Navigate the COVID-19 Crisis as a Freelancer

“There should be a science of discontent. People need hard times to develop psychic muscles. — Muad’Dib”

Frank Herbert, Dune

The COVID-19 pandemic is a bundle of crises that includes not only health but social, economic, financial, and humanitarian crises as well. In this post, we focus more on the economic downturn that we should all anticipate as the worst part of it is still ahead. We present 6 critical actions every freelancer entrepreneur, especially freelance translators, should take right now to face the crisis, navigate through it, and emerge better and stronger.

Get back to the basics

Navigating successfully any crisis requires a conscious effort to stop, look, listen, and focus. You need to deliberately cut out distractions. It is not the time to experiment with “new things”. Uncompromisingly put on hold anything that is not essential or that has not proven utterly promising.
Keep in mind that crises are the perfect time to review your core business, audience, and niche. The perfect moment to assess the way you connect with your target audience and maintain the relationship with your clients, current and past. Do not miss out on the opportunity to get back to the basics and emerge stronger and better.

Reduce costs

There is a lot of uncertainty ahead and it is more likely that the worst of the economic downturn is yet to come. Play it safe while looking around, listening to the market, and navigating the transition. Cut expenses to essentially what keeps your business going. Invest in activities that are directly and short-termly monetizable. Renegociate current partnerships. Stay away from new outgoings that are not clear investments.

Control your runway

Your runway is critical during a financial crisis. How much time can you hold without new earnings? This is the oxygen that keeps you going, gives you leverage to negotiate on advantageous terms, and makes it possible to explore opportunities. You can’t leave it to chance and good fortune. It needs to be controlled and designed towards specific objectives.
Your runway is a factor of your burn rate. If you want to increase your runway without outside capital or earnings, you need to decrease your burn rate. Set up a clear plan so you know where you want to be at every step of the transition and beyond.

Think like a growth hacker

Almost all sectors of the economy took a hit from the new coronavirus pandemic, globally. Your target audience and usual clients are probably no exception. However, even if there is substantially less business that comes your way, there still are customers looking for your competences. You need to put in an extra effort to reach them. How do you that given that you need to play it safe and reduce costs? Well, think like a growth hacker! … and not only amidst a crisis: it should be a permanent mindset!
A growth hacker finds creative solutions and techniques to increase the number of users and customers on little if any expense. She knows how to leverage social media and digital marketing to expand online presence, build authority, attract, engage, and convert prospects. Think content marketing, social media, cold emails, and alike.

Fill in the gaps

Take the time to look around, listen, assess, review… and learn. This new coronavirus pandemic forced our societies to slow down and into transition mode. We didn’t call for it but this represents a valuable extra time we can (we should) leverage to improve and learn. You’ve always wanted to learn about inbound marketing and never had the occasion to devote time to it? This is the right moment to do just that. You wanted to master a few more tools to boost your productivity and enrich your professional skills as a freelance translator? Take advantage of the transition to do that and emerge stronger and better!

Stay informed

Remember: you need to stop, look around, and listen… all the time. Make it a habit to consume information about the economy, the evolution of the pandemic, the evolution of the underlying crisis, and the impact on your specific niche. Be sure to get these information and insights daily from reliable sources. Sound information will help you make informed and data-driven decisions fast. This is always important but critical when navigating through a crisis.

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