Fiverr has spoken with hundreds of freelancers who, in the wake of the coronavirus, suddenly find their freelance business turned on its head. Many of their clients are “on hold” and, as a result, they’re taking a major revenue hit so far this year.
For a group who notoriously battles the feast-famine cycle anyway, taking an unexpected hit in revenue might be the nail in the coffin for some freelance businesses.
But it doesn’t have to be for yours.
In many cases, if you take quick action, you can rescue much of the lost revenue your freelance business has experienced so far.
Here are a few ways to make up for lost revenue in 2020:
1. Diversify Your Sources for Finding New Clients
One way to rescue a bit of lost revenue in 2020 is to explore new ways to find clients.
If you’ve mostly been freelancing on Fiverr, for example, continue to get better at that and also work on leveling up your networking game on Linkedin.
Or use the Covid-19 “downtime” to invest in learning SEO, connecting with other freelancers, or mastering email marketing.
The idea is to test 5-10 new marketing channels and see which ones produce results for you. Keep the ones that work, and ditch the ones that don’t.
2. Build Passive Income Streams Into Your Freelance Business
The biggest liability any freelancer faces is that she’s constantly trading time for money.
You work on a client project, and you get paid. But if you’re not working, you don’t get paid.
Smart freelancers have learned they need to build more passive income into their freelance business. Passive income is revenue that is generated whether you’re currently working for it or not.
There are plenty of great passive income ideas for freelancers. For some great ideas and examples, read this article: 5 Ways Freelancers Can Generate Passive Income
3. Reach Out to Short-Staffed Agencies and Companies
In the wake of Covid-19, millions of people have lost their jobs. While it’s a tragedy for them, it presents a unique opportunity for freelancers.
As large companies continue to lay-off full-time workers, they turn to the world’s 77 million freelancers to get work done on a less full-time basis.
More businesses than ever are using Fiverr to connect with freelancers, so to take full advantage of this upward trend, make sure your Fiverr profile is up-to-date.
You may also want to reach out to local agencies or other companies offering your part-time freelance services to help them through a time when many budgets have been tightened.
Just because economies are slowing down, doesn’t mean people don’t have work they need done. Reaching out to companies who suddenly find themselves short-staffed can be a great way to find new freelance clients in 2020.
You might also choose to target companies in growing industries such as medicine, home entertainment, and delivery services. Many of these companies are growing too quickly to hire efficiently and may turn to freelancers to fill the gaps.
4. Create Something Once and Sell It Over and Over Again
As freelancers, we tend to get stuck in the mindset that we create once, get paid once.
But what if you could create something once and get paid for it over and over again?
That’s exactly what some freelancers are doing in order to make up for lost revenue in 2020.
For example, take a look at these smart Fiverr freelancers who are selling templates to clients.
They’ve created the template once (done 90% of the work) and then, each time they get an order through Fiverr, they just make a quick modification (the remaining 10%) and ship the final product to the client.
They’ve created an asset once, but they sell it over and over again.
You can achieve similar results by creating courses, bundling digital elements for sale on marketplaces, and selling your own digital products like ebooks. The possibilities are only limited by your creative thinking.
5. Create Service Packages with Flat Monthly Pricing
If you’re going to make up for lost revenue in 2020, you may need to take a look at how you price your freelance services currently.
Instead of charging by the hour or by the project, consider moving to a flat monthly fee.
While it might sound counterintuitive to ask a client who’s unsure about their future to commit to working with you for the rest of the year, the option makes budgeting easier and helps them better forecast for the year.
Plus, you can focus on adding new clients to your monthly plans until your project hitting your original freelance income goals in 2020.
It’s a win-win.
6. Just Increase Your Prices
Finally, if you’re going to make up for lost time this year, you might just have to simply raise your prices.
And while that might seem a little too bold—asking your clients to pay you more in a down economy—here’s what I suggest:
If you sense a particular client is struggling financially, don’t raise rates with them. In fact, you may want to keep current rates with all your current clients.
As you find new clients (using the techniques listed above) consider increasing your rates by even just 10%-20%. Over time, this will make a big difference in your annual revenue and may just make back any money lost during Covid-19.
Remember, many new clients will be hiring you instead of hiring a full-time employee. So while your rates may be higher than they were before, they’re likely still cheaper than a full-time employee.
There’s Still a Lot of Time (and Opportunity) Left in 2020
If your freelance business has suffered on account of Covid-19, it can be easy to get caught up in despair and mentally write off 2020 as a failure year.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. There’s still a lot of time and opportunity left in 2020—and it’s yours for the taking.
Keep your head up, get out there, and work hard. We’ll make this a great year yet!