Freelancing may seem ideal at a time when people are asked to stay home. Freelancers are used to remote work and they know how to find their clientele. Still, a lot of freelancers aren’t okay. Many are already feeling the financial impact from the coronavirus.
And more freelancers are likely to take a severe financial hit.
Freelancing Doesn’t Mean Isolation
Not all freelancers sit at a computer in a home office. Many interact with their clients directly and others rely on live events.
Willie Ramirez is a freelance sports journalist who focuses on sports betting. But with nothing to bet on, 100% of his income has been wiped out.
He’s been freelancing for over three decades, and “Never in a million years would I think to myself that every conference championship, March madness, baseball, hockey, everything which is stopped,” he told KNTV.
Dailysportscar said cancelled motorsports events has left thousands of freelancers out of work, and looking for opportunities. And that’s just one sector.
Another group that’s getting molly-whopped is those who focus on the travel industry.
Sheri Griffiths is a cruise influencer, and she told the New York Times that all of her travel through April was canceled within the span of a week.
These are just some of the early cases of freelancers feeling the financial impact from the coronavirus, but more of us need to prepare.
Why It’ll Get Worse for Freelancers
There’s a good chance that advertising and marketing dollars will start drying up if this crisis is prolonged.
Advertising and marketing is a major bloodline for content creators. It’s where a lot of newspapers, magazines and websites get the money to pay its freelancers.
But many businesses have lost some or all of their clientele, and will start cutting back their budgets.
Small businesses are going to get hit hard, and many may not survive, at least not without government help. That’s another major pool of freelance clients that will shrink.
Plus, many businesses are bracing for or already subject to mandatory closure without knowing when it’ll end. And they’re not prepared to handle their debt without revenue, so it isn’t likely they’ll be spending on freelancers.
A lot of us are used to ups and downs in our workflow and cash flow, but the extreme level of uncertainty makes this situation different.
Freelancers, Brace Yourselves…
“This is not just a health crisis, this is going to become an income crisis for millions of people,” said Alasdair Hutchison, policy development manager at the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-employed, a British nonprofit.
Hutchinson warned UK lawmakers that freelancers could see their projects wiped out for months and called for a “temporary income protection fund.”
He also urged firms to pay freelancers on time or upfront and not cancel work at short notice.
That’s another thing…
The more businesses feel the financial impact from the coronavirus, the more risks of unpaid invoices will rise.
In the U.S., there’s a lot of talk from governments about ensuring that they help small businesses, but whether they have freelancers in mind or whether that assistance is structured so that we can access it remains to be seen.
But we can boost our chances of being included if we speak up and urge our representatives to speak for us.
The news reports that members of the cruise industry, the airline industry, this or that industry are in constant contact with lawmakers, pressing for recognition and aid.
Freelancers need to do the same.
Contact your lawmakers. Make sure freelancers aren’t forgotten.
Also Read: Invoices Are Not Income