Covid-19 has weaved its way deep into the veins of society the world over, forcing us all into a state of isolation while stopping businesses in their tracks.
We are living in uncertain times but the hyper-connected nature of the digital age has empowered businesses and professionals to adapt to their new situations while maintaining collaborative from a distance.
Of all of the world’s industries and sectors, the expert economy is arguably the most suited to this remote global situation that we’ve found ourselves in.
But, while as a freelance expert, remote working may be the norm, the uncertain nature of the coronavirus pandemic is no doubt placing you under a great deal of stress.
So, what’s the next move? At this point time is of the essence and preparation is key. To navigate your way through the coronavirus as a freelance expert, it’s important to safeguard yourself as much as possible.
To help you on your journey, here are some essential tips to ensure you thrive during the Covid-19 outbreak.
Apply your own ‘mask’ first
It’s likely that you’ve heard the phrase ‘apply your own mask first’ during flight safety briefings.
What we mean here is: before reaching out to your clients concerning deadlines or publishing any public communications on your current status, you should think about how you can protect yourself during this period of uncertainty.
To safeguard yourself as a freelance expert, you should find out whether you’re entitled to any potential financial aid should you need to access it during the outbreak.
Also, you should go through your client contracts with a fine toothcomb, amending certain clauses or payment terms (with their consent, of course) to help you remain afloat until some normality has been restored.
Manage client expectations
This monumental and completely unexpected situation has blindsided everyone to some extent.
That said, your existing clients will almost definitely understand if you need to change delivery dates or agendas—as long as you manage expectations wisely.
Drill down into your existing workflow and schedule as well as your new home situation. Set timelines and delivery dates that work better for you and set aside a day to negotiate these revised delivery terms with your clients.
If your clients’ expectations are managed, you will afford yourself the breathing room you need to adjust to your new situation while formulating strategies or initiatives to help you succeed in the age of Covid-19.
Explore retainer payments
Concerning work and cash flow, if you’re working with certain companies or individuals on a regular basis, encouraging retainer payments will provide you with an additional layer of security right now.
By reaching out to the right clients and highlighting your ongoing value, you will have a good chance of landing retainer payments.
Typically, even if a client should choose to cancel with 30 days’ notice, freelancers are still entitled to any retainer payments that initially outlined as ‘nonrefundable retainer’. A bonafide reason to try and work out a retainer or two.
One of the most critical things you can do as a freelance expert in this current landscape is to remain connected with partners, clients and professional peers.
Leverage every touchpoint available, from email and social media to mobile apps and phone conversations, to let people know that you’re still active and you’re willing to help.
Sharing relevant content and connecting with others virtually will help you keep your momentum while opening yourself up to new work opportunities—so stay connected.
“We are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided.”― J.K. Rowling
We hope these tips will help you navigate your way through these challenging times and for more professional pearls of wisdom, read our guide on using the Internet to find work.