Freelance news roundup — Covid edition, vol. 1

The coronavirus is wreaking havoc on communities around the globe, and the globally dispersed community of freelancers is no exception.

I’ll be posting a series of news roundups in the coming weeks and months to keep people updated on the latest, both for freelancers in general and for freelancers in specific fields.

Here’s the first installment.

Has the Coronavirus impacted freelance business and, if so, is business up, down or changing? I spent much of the day yesterday and today speaking and emailing with the leaders of freelance marketplaces, platforms for independent consultants and experts, gigsters who helped my partner Carolyn and I over the course of the day (traveling from NYC to Florida), and some of the best observers of what’s happening in the space.

From tech writer Jennifer Goforth Gregory: “My biggest recommendation to every freelance writer is to reach out to all of your current and past clients, letting them know you are available.”

When the economy slows, and businesses and individuals retrench, existing projects may get postponed, reduced or cancelled outright. Future projects may be harder to sell. To thrive as a freelancer in uncertain times, you need to focus on two objectives: 1) keep the gigs you have; and 2) land new projects.

Most of the freelancers that I know live their lives in public. They have to if they want to work. I know that in most cases freelancers are going to do the right thing. They will self isolate. They will lose that work. They will lose those kit-hire fees too. Because of the way things work, they’ll lose a lot more than £7.5k in the long run.

While that may help curb the spread of the disease, it’s bad news for freelancers, independent contractors and gig workers who are losing income because of it.

If you have United States Department of Education Student Loans, this article is for you. If you have other types of debt or loans, I would highly encourage you to call the companies with whom you hold accounts and have an open and honest conversation with them as soon as is possible.

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