At first mention of the Coronavirus, people seemed to react in one of two ways. One camp remained calm, while the other headed toward the familiar “bread and milk hoarding panic that we have seen so often at our supermarkets during the past decade’s severe weather patterns. But this time, all the talk was about toilet paper.
Quickly, it became evident that the Coronavirus threat was real and fast moving. And now, here we are, weeks into this crisis discovering a new normal each and every day.
This Too Shall Pass
Freelance writers, some of whom live hand to mouth, need to devise an action plan for professional survival during this difficult time. The very first step is to realize that this too shall pass.
Yes, the kids are home from school indefinitely.
Yes, the stock market has tanked.
Yes, grocery delivery services are booked out for weeks in advance.
But if you plan and execute effective action steps during this crisis, you will be ok.
The Phoenix from the Flame
As we watch the country – and the world – react to the virus and the quarantine measures, we continue to see examples of innovative improvisation and creative response to the crisis.
There will continue to be opportunities for freelance writers during this time. We simply need to find them and maintain focus on controlling what we can control.
So how can you keep your freelance writing career from falling into the flames? And if you feel like you’ve crumbled already, how can you rise from the ashes?
Reacquainting yourself with the basics of your craft and renewing your commitment to being a gritty innovative marketer who reacts to the new normal with creativity and confidence are just a few steps within your control. Here’s how you can do this:
Stay Healthy, Obviously.
Let’s be clear. Priority one is remaining healthy. The media blitz on social distancing has this one covered. But it’s worth repeating. Needless to say, you need to be healthy to write and keep your business afloat.
Get Back to Basics – How are Your Marketing Skills?
Many companies without a crisis management plan, will panic and justify a pull-back on their content marketing efforts. This is a fact we can’t control. We can, however, recognize that this is a time to search for fresh opportunities.
First, let’s freshen up that resume and cover letter – both the form and the substance.
For the form, it’s no surprise that there is a plethora of online resources available to tighten up these marketing documents. Take kickresume.com as an example. Even the best writers can benefit from a solid jumping-off point. The site provides resume templates that align perfectly with an accompanying cover letter. You can pay a small fee for all the decorative bells and whistles or take advantage of their, less fancy, free service.
When it comes to the substance of your resume and cover letter, this is the time to stress what a profitable investment content marketing is. Heading into a financial downturn not seen since the Depression, companies have their eyes on the bottom line more now than ever. The cost benefit ratio of content marketing is far better than that of traditional pricier forms of advertising purchases that might be poorly received or viewed as insensitive in the current circumstances. You’re a skilled writer. Put those persuasive writing skills to work and convince your clients to stay the course with their content marketing strategy!
Think Out of the Box to Uncover New Opportunities.
Rethink Comfortable Leads, Sources or Industries
We all have our habits. We might have a website, an association or a search procedure we feel comfortable using to find new writing leads. These old standbys still can be extremely valuable tools if you remain vigilant about keeping your approach fresh. Give serious consideration to a lead or an industry you might usually skip.
Writing Opportunities for the New Normal
New ways of thinking about writing opportunities are going to be critical during this crisis. Life as we know it is changing. Many parts of society are operating upside down at the moment. We need to meet them where they are.
Take education, for example. With all the ways students and teachers are adapting, education may never look the same when this virus has finally left us. Although the adaptation process is painful for many teachers, students and parents, we may very well find that some aspects of virtual learning are more effective than the traditional model.
In situations like this, we, the writers, must consider where this provides opportunity and how to best position ourselves to be of support.
Help Cancelled Event Promoters Find Other Paths to Connection
Every few hours we learn about a newly canceled convention, concert, etc. Large and small businesses alike market themselves at events like these. Try locating a canceled event and uncover the list of scheduled sponsors.
Use a sensitive approach, together with your best writing skills and content marketing ideas, to encourage those sponsors to consider replacing the canceled promotion event with a different content marketing strategy.
Support Businesses Experiencing a Surge
Think about all of the remote communication networks like Zoom, Microsoft Teams and FreeConferenceCall.com that have found themselves at center stage during this time of shelter-in-place and remote work.
The mission of Long Beach, CA company FreeConferenceCall.com is to create a free space where people from all over the world can connect. After the COVID 19 outbreak, hundreds of thousands of new users began logging in. The company’s CEO, David Erickson says, “The need for people to stay connected is only going to increase as more cases are diagnosed and more people are asked to stay home. This new tool gives people an incredibly simple, free way to stay connected even if they can’t be in close physical proximity.”
The surge in popularity is going to open a whole new PR need for firms like this. And this means new opportunities for freelance writers.
You’ve likely noticed that the Fed has cut interest rates to encourage economic recovery. This means that mortgage lenders are going to see an uptick in mortgage refinance activity and that they will be needing increased marketing and PR support.
The same is true about activity for banks who make loans to small businesses that are always hit hardest in times like these. Be creative in finding ways to connect with these lenders to offer your services.
By paying attention to new daily developments, with a keen eye for writing opportunities, the possibilities for uncovering leads are limitless.
Check-in with Current and Former Clients
An email to check in and see how clients – whether current or former – are doing should never be purely marketing-related. You should be genuine and sensitive as you reach out. How are their families doing? How is business? Are their employees safe and well? And is there anything you can do to help?
A sensitive outreach can go a long way with clients and won’t be forgotten.
Don’t Go It Alone!
Freelance writing can often be a lonely profession. If you haven’t done so already, consider finding a writing agency to call home. A writing agency, as you are likely aware, has numerous lucrative leads and recruits a talented team of writers to produce the content. The agency takes a finder’s fee, if you will, and the rest goes to the writer.
Iris Writing International is one such agency. With more than 40 writers, journalists, editors and SEO experts on its team, Iris identifies problems their clients’ brands are facing and pulls in professionals from their arsenal with the requisite skills sets as they create customized content marketing plans together with the client.
This business model creates many benefits for you, the writer. First, you can still be a freelance writer. There is nothing stopping you from joining several agencies, in fact. Additionally, once writers have proven themselves to be professional and dependable, working with an agency like Iris brings peace of mind. Projects that are well suited to your interests and skill set begin to materialize on a regular basis. And in a time like this, that’s priceless.