As we roll into MoneyMakingMay, local governments are starting to give businesses the green light to reopen. And that presents a range of opportunities for freelancers.
People will be anxious to find out what’s open and what’s going on and businesses will be eager to get customers moving their way.
An article for The Arizona Republic confirms this is already happening. In it, hiking blogger Mare Czinar wrote about how messages to her inboxes are changing.
In weeks past, the messages were saying “stay home and stay safe,” and “please stay away from small towns to stem the spread of the virus.”
Now, the messages come “with pleas from small businesses and communities to ‘send hikers to them,’ and there’s a swell of ‘we’re open for business’ reminders,’” Czinar added.
Maybe you already have relationships where businesses approach you and maybe you don’t. Either way, if you want to cash in the reopening of the economy, don’t wait for companies to contact you. Contact them.
Track which localities are reopening. Find businesses you want to work with. And pitch your services.
Develop A Solid Approach
A lot of the companies that are reopening are going to be busy getting their operations back in gear and they’ll be stressed about their losses and the challenges they’re facing.
Don’t approach them with vague offers or advertisements about your services. Chances are you’ll get ignored or your offers will be quickly dismissed.
Instead, propose clear ideas of how you can help a business. And I stress the word “help” because most businesses aren’t going to be in the mood for frivolous spending.
They’re only going to want to put out money for things they need, which means you should be able to draw a line between a problem and the benefits of whatever service you’re offering.
If you’re targeting companies in the same field, you probably won’t need to create customized proposals for each business, but it should feel like you have. And that means you may need to tweak your pitch to feel tailored to the company you’re approaching.
Set Yourself Up For Success
Before you approach any business, also decide how much you’re going to charge and what your offer entails.
For example, if you’re offering to post an ad for a business on a blog post, on social media or in your newsletter, know the size, the cost, how long the ad will run, how you’ll promote the post, how many readers it’s likely to reach, etc…
Don’t try to throw together details as you’re hit with questions.
It may take a little time to develop a list of FAQs but it’s a worthy investment because you’ll be using it over and over.
And in the long run, having those answers handy will make you appear more professional, experienced and trustworthy.
Given the focus on finances, a lot of businesses aren’t going to have any tolerance for rookie pitches.
Finding Ways to Help
But what if you don’t have a site or platform to post ads? And what if you don’t have a following to attract sponsored posts?
No worries. There are plenty of other services to provide.
Look for areas where businesses have cut or lost staff and find ways to help them fill those voids.
For example, some localities have approved on-premises dining but are not allowing restaurants to bring back their waitstaff. And some restaurants have changed and reduced their menus.
With less contact between businesses and consumers and new options to offer, many restaurants will likely have a range of copywriting opportunities for freelancers, including rewriting menus, adding or enhancing product descriptions and creating announcements like those that Czinar is receiving.
Find businesses that have changed operations and protocols.
Simon Properties owns over 80 malls across 10 states and is preparing to reopen some of them. Before doing that, the company released this 10-page document outlining its mitigation efforts.
As companies bring employees and clients back into their businesses, there’s likely to be a surge of documents that need to be drafted outlining new policies and protocols.
That’s an opportunity you can jump on.
Also, workers in meat processing plants and other factories are slamming their employers for a lack of safety guidance, which opens opportunities for freelancers to create products, such as safety and sanitation guides.
Reach out to chambers of commerce and local business associations.
Many of these organizations have been working hard to find ways to support and promote their business communities. In addition to needing press releases to inform the businesses of grants and programs, business associations also need ways to get the public on board.
Pitch services to create campaigns advertising localities, the local businesses and offer to create public service notices that help communicate what the local governments are doing to keep the public safe.
Launch an industry-specific COVID-19 newsletter or website.
Help keep businesses up to speed with innovative operating ideas, problems other businesses are struggling with and new guidance and regulations.
For example, some third-party delivery companies have slashed fees to help struggling restaurants. Some business owners may have dismissed those companies in the past as being too expensive but may now be open to the option.
And some the restaurants that reopened in Texas, such as The Rustic in Houston, are providing customers with scannable QR codes for ordering so they don’t have to handle menus. That may be an option other restaurant owners haven’t considered. Until they read your newsletter.
Many of these opportunities for freelancers can help you not only make it through a rough patch but can also become permanent services, opening a new stream of revenue.