From the Editor
Is Freelancing During a Recession Smart?
Whether we're in a full-blown recession are not, we're all battling higher prices, from the gas pump to the grocery store to household utilities to retail purchases... you name it. Everything seems to cost more now.
Which begs the question, does it make sense to freelance in recessionary times? I believe so. And here's why.
Freelancers Are Agile
Unlike most business types, freelancers can remain agile, quickly adapting to changing times. Since most of us work by ourselves, we can pivot much more easily than large companies or even small employee-based businesses.
Freelancers Are Fearless
You wouldn't be freelancing if you weren't. It takes guts to step out on your own with a willingness to face whatever comes. But you aren't improvident. If you've been in this game for a while, you've counted the cost and determined freelancing is worth pursuing as a career.
Freelancers Are Pro-active
We don't sit around and wait for something to happen; we make it happen.
One of my favorite quotes comes from the Netflix series House of Cards: "Freddy believes if a fridge falls off a minivan, you better swerve out of the way; I believe that it is the fridge's job to swerve out of mine."
Get out of the way fridge — a metaphor for the circumstances life throws at us — freelancer coming through!
Freelancers Are Optimistic
I can't say that I'm an optimist by nature, so perhaps "faith" is a better term (at least in my case). I believe that I will survive (and even thrive) in spite of the circumstances. At the same time, I'm not "pollyanna-ish." I realize times are hard, but that doesn't sway my desire to forge my own path, and it shouldn't yours.
Freelancers Are In Demand
Sadly, companies are laying off staff in droves, but many are hiring freelancers to help them stay afloat.
For example, I write about the gig economy for a client in the contact center industry and "GigCX" — gig-based customer service workers — comprise a substantial and growing part of the the workforce.
Freelancers Are Resilient
Rev. Robert Schuller wrote a book entitled, "Tough Times Never Last, But Tough People Do." He could have penned it with freelancers in mind because we are tough, resilient, never-say-die, doggedly-determined to make it. We may not refer to ourselves as entrepreneurs, but we do share that mindset.
I'm not the only person who feels that way, either. A quick Google search revealed several articles that reinforce my belief. I list a few in the Top Pick and Opportunity sections below.
All I can say is hang in there, fellow "greypreneur." And if you need a freelance friend to lean on during these difficult times, I'm always here.
How Freelancers Can Thrive During a Recession
This article outlines some strategies you can use to recession-proof your freelance career. Steps include:
- Develop essential recession-proof skills.
- Focus on recession-proof industries.
- Create recession-perfect service packages.
- Enforce rules and maintain your rates.
- Prepare early for the next crisis.
It ends with this encouragement:
"The main point to remember is that as a freelancer, you are in control of your destiny. Even during a recession or a pandemic, you have options and solutions that will see you through the worst periods."
Podcast Interview: Andrea Wildt & Samantha Anderl, Co-founders, Harlow
My guests for this episode are Samantha Anderl and Andrea Wildt, co-founders of Harlow, a freelance business management platform. They expertly address a topic that affects every freelancer at one time or another — how much to charge clients and what method to use.
The Fearless Freelancer: How to Thrive in a Recession eBook
I admit, I have yet to read this ebook, but its title caught my eye, so I include for your consideration.
The author Lori Di Milto says:
"Freelancing in a recession doesn’t have to be scary. The Fearless Freelancer gives you a proven, step-by-step process for getting steady, high-paying clients — from a freelancer who’s thrived during two recessions."
Content includes advice on how to:
- Boost your confidence so you can stay calm and focus
- Stand out in a sea of freelancers so clients choose you
- Make freelance marketing as easy as tying your shoes
- Find high-paying clients that still need freelancers now
- Create marketing that will attract those clients
- Succeed in a recession even if you’re a new freelancer
She also wrote this post — "Fearless Freelancing During a Recession" — on LinkedIn that may be worth checking out.
Why Freelancing During a Recession Is a Good Thing. (As if we didn't already know.)
I almost made this the top pick I liked it so much. Its message: During shaky economic times, freelancing can be a strategic move. The "agile lifestyle of independent work can be a way to recession-proof your income," it says, then lists several benefits to back up the statement.
The article concludes with this remark:
"One of the best ways to restore a sense of control and confidence is through pursuing freelance work." I like it!
7 Things You Must Do To Survive a Recession as a Freelancer
This article was written during the height of the pandemic and forecasts a recession:
With more than 16 million unemployment claims filed since mid-March and economic activity on pause, all signs are pointing to a recession.
But it's not doom and gloom. The writer, a seasoned freelancer, has endured two recessions — 2001 and 2008 — and is still plying her trade. She provides seven pieces of advice on how to survive a recession based on her experience.
What the Last Recession Tells Us About How Freelancers Can Adapt to This One
This article, also written in 2020, looks at the impact of past recessions on the economy, especially the 2008 recession, and their effect on freelancers.
Anxious About a Recession? Start Thinking Like a Freelancer
The writer is focused on employees as her audience but makes freelancers the star of the story due to our capacity to plan ahead, pivot, and wipe off rejection like dust from our shoes.
She also lauds the wisdom of having multiple streams of income, a trait freelancers are known for, and our ability to live on a budget with variable income.
Want to feel better about the career you've chosen? Read the article. It gives us freelancers a well-deserved pat on the back.
How to Freelance During a Recession
Five practical tips on how to survive as a freelancer during a recession.
21 Recession-Proof Industries for Freelancers
Here are 21 recession-proof industries that make good work prospects for freelancers today.
Social Media Ain't the Marketing Panacea It Used to Be... Here's What to Do Instead
I wrote a book a few years ago that alleged social media WOULD be a panacea for marketing. Maybe I was tad hasty with my prediction. At least these guys think so. They suggest leaning into email and direct mail (Yea, direct mail! Who knew?) as alternative strategies.
Tito’s Vodka in a (Empty) Can
I'm not a vodka drinker, but this was too good to pass up. Tito's is doing a promotion that you might expect to see on April Fool's Day. They are selling an empty can for $20.
The promotion is based on the popular canned cocktail and hard seltzer craze. Instead of mixing them itself, Tito's sells you the can and lets you mix your own. All the proceeds go to charity, so it's a good thing. Cheers!
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