Industries across the U.S. are suffering and many have ground to a halt as cities and states are shutting down. Likewise, far too many small businesses are on the brink of disaster. As a freelancer, you may be experiencing contract cancelations and future work uncertainty.
This Hope Sheet was produced to inspire you to reach deep inside to unleash your “inner hustle.” You are creative, bold and able to face fears. Remember, you have done it many times before. Stirring up hope will help you explore new streams of income that evolve from skills, passions and talents that you already have or can easily learn.
Yes, you may need to reinvent, again. More learning will probably be required but you are constantly expanding your knowledge base anyway. If necessary, you will reallocate funds and temporarily scale back on spending. But you will survive and, in many cases, thrive as you change your mindset and focus on what you can do instead of what has been taken away.
Here are 12 steps that may help you expand your income:
- Ask your clients if the work can be done remotely. In most cases, meetings, trainings, customer relations, content development, you name it, can be done using online tools. Of course, there are exceptions. For example, security, work requiring physical equipment and specialty supplies, facilities management, infrastructure maintenance, and software maintenance may require you to work onsite.
- Go after accounts receivable. Contact all clients with outstanding balances and ask for your money. Be consistent. This collections letter template from Freelancers Union might be a useful guide: https://assets.freelancersunion.org/media/documents/CollectionLetterTemplate.pdf.
- Check out the online gig marketplace. This marketplace is huge and growing like weeds. And yes, it includes more that Uber, Postmates and other hourly work-on-demand gigs. According to SIA, the professional gig economy has grown 41% since 2017. Companies are spending $7.8 billion on gig workers. Learning which sites are best for you and how to leverage them is the key to success. Like everything else, there are best practices to help you achieve success. Learn these shortcuts. The “Do the Hustle Quick Start Masterclass” is an excellent resource: https://tkcincorporated.com.
- Teach a class. No, it doesn’t have to be about something related to your current business. Your class can focus on a passion, gift or talent that you have. I met a high-powered attorney who made a small fortune with a baseball training video class inspired by his little league son. I know a woman who was a professional makeup artist, who opened a successful Zumba studio because she wanted to dance. The “Teach Your Genius for Freelancers Self-Study Course” walks you through the steps for success.
- Partner with other freelancers. Partnership is a great strategy for thriving. It doesn’t have to be a permanent arrangement; it can last until a specific deliverable is completed. It allows you to go after larger contracts. For example, I interviewed a man who wrote jingles. He partnered with a musician and a couple singers to offer a complete package. Look around your tribe and industry ecosystem. Find freelancers whose work would complement yours to open larger doors.
- Incentivize your customers to hire you. Think of incentives to get your customers to purchase from you NOW. Send out coupons for discounts. Offer a free popular business book with every order. Explain how their order will keep your doors open.
- Create a freemium to attract prospects. There are lots of webinars, classes and reports being given away right now. Join the crowd. Think of an information product that provides massive value so you can fill your pipeline. Launch a couple different funnels to identify new customers.
- Indulge in a friendly game of “coopetition”. Find a friendly competitor and develop a way to cooperate and legally capture each other’s audience. For example, you could co-brand a Masterclass and share the leads. Using a robust email campaign ensures that you sell customers. You could also cross market each other’s product or services.
- Examine the basics. This may be a great time to complete aspects of an income plan that you never got around to finishing. Re-examining who your dream customers are and what they truly want today leads to more satisfied customers. Are your competitors modifying their offerings? Should you? You may need to invest the time to update “Your Hustle Income Plan” to fit today’s market. Our intense training yields astonishing results: https://tkcincorporated.com.
- Learn something that will be useful after the pandemic is over. Let your customers know about your new skillset. Some may want to make a purchase right away. Use your time wisely to build a better foundation for the future. Be committed to walk out of this season more prepared to grow your business.
- Generate leads through LinkedIn. Go prospecting on the platform. Connect with leads and set appointments. Explore what your prospects need before telling them what you offer. Use the initial phone or video calls to get to know them better. Offer value later. Join groups and engage with industry content.
- Focus on the COVID-19. Oddly enough, there are gigs directly related to our current crisis. For example, medical writers are needed to produce medical content for consumer education. Hospitals are looking for crisis management experts. Remote staffing consultations for companies in your industry might be lucrative gigs, as well as business continuity services. Mental health and stress management tools, content and resources will continue to be in demand. Also, prepare for the post-virus support needs that companies may have, like remote worker education, IT support systems, HR policy updates, emergency plans review, and resources to improve employee morale. Be sure to get every benefit available in response to COVID-19. This webinar by MBO Partners is a great summary https://www.mbopartners.com/cares-act-independents/benefits.
If you need assistance refining your freelance game plan, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We have resources, training and coaching services tailored to your needs.