It’s a pretty challenging time out there for everyone, especially for creative freelancers whose work pipeline has slowed down or even dried up completely.
That’s why we’ve put together 12 practical ideas on how freelancers can go about creating work, or at least start some new conversations that may lead to work in the not-too-distant future. While none of these are a sure thing, we reckon a couple of them are bound to be a spark of inspiration for someone!
Our twelve top tips
1. This first one is for copywriters. Try reaching out to people that are hosting webinars (everyone is doing one at the moment, including us!) and ask if you can summarise their webinar into a blog post—kind of like we did with this webinar and this blog post.
2. Are you a designer? Maybe reach out to people that are hosting webinars and ask if you can create the visuals they need (social images, blog headers, etc.) to promote their next webinar. You could even offer to create a carousel of images with key takeaways. Can you offer them a package of these?
3. Any photographers out there? Start a livestream training course using Zoom or Google Hangouts to teach people how to do what you do. Give these away for free for the first week or so, then ask people to join a Facebook Group to access previous videos. You’ll then have an audience to build on that you can hopefully convert into paying customers.
4. Plenty of charities are overwhelmed at the moment. If you’re a motion designer, graphic designer or illustrator, start reaching out to your favourite charities to see if they need support. Working with them means you’ll be doing good for them (and their cause!) while also building relationships. Again, it may not be a sure thing, but they may just give you some paid work as soon as they’re able to return the favour.
5. Set up Google Alerts for jobs in your area that match your skills and the type of work you’re best at, e.g., ‘graphic design job Glasgow’.
6. Ever dreamed of selling physical products with your designs on them? Use a site like Zazzle and start selling your designs online. They deal with the full supply chain and production—you provide the designs and get paid.
7. Connect with other freelancers and learn from them. We’ve recently teamed up with the folks at Creative Entrepreneurs Club to create a space for freelancers to find work opportunities and free one-on-one support sessions with talented folk from across the creative industry.
You can also join our creative industry support group on Linkedin which is chock-full of creatives from around the world sharing work opportunities, free services, and even more creative ideas for generating new work. In fact, here’s one from today:
8. Use this time to update and refine your portfolio. It can be tough to hire a generalist, so try to be specific, and remove anything that is not your best work! Then when you’re ready, attach your portfolio to ten short, personalised, typo-free emails and send them to ten companies. An email might not be enough though, so try talking to them on social (you can put them all in a bookmarked Twitter search to make it easier!) or attend any webinars they put out.
9. Create that YouTube channel you’ve always wanted to or start a vlog. Get your voice out there and tell your story. People can’t buy from you if they don’t know you exist!
10. Create some thought leadership content about your expertise and share it on all your social channels—especially on Linkedin. Give away your best thoughts and opportunities will come back to you.
11. Get creative, stay positive, and keep going! Reach out to others if you are feeling desperate or panicky. You can also check out NABS which is a free mental health charity specifically for people working in the creative industry.
12. People will be buying stock photos more than ever at the moment since they can’t get outside to create new content. Go through your archive of unused work and trying turning some of it into stock for sale. This one may be a slow burn to start, but you can take in some additional income if you’re willing to put in the work. We recommend starting with Envato or Getty Images. If you’re looking for more info, we found a great blog post here.
Have any other ideas? Let us know on social and remember to keep going! You can do this!