In the UK around five million people are classed as self-employed equating to just over 15% of the whole British workforce. As businesses scale back on their outsourcing due to economic uncertainty, freelancers and the self-employed have been some of the worst hit during the Coronavirus pandemic.
For many freelancers, this loss of business has been significant with a recent poll finding 50% of freelancers surveyed had lost at least 60% of their income. For those who may have lost business, Shereen Hoban, a Business Coach at Shereen Hoban Coaching, shares her recommended tools and platforms to help connect freelancers digitally with employers during this time.
Create A Professional Website
When setting up a successful freelance gig online you must have a fully functioning and easy to use website. By creating a well-made website you instantly create a more professional impression to potential clients.
Wix.com has a variety of free and paid-for website creation tools to help you create a functional and professional-looking website. Designed to help you grow your business, this platform offers a fully customisable site with mobile and SEO optimisation. Whether this is your first time setting up a website or you have been running a business for years and want to update your digital presence this fully integrated system allows for full control over how your website works by integrating video hosting, customisable domains, eCommerce capabilities and online branding features, to name a few.
Consider One-Off Jobs
If you are struggling to find longer-term contracts during the current economic downturn, why not consider taking one-off jobs? Fiverr is an online platform that connects freelancers with businesses looking for jobs from a range of two hundred categories including design, digital marketing, music and tech. Through this fully integrated website, you can manage your full commissioning process in the platform from advertising work, setting pricing, delivery orders and getting paid for your work.
The platform is also free to join and is completely flexible with no subscription fees or limits on how much you can make. Freelancers also receive 80% of the profits from each transaction making it a viable way to top up your income..
Move Your Networking Online
As the UK continues to social distance, it can be difficult to network and ultimately promote your business. Since the lockdown, a study has found that UK internet usage has roughly doubled. As businesses become more digital, so should your networking.
By utilising platforms such as LinkedIn, you can open up your business to a range of new potential clients. Be sure to create a professional account for yourself as well as your business, list off all your skills and experience in as much detail as possible to showcase your knowledge in your field. If you already have contacts on the platform connect with them and ask them to endorse your listed skills as a way to validate your abilities to potential clients viewing your profile.
Use Your Free Time To Improve Your Digital Skills
As we move into an increasingly online world, digital skills are becoming a higher demand. A 2019 report found that some of the UK’s top developers earned 145% more than the average UK wage proving that these skills can be highly profitable.
The Institute of Coding is a collection of 33 UK universities, offering a range of free online courses to help improve your digital skills. Primarily focusing on elements of coding practices, these courses are run by some of the UK’s top universities and they are accessible to both beginners looking to get into coding and those with intermediate knowledge looking to further their skill sets.
Keep On Top Of Payments Digitally
When running your own business, it’s important that you are on top of your finances. Quickbooks is an online accounting software platform that enables you to keep track of all your business finances in one place allowing for easy financial management. Trusted by 4.5 million small businesses, this software allows you to see your real-time financial status. The website has a range of features including creating and tracking invoices, and your clients can pay instantly helping to reduce the amount of your time spent on financial admin.
Recognised by HMRC, this online tool also allows you to track your income and expenses helping to keep you on top of your taxes to take the hassle out for your yearly self-assessment. It is also equipped with a handy reminder to inform you when your tax return is due.