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feed_my_eyes
Community Member

Ask not what Upwork can do for you; ask what you can do for yourself.

As an alternative to all of the hand-wringing in the forum, I thought that it might be nice to start a thread and exchange useful advice about how people can help themselves during 'these troubled times'.

 

Many freelancers are (understandably) worried about finding new clients right now. But it's not all doom and gloom out there - while some businesses are shutting down, others are making more money than ever. Supermarkets, for one. Any sort of home entertainment-type business - book sellers, video games, craft suppliers, streaming services, etc. Just about any business that does home deliveries, basically. Plus I'm sure that there's a greater interest in health and fitness; people wanting to lose weight, eat better, or quit smoking. Businesses like banks and insurance companies are being inundated with calls and undoubtedly need temporary help with customer service. Accountants and bookkeepers will be in demand as people prepare to make benefit claims. Now is the time that we should do some research and start to think about how to target our services towards some of the businesses that are still IN business.

 

Another way to be proactive is to do follow-ups with some of the clients that you've had in the past. I'm not saying that you should pester them or beg them for work, but if you're like me, you've undoubtedly had clients who say things like, "I've been meaning to update my brochure, but I simply don't have the time right now" or "our logo design is so outdated; we need to re-think our branding at some point". Get in touch with these people and ask them if now is a good time.

 

You can also take advantage of any down time to take a long, hard look at your profile and portfolio and beef them up. Or, take some online courses and try to learn useful new skills; there are thousands of free tutorials available.

 

If you need immediate financial help, Google is your friend. Look up various programmes that are available in your area; you don't necessarily have to wait for your government to step in. I saw a great article in Forbes today with tips on how American freelancers can tap into various funds (this might be behind a paywall in some countries, but there are other resources and tips available if you take a look). If you know that your government is going to be offering benefits to the self-employed - at some point - then start getting your books in order and make sure that your tax information is up-to-date, so that you'll be ready to file a claim as soon as help becomes available.

 

And, if youโ€™re lucky enough to be living in a country thatโ€™s already paying you enough benefits so that you can afford not to work for awhile, please consider using some of your free time to do volunteer work for your community. 

 

That's everything that I can think of for now. If anyone else has good advice or wants to contribute tips or links, please do so. But if you just want to post about how Upwork should give you more free connects, I would ask that you please do so on one of the 3,000 threads that already exist on that subject. Thank you.

 

23 REPLIES 23
lysis10
Freelancer Plus

<insert insult about gurus>

 

๐Ÿ˜„

 

For real though, I gotta stay out of those threads or I'm gonna get into trouble for calling a bunch of people stupid.lol I can't take it especially now that I'm truly stuck indoors with no way to relieve stress and exercise away my energy. Wait until I can't sleep because I'm not exercising. Yer girl is gonna have to stay away from the keyboard.


Jennifer M wrote:

<insert insult about gurus>

 


Back atcha. ๐Ÿ˜‰

 


For real though, I gotta stay out of those threads or I'm gonna get into trouble for calling a bunch of people stupid.lol I can't take it especially now that I'm truly stuck indoors with no way to relieve stress and exercise away my energy. Wait until I can't sleep because I'm not exercising. Yer girl is gonna have to stay away from the keyboard.


Ah yes - one more tip: Online workout programmes. All the benefits of going to the gym, with no risk of anyone coughing on you. I'll DM you a good link so that I don't fall afoul of the "no advertising" rules in the forum.

 

 

 


Christine A wrote:

Jennifer M wrote:

<insert insult about gurus>

 


Back atcha. ๐Ÿ˜‰

 


For real though, I gotta stay out of those threads or I'm gonna get into trouble for calling a bunch of people stupid.lol I can't take it especially now that I'm truly stuck indoors with no way to relieve stress and exercise away my energy. Wait until I can't sleep because I'm not exercising. Yer girl is gonna have to stay away from the keyboard.


Ah yes - one more tip: Online workout programmes. All the benefits of going to the gym, with no risk of anyone coughing on you. I'll DM you a good link so that I don't fall afoul of the "no advertising" rules in the forum.

 

 

 


Sure, you can send but unfortunately I'm lifting now so I need really heavy weights. ๐Ÿ˜ž Yer gurl was up to a whole 70lbs bench press! ๐Ÿ˜„  I drank my sorrows away last night because I can't lift for 10 days now and that's getting close to the time when you start struggling when you go back to lifting again with the same weight. Pretty angry about it tbh and I'm gonna whine about it in every thread. I figure if losers can think Upwork eliminating commission is a brilliant idea, then I can whine about not being able to lift.


Jennifer M wrote:


Sure, you can send but unfortunately I'm lifting now so I need really heavy weights. ๐Ÿ˜ž Yer gurl was up to a whole 70lbs bench press! ๐Ÿ˜„  I drank my sorrows away last night because I can't lift for 10 days now and that's getting close to the time when you start struggling when you go back to lifting again with the same weight. Pretty angry about it tbh and I'm gonna whine about it in every thread. I figure if losers can think Upwork eliminating commission is a brilliant idea, then I can whine about not being able to lift.


It seems like it would be easy to fix this - order a set of weights to use at home. It may be months before you can go back to the gym.

 

Anyway, there's no whining in this thread! Go whine in one of the "gimmee connects" threads.

 

mtngigi
Community Member


Jennifer M wrote:

Christine A wrote:

Jennifer M wrote:

<insert insult about gurus>

 


Back atcha. ๐Ÿ˜‰

 


For real though, I gotta stay out of those threads or I'm gonna get into trouble for calling a bunch of people stupid.lol I can't take it especially now that I'm truly stuck indoors with no way to relieve stress and exercise away my energy. Wait until I can't sleep because I'm not exercising. Yer girl is gonna have to stay away from the keyboard.


Ah yes - one more tip: Online workout programmes. All the benefits of going to the gym, with no risk of anyone coughing on you. I'll DM you a good link so that I don't fall afoul of the "no advertising" rules in the forum.

 

 

 


Sure, you can send but unfortunately I'm lifting now so I need really heavy weights. ๐Ÿ˜ž Yer gurl was up to a whole 70lbs bench press! ๐Ÿ˜„  I drank my sorrows away last night because I can't lift for 10 days now and that's getting close to the time when you start struggling when you go back to lifting again with the same weight. Pretty angry about it tbh and I'm gonna whine about it in every thread. I figure if losers can think Upwork eliminating commission is a brilliant idea, then I can whine about not being able to lift.


How much does your Corgi weigh?

petra_r
Community Member


Virginia F wrote:

Jennifer M wrote:

. I figure if losers can think Upwork eliminating commission is a brilliant idea, then I can whine about not being able to lift.

How much does your Corgi weigh?


I just laughed so loud the cats woke up


Petra R wrote:

Virginia F wrote:

Jennifer M wrote:

. I figure if losers can think Upwork eliminating commission is a brilliant idea, then I can whine about not being able to lift.

How much does your Corgi weigh?


I just laughed so loud the cats woke up


Oh, I've been disturbing cats as well, apparently. I'm staying with my brother and his cats are in a snit because I'm sleeping in "their" bed. Never mind that this is a 3-storey, 5-bedroom house and they have a room of their own, with their own cat beds; no, they need to sleep in my bed, or on top of any black clothes that I leave lying around, or on top of my keyboard. It's lucky that cats are cute, or nobody would ever put up with them. ๐Ÿ™‚


Virginia F wrote:


How much does your Corgi weigh?


lmao now this made me IRL laugh.

 

OT: But did anyone like the Brit quoting JFK? I'm impressed!


Christine A wrote:


Ah yes - one more tip: Online workout programmes. All the benefits of going to the gym, with no risk of anyone coughing on you. I'll DM you a good link so that I don't fall afoul of the "no advertising" rules in the forum.

 

 

 


And no risk of you coughing or breathing on someone else. There's a very high likelihood the virus is being transmitted by people with no symptoms. Instead of altering our behavior to avoid catching it, we are being asked to alter our behavior to avoid infecting others. We should all assume we have it and do all we can not to pass it on. 

There's no law against exercising indoors. Anything you can do in a gym, you can do at home. Put on your headphones and dance for your usual treadmill time. Canned goods can be handweights. There are scads of online workouts for every focus -- stretching, toning, building strength, cardiovascular exercise. Order some dynabands (they may take a while to arrive but you are not going to turn into butter overnight). 

 

As a very successful FLer, you know perfectly well how to "adapt or die". Pivot and apply it to other aspects of your life. I dare you! ๐Ÿ˜‰

m_terrazas
Community Member

+ 1000 for you Christine.
I am very sorry that it only serves to applaud you and not to pay the bills Smiley Wink

gilbert-phyllis
Community Member

Christine, thanks for initiating this! The essense of successful freelancing is to "stay on the balls of your feet" as a friend of mine used to say. Assume conditions could change at any time -- for better or worse -- and be ready to roll with it. The bottom line is we "adapt or die" but we have the choice to embrace the uncertainty and find new ways to survive, if not thrive. After all, we have something that millions of wage workers suddenly thrown to the curb don't have: experience running our own businesses, making our own rain. 

 

Note to freelancers in the US: The deadline for filing our 2019 income tax return has been extended to July 15, however, it could be important to file ASAP for those who might need to apply for unemployment benefits -- which will be extended to FLs via the rescue bill about to be passed and signed into law. The benefit is administered by the states and we don't yet know how it will be calculated for FLs, but if you want the option to use your 2019 income as a base, then bite the bullet and get your tax return ready (if you haven't already).

Phyllis, does that include estimated tax payments? I will be filing soon if I ever get a weekend off lol. I saw that the time to file was extended. I won't owe (I don't think anyway) but I figured estimated tax payments are still due in April.  


Jennifer M wrote:

Phyllis, does that include estimated tax payments? I will be filing soon if I ever get a weekend off lol. I saw that the time to file was extended. I won't owe (I don't think anyway) but I figured estimated tax payments are still due in April.  


Not a clue.

florydev
Community Member

Jennifer M. wrote:

Phyllis, does that include estimated tax payments? I will be filing soon if I ever get a weekend off lol. I saw that the time to file was extended. I won't owe (I don't think anyway) but I figured estimated tax payments are still due in April.  


Nope.

https://www.irs.gov/faqs/estimated-tax/individuals/individuals-2

 

July 15th!

a_lipsey
Community Member

Thanks for this, Christine. 

 

Another option is to see if you have freelancer friends who are suddenly inundated, and if you can be a subcontractor for them. I'm not personally asking for anyone to hit me up, so don't, but due to the field I'm in, I'm getting requests from new clients plus my ongoing clients are needing more support. They don't want to tak on new freelancers right now, but they are fine working through me with people I refer. So now is a good time to work the network and see if any of your friends can refer you around. 

 

Also, with everyone turning to streaming broadcasts now, performing artists who used to perform live are trying to figure out how to turn their shows into digital streaming events.  If you have video editing skills (and many of these organizations don't need hard core editing or animation, they just need it to be  cleaned up and a few transitions) this might be an area to start offering your skills to performing artists in your social media feed.  I think it's a time to look outside of Upwork for some clients. And my suggestion to Upwork would be to open up the bring your own client beyond Top-Rated freelancers right now.

Most of my clients make money online in one way or another such as through advertising, eCommerce, and what not. I'm expecting to be very busy from recent discussions with those clients. I suppose these are fields that are likely to benefit from having more people at home, bored, and with nothing to spend their money on.


These are certainly areas that I'd recommend looking at for people that are struggling. It could also be a good time to focus on clients looking for help with personal projects.

I don't think I can take any more on at the moment myself anyway, so go for it, and good luck. 


calvo_juan
Community Member

I ordered a pull up bar. 

That's a great idea, and a good stock of Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc to go with it ๐Ÿ˜‰


Juan C wrote:

I ordered a pull up bar. 


Show off. I can't do a pull up yet full body weight. ๐Ÿ˜ก๐Ÿ˜ก๐Ÿ˜ก๐Ÿ˜ก๐Ÿ˜ก


Jennifer M wrote:

Juan C wrote:

I ordered a pull up bar. 


Show off. I can't do a pull up yet full body weight. ๐Ÿ˜ก๐Ÿ˜ก๐Ÿ˜ก๐Ÿ˜ก๐Ÿ˜ก


I have a friend who swears by bodyweight training. A lot of it is done on the floor; the various exercises allow varying the amount of bodyweight you're "lifting" with each.


Juan C wrote:

I ordered a pull up bar. 


Can I come to yours? 


Jamie F wrote:

Juan C wrote:

I ordered a pull up bar. 


Can I come to yours? 


For THAT kind of bar, you'd need to come to mine. I just had a whole case of beer and wine delivered. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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