How COVID-19 Impacted the Freelance Industry & How to Leverage New Trends to Your Advantage
There’s no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has completely reshaped the freelancing industry. Earlier last year, companies and organizations of all sizes slashed their budgets and halted any in-house hiring, leaving room for freelancers and solopreneurs to grab more remote opportunities.
Freelancers like you were able to (and still do) offer companies and businesses a more affordable and faster way to get work done, at a time in which everything seem to have been spiraling.
In this episode of ‘Raising the Bar’, Matthew Mottola, author of The Human Cloud, shares his insights on how the pandemic has shaped the freelance landscape and what you can do to leverage new trends to your advantage.
Watch the full episode below!
Below, we’ll dive deeper into the pros and cons of freelancing during COVID-19 as well as what advantages agencies have over you and how you can remain resilient even with all the competition and demands from clients.
1. Clients Have Accelerated Spending (Pro)
One of the perks of hiring you is that you offer more flexibility, specifically in regards to budget. As a result of the pandemic, clients accelerated their spending on freelancers because of the rise of remote work and having to completely transform their business model.
2. Expectations are Soaring (Con)
With the enhanced spending on freelancers, comes higher expectations. Clients now want to see work get done fast, be produced at high level and for a specific rate, meaning it’s become more difficult to hire freelancers like you at scale. At the end of the day, your client is going to be comparing you to an agency. Why is that? Well, it’s simply less hassle. An agency handles the outsourcing and managing of the work, which is most of the operations that your client doesn’t want to take care of.
Furthermore, agencies offer more consistency and scalability than freelancers. Companies and businesses want the resources that can help them scale as a company and are looking less for talent that can help them with a project here and there.
So, how can you leverage these trends to your advantage and win more clients? Here’s what you need to do.
1. Standardize & Automate Your Processes
When working with clients, be easy to work with, but not just because you want to get hired for the gig ASAP, but more for yourself. Imagine you have three different offers on the table, take those offers and break it down into low, medium and high. So, if a client comes to you and expresses their challenges and pain points, you want to be able to easily and quickly tell them exactly how you can help, how much it will cost (according to your offering) and when you can get it done by.
2. Build a Dense Network
Next, it’s important that you build a strong network of fellow freelancers in an array of different fields, whether it be a developer, writer, SEO expert, doesn’t matter. However, twenty to thirty percent of them should have the same title as you. Connect with them and even hold brainstorming sessions on how you could improve when reaching out to clients. You never know what you may learn from your peers.
Overall, COVID-19 has had both positive and negative impacts on the freelance space as client spending on remote talent has increased more than ever before, but at the same time, expectations have gone through the roof, meaning you need to make sure you can offer the same scalability and consistency that agencies can if you want to succeed as a solo freelancer.
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