This article is part of the guide Remote Working during COVID-19, How to ride out the coronavirus outbreak.
Although it might feel like it right now, this COVID-19 crisis thankfully won’t go on forever.
You therefore need to be preparing now for life after the crisis.
Millions of companies have been forced to embrace remote working, which will create all sorts of opportunities, but only if you’re prepared to stand out from the competition and grasp them.
So in this article we’re looking at the tips we’ve been sent from our global freelance community about how to prepare for life after the COVID-19 crisis is over.
Getting yourself in the right headspace now will be key to making the most of remote working opportunities post-COVID-19. Here are some tips to give you a head start on your competition:
- Whilst everyone else is on the defence, get on the offence. Your flexibility is your power. Be adaptable and try to be a resource for your clients. Show them how they can tighten their belts and be efficient and they will thank you for it with more opportunities.
- Understand that even as the pandemic subsides, there will be long-term ramifications financially and culturally. Start. developing new skills now.
- Be generous and share tips and apps that help. You never know how someone who benefits from your tips could help you.
- The remote working culture is likely flourish after the crisis. List out the supply and demand bottlenecks now and find solutions for them so you can get ahead of the pack.
- Make use of the efficient practices you have developed during isolation, and be grateful for the normality post-crisis.
- Be aware of others needs, both in your personal and professional communities. You never know when you might need them.
- Re-fresh your portfolio – what projects have you worked on which really show off your skills?
You have a lot of time to think over your freelance business right now, but all of these exciting ideas floating around in your mind are worthless if you don’t come up with strategies to implement them. Here are some tips to sharpen your processes to make sure you come out on top post-COVID-19.
- Whilst you’re experimenting with remote working right now, take notes on what works for you and what doesn’t. Once you have your rhythm set, you’ll be able to continue on in the future. You’ll also be able to educate clients on your process to assure them that you are a pro at working from home.
- Check all your work contracts in case of potential delays and check longer term deadlines to ensure they will be reached.
- Keep social media engagement active and constantly interacting with clients and potential clients during the crisis. Resonating with how people are feeling during this trying period. People will remember you after everything.
- Start to build list of potential clients post-crisis so you can be first to contact them.
- Don’t make drastic and unsustainable changes to your workflow. Be flexible, but don’t try to overhaul your whole routine. The world will get back to normal soon.
- We’re all in the same boat, keep your portfolios updated, and maybe learn some new skills while we are all at home, courses on skill share, or a new software like blender or maybe try coding?
- Get going promoting and meeting people again. Become digitally and physically present and soon as it’s safe to do so!
- Maybe if you can’t get orders, you should offer something by yourself using something you’re good at
- Spend this time in isolation researching future oriented skills.
- Engage with your clients now – ask about their contingency and continuity plans, and if they’re likely to affect your work with them long term.
- When you’re off the clock, REALLY give yourself permission to go back to your normal life! Just because you’ve had to bring your work home doesn’t mean it has to preoccupy your mind!
- Focus on creating real value. There are lots of people and companies who need your expertise to build and/or rebuild, and most can pay – don’t be greedy, as exploiting desperate clients will come back to haunt you.
- Figure a lifestyle budget. Project # of hrs needed to work to meet that budget.
- Factor in 30-90 day payment on invoices. Work on a savings fund to be able to go without work for 6 months to a year in case of any further COVID-19 crises.
- Be on the look out for new remote working tools in the coming years as people who haven’t worked remotely before have new ideas now that they are experiencing it.
- Contact all your clients, let them know you’re still available (or if you’re not – advise of that as well). If you don’t have as much work – do all those marketing activities that you’ve put off or have on a one-day list. Update your website, look at your profiles on freelance sites and add new portfolio pieces, improve your copy on your profile or website, create a FB page or instagram, blog, podcast etc. Schedule a few months of social media posts in advance. Get an email outreach campaign ready. Things will recover, so be ready for it.
Use your time in isolation wisely. We all have many dimensions we can improve in and we’re all incredibly lucky to have resources at our disposal that our ancestors could never have believed we possible! Here’s some tips for up-skilling yourself to massively increase your value post-COVID-19:
- Learn from what works and doesn’t work in situations like this for you. Try to figure out the things that make you more productive when you’re working remotely (e.g. times of day, physical space, frequency of breaks). Become a more professional freelancer: hone your skills in personal time management, client communications, invoicing, contracting, sharing and collaboration.
- Upskill now! Look at your skills and how you can enhance or expand them so you have more to offer. Now more than ever customer relationships are vital, so go above and beyond for your clients so you’re more likely to get referrals.
- They should get equipped with the tools needed to streamline and organize their work, try to really schedule out their weeks (i.e. block off time to eat/workout, etc.). Also realise there are tons of online communities and way to connect with others to combat feelings of isolation.
- If it’s new for you then be optimistic for a new experience, if it’s not then it’s business as usual I guess. There’s a freedom and a sense of confinement that comes from working at home. Try to focus on the former.
- Keep all of your networking connections. You never know when they will need you again.
- Obviously, the economy will take a huge hit from this. In preparation for this, it is good to look far ahead. I would start preparing about a year in advance for opportunities to freelance. If you begin to document your personal productivity during the period you’re in of remote work, you can see what works for you and begin implementing those strategies to make you more efficient and valuable to companies later on. Keep track of things that work best for you.
For many freelancers, post-COVID-19 could be really be an opportunity to grow as more companies will look for create remote teams. Having to deal with a stressful situation like this isolation due to the pandemic will have proven your autonomy as a remote worker – so be proud of that.
We got this information out as quickly as possible and will be updating it over the coming days and weeks. If you have any other tools you want to add, please comment below or contribute to the cause and give your advice on remote working.