Updated: Mar 21
Hello, good citizen, how is your quarantine? I hope this list helps you get through the next few days, weeks, or months. If you have questions, let's SKYPE!
Alright, let's talk about what's going on right now in the world. You may be sick of hearing about it, but COVID-19, AKA the Coronavirus has begun to devastate freelancers from all industries. Whether you are a filmmaker, stage hand, touring crew member, musician, theatre performer, and even those of you who work a "normal" job, we are all facing closures of companies and cancellations of gigs, due to the mass hysteria and extra caution everyone is taking to keep from getting the virus or to prevent the spread of it.
Now, for the reason you're reading this blog; you want some tips to help you stay above water during this pandemic.
First off, I'm sorry to hear that you are dealing with cancellations and closures. I understand the frustration and fear you are likely dealing with. I am a fulltime freelance videographer, photographer, and drone pilot and I've seen some cancellations myself, but thanks to my father's guidance, honestly, I have been prepared financially for something like this for about six months.
SAVE YOUR MONEY
You see, last year my goal was to save enough for a years worth of rent in California. So, no matter what happens, I can at least keep a roof over my head. If you don't have a years worth of rent saved, you should definitely start saving immediately. It will give you a ton of relief during those slower weeks/months. Set a goal for 2020 and star to work toward it. It's doable and I highly advise you to get on top of your expenses and income. There are some books that can help you get started, but a good starter is Your Money or Your Life.
PICK UP REMOTE WORK
Now is a great time to pick up some work online as a remote video editor, translator, copywriter, A great website to check out is Upwork.com. I've been on Upwork for over five years now and I get 40% of my work through the site. I've made a lot of recurring clients as well that I work with frequently.
For those of you in bands, have you considered doing livestream performances on Twitch? If you have the equipment and capability to do something like that I'd highly recommend it. If you're a videographer, reach out to bands to see if they need your help with the live stream. We are supposed to limit gatherings to ten people or less, but if someone is ill, make sure they stay home.
I'd love to hear from a few stagehands/techs to get their advice on what to do during this time if you're in that community. If you're a stagehand or tech of any kind, please reach out to me here.
MAXIMISE YOUR REVENUE STREAMS
There are so many ways to make money these days! Like I said earlier, I am a freelance videographer, photographer, and drone pilot, but what you may not know is that I also host a weekly podcast called Project Freelance, I sell stock photography, and I make music as well, under Chasing Satellites. As a freelancer you know all about hustling and that's really what this time is all about. If you want to survive you have to grind and work your ass off.
SELL STOCK PHOTOGRAPHY/VIDEOS
If you're looking to make some money on the side you can always sell stock photography or videos on sites like Shutterstock, Adobe Stock, Videoblocks, Videohive, Pond5, and more. During this time you can go out to sparsely populated areas and film/photograph nature, wildlife, or even get some friends/actors that are brave enough and take photos of them, which the news says should be less than ten, doing various activities. Make sure to get written approval from any people/buildings in order to sell your footage.
CREATE AN E COURSE
Another way to make some extra money during your downtime is to create an educational course about your passion to teach others how to succeed at what they love to do. I'm currently working on a photography/videography course and I think I'm going to start filming it during this pandemic, because I can do the voiceover work from home and just use footage I've already captured as examples. You can put your course on Udemy or Teachable if you're looking for a platform.
START A PODCAST
People are sitting around looking for things to listen to, so if you've been considering starting a podcast, now would be an interesting time to start one. I love having a podcast, because I have guests on each week to give actionable tips to my audience of freelancers. If you do decide to start a podcast please leave a link down in the comments. I'd love to listen! Linked above, for you, is my most recent podcast episode with freelance fire spinner and flow artist, Mikey Adamski.
WORK ON YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA PRESENCE
If you're looking to gain clients or earn money you should really focus on your social media during this time. Everyone is at home on their phones, scrolling through Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, so why not maximise your branding and start posting more content on those sites. Also, START A TIK TOK! The engagement on Tik Tok is unlike anything I've ever seen on social media. It allows anyone to go viral if you use the right hashtags and have content that is worth watching. Give it a shot and let me know how you do!
I made this video on TikTok and it now has over 1.4 million views! The reach is CRAZY!!
CREATE A PHOTOGRAPHY BOOK
Another thing you could do during this downtime is go through your photos and create a book out of them. I did this last year over the course of a few months, but that was while I was busy with gigs. I wrote a book with my photography in it called No Tracers - An Urban Explorer's Diary. It's full of photographs and stories from my time exploring abandoned buildings. If you're like me and you have thousands of photos on your hard drives, consider going through them and then write down the story on each page. Printing your work out is so satisfying and I recommend making a book to all of my friends. Plus, you might one day see your books sold in places like Target or on Amazon!
FOLLOW UP WITH YOUR PAST CLIENTS
If you're at home you should take this time to reach out to past clients to let them know that you would love to work with them again when all this subsides. Be sure to thank them for the opportunities they've given you.
JOIN A PHOTOGRAPHY CONTEST
If you're looking to keep yourself busy during this time, you should try joining GURUSHOTS or VIEWBUG's photography contest sites. Here you can put your skills as a photographer to the test! You can win camera gear and gift cards on these sites if you win a contest! You can also host your own photography challenges through the site!
Overall, we all need to remain as calm as possible. We've all been impacted by this virus, but when it's subsided life will go back to normal. This just shows us that most of us aren't prepared for something like this. All the doomsday preppers are laughing at the rest of us.
LET'S CHAT ON A SKYPE CALL
If you've got further questions or need any advice, I'd love to hop on a Skype call with you! Head HERE to set up a time with me over the next few days/weeks!