do business with you.
After all, it takes more effort and even costs more to find a new customer than to keep an existing one. Actually, it is five times more expensive to find new clients.
However, you should consider a method that will enable you to focus on your current customers but also maybe gain new ones.
This method comes in the form of a good referral program. For instance, a lot of eCommerce business owners have their own programs of this kind. And the concept is quite simple.
For every new customer that signs up with the referral code, the person that referred them receives a reward.
To make the process easy, consider these tips:
- Pick a good reward. People won’t try to help if there isn’t something attractive in it for them. Pick something you know your customers see as valuable.
- Include customers who have already worked with you and were happy with your service. Most people introduce the program to customers through email.
- Allow your customers to invite people without ever leaving your website. A hassle-free way to do so is by setting up a contact picker that makes the process easy and efficient.
Search job boards
Just because we are going through trying times and you should try to keep your existing clients, it doesn’t mean that there are absolutely no jobs available on the market. No one is saying you should forget about finding new sources of income.
No, the gist is to look somewhere else for more work if you find yourself in need of new projects. For instance, a lot of brick-and-mortar businesses are now trying to go online with their businesses.
There are numerous pizza places and fast food joints that offer online services. You pick what you want to eat and order it online. Some time later, the food will arrive at your doorstep.
These business owners hire a web designer. These experts design new websites that offer online purchasing and delivery. And that may be your chance. A lot of these designer jobs can be found on various job boards and platforms.
So, it would be great if you visited a job board or two just to check out what jobs are hiring right now. This way, you will know what type of skill is in high need these days. And if you happen to possess such a skill, you might just profit from it.
Invest in skills development
The virus affected your client network in a bad way. Maybe you have lost one client or maybe you had to say goodbye to a few of them.
Yes, you should look for alternative sources of income (new clients or new projects for the current ones), but what you should never do is sit there in despair and think about the good old times.
Instead, if you find yourself drowning in sorrow, pick yourself up and go. It’s time to dedicate yourself to the development of new skills.
When there is not as much workload as there used to be, you have more time for new things. So, take that time to your advantage.
Try to acquire new skills. This probably won’t pay off immediately, but it sure will in the long run.
Every leader, every successful business person, makes the most of the moment even when the going gets tough. So, try and lead yourself to something good in these difficult times.
Do not ignore your mental health!
Last but not least, it is of the utmost importance not to neglect your mental health now. Listening to experts talk about the situation we are facing on a daily basis can really have bad effects on one’s mental health. The truth is that the majority of news today is not so good.
To make the issue even worse, wherever you go, you will see something related to the virus outbreak. So, try to disconnect from technology (your phone, laptop, TV, etc.) as much as you can. Also, avoid social media if possible.
There is nothing worse than seeing someone’s post where they are basically announcing the end for us all coming soon. Avoid this kind of toxic noise. Meditate, stay active, spend time with your family, go for a run every day if you can. This can be a nice filter for all the negativities.
Structure your day into a few parts. Know when it’s time to sit down and put in the necessary work. But also know when it is time to rest, eat, and exercise.
If you are really having a difficult time mentally going through this situation, seek help. There are many government-backed organizations that offer phone consulting.
You can even look online for therapists that are willing to work for free during the pandemic now. They offer Skype sessions and these can really help you find a perspective that isn’t all dark and doom.