What to Do If You Lose Your Clients from COVID-19
COVID-19 has caused many freelancers to suffer and it is important to know what to do if you lose your clients. If you are working as a remote freelancer you could either be lucky or extremely unlucky in times like these.
Let us clarify on that a bit more.
You see, if you have already been working remotely, this pandemic probably hasn’t affected your ability to earn money. However, if you have clients that are suffering due to the economic impact of COVID-19, you could end up losing all your clients and work.
As a freelancer, people generally build up a network of clients that they complete work for. This is due to the fact that one client alone probably doesn’t provide a full work schedule. Therefore this has to be supplemented with multiple clients to keep a steady stream of income.
The problem with being a freelancer is the lack of job security. A client can literally cancel all work in a matter of seconds with no explanation. COVID-19 has encouraged this much more that it would usually occur though. This is due to businesses and entrepreneurs suffering without receiving income.
When events in the economy impact a business or “client” the first people that usually take the cut are freelancers. It is worth mentioning though, the freelance marketplace is still thriving but there has likely been a drop-in services, and people around the world have still lost clients.
One of our team members lost a high-profile client due to the Coronavirus but they were in good hands. We have all the advice necessary to help you get through these times and survive the aftermath.
Top 9 Things to Do When You lose Your Clients
1: Network Like you Never Have Before
People often underestimate the power of networking. Especially as a freelancer. One thing we always like to ask is “if people never knew McDonald’s existed, would they go looking for it?”
The answer is no.
The same applies to you as a freelancer. Unless you belong to an online marketplace or have a freelance website where you run paid advertisements. Potential clients are not going to be sitting at home searching for “Jim’s content writing services” regardless of what you think.
So if clients don’t know you exist, you need to make sure you announce yourself to them. That comes through networking. Now just because you network, it doesn’t mean that you will land clients instantly. It takes time, patience, and strategy.
It doesn’t matter which platform you choose to network on, although, LinkedIn is probably the number one. You should however, make sure that you do the following:
- Make sure your profile is professional
- Have a picture of yourself (professional headshot recommended)
- Have a detailed work history listed
- Pick an eye-grabbing title
- Create an engaging introduction for messaging
- We want to focus on the last point on that list.
The message that you send to a new “connection” is probably the most important aspect. You don’t just “add a friend” or “like a profile” to network. You have to make sure you stand out above the rest and make yourself known.
As soon as you connect with someone on a platform you should be sending a message to introduce yourself. It is important that this message does not sound “spammy” or “salesly” otherwise you are likely to get no response.
You should aim to introduce you as a person, explain your background, and subtly mention that you are looking for more clients to expand your portfolio.
2: Check in With Old and Existing Clients
This is possibly one of the most important actions you can take when you lose clients or need more work.
When you finish working for a client and time goes on, they may eventually require more freelance services. What freelancers don’t realize is, clients will not remember you and will need a gentle reminder.
It’s nothing personal but unless you are amazing at what you do, a client would have no reason to remember you. But let’s say that you message 10 clients you completed projects for over the last 10 years.
- 6 might not reply
- 2 might reply but don’t require help
- 2 might be actively looking to hire someone to help
You never know what a client may need until you reach out. This is a perfect way of securing more work for yourself without having to input much effort.
A message should be carefully crafted and not come across as desperate. You should include the following:
- Ask if they benefited from your last project/work
- Ask how their business is currently doing
- State that you really enjoyed the project
- Try to subtly mention that you have some free time for extra projects if ever required.
If you try and make the message sound like it is all about the client, they are more likely to respond. Whereas if you message asking if they have any more work, it is not likely to receive a response.
3: Sign Up for Some Freelance Marketplaces
If you are a freelancer then by now you have probably heard of Fiverr and Upwork. These freelance marketplaces are a good resource for finding new projects.
Well-established freelancers usually start on a website like this and once they build up their clientele, they come away from the sites. This can be for many reasons including, too many projects, no fees to pay, and a good working relationship with a client.
However, if there comes a time when you have lost your clients and desperately need more projects, this is a useful option. It may not be the most ideal solution but if it brings some form of income into your life, then it is beneficial until you build your client base up.
Be aware that you will likely pay fees, receive lower rates, and have high-competition with freelance marketplaces.
4: Don’t Make Silly Decisions If You Lose Your Clients
Desperation can make anyone take actions that are not logical. It is important you don’t fall into that trap when you lose your clients.
With this point, we aren’t talking about silly decisions like buying a new car or getting a new laptop, because those really are obvious. We are actually talking about taking other steps to make money that will probably harm you more than benefit you.
One of the prime examples we can give is e-commerce and dropshipping. People that want to make money online usually search YouTube for ideas. The first thing that comes up is Dropshipping. For those that don’t know, this involves setting up an online store, selling a product from China, and shipping directly to the customer. You are basically the middle-man.
Unfortunately, videos online portray this as an “easy way to make money” and “make $10,000 in 2 days” which is wrong. Dropshipping is highly demanding, requires knowledge, and most importantly, requires money to invest.
We know people that have spent $1,000 to $10,000 and have not earned a single penny back. This is money wasted on advertising and due to a lack of knowledge.
So when we say don’t do anything stupid, we are referring to partaking in money-making methods that will put you in a worse position.
5: Invest in Some New Skills
If you lose your clients then you can use this opportunity to become better at what you do or even something else.
You will have more time to focus on learning which will benefit you more in the future and could potentially land you more clients.
There are many different resources online where you can take free and paid courses. Our favorite picks are the Google courses where you can learn about analytics, SEO, and other important areas of Google.
Obviously you should choose something that you have an interest in or an area that you are already familiar with. If you choose something completely new, you may become bored and end up wasting time instead.
We understand that this doesn’t exactly help you to gain more clients but it is more about utilizing your time for the future. If you can make improvements now that will benefit your future, you will be thankful that you made the best use of that time.
6: Stay Prepared With This Number 1 Freelance Rule
You may be wondering what that rule is…
We have encountered many freelancers that don’t have a “rainy day fund” or any savings at all. This comes with high risk and we strongly recommend that you always have at least 3-months salary saved.
When you take a look at the global pandemic situation happening in the world, normal life has been affected for at least 3 months. Also at the time of writing this, it is hard to estimate how long it will take for things to resume normality.
That is why we recommend at least 3 months, but it should be much more. You need to consider what your outgoings are, how much you would make when you lose a certain client, then try to save money to cover that.
If you have been freelancing for 4 years and have only just considered saving then you are going to find it difficult. Even more so if you have already lost clients.
The most sensible approach to this would be to start saving money as soon as you start freelancing. If you save large amounts of money for the first 6 months, you can then reduce how much you save with the safety net there in case you find yourself without clients.
Again, this is only useful if you haven’t already lost your clients. If you haven’t and you are reading this, then start saving now.
This one includes a bit of everything on this list.
People have different levels of motivation when it comes to searching for jobs/projects. You will find that some people don’t care, some will apply for one job a month, and some will apply for everything available.
You have to consider what is important for you and your lifestyle.
If you start to lose clients then it would make sense that you do everything in your power to secure more work. Regardless of what is happening in the world, there are always opportunities to earn money out there. It just depends on how hard you are willing to work to get there.
So when we say hustle, what we mean is some of the following:
- Signing up for freelance websites
- Scouring the internet for jobs
- Checking Remote Jobs Co for the latest remote jobs
- Contacting old clients
- Heading out and doing something manual until things pick up
- Sell your old items
8: Enjoy the Little Things
We thought a Zombieland reference would apply nicely here, but we obviously mean it in a different aspect.
What we actually mean is never to turn down an opportunity regardless of the pay or size of the project. If you lose your clients, you ideally want to take every opportunity you can to earn money.
This might be difficult for some. When you first start out freelancing, you work for low rates on shorter projects. After time you build up to higher rates and larger projects. To lose those clients and return back to the beginning can be a difficult concept.
It can be very easy to reject offers and projects if you think you are better than that. Whilst it might be true, you need to assess your situation at the time.
9: Stay Positive If You Lose Your Clients
The most important thing to do in a situation when you lose your clients is to stay positive.
There was a reason why you had those clients in the first place and there is no reason why you cannot find new ones.
Most of the time a client will not cease your services because you are not good enough. It would be more to do with funding or the current needs of the business.
If you are concerned about money and don’t know what to do in a situation where you lose your clients, please reach out to someone to help you.
You can join our active Facebook Group here where you can seek support from other likeminded people.
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