When you’re on vacation and you realize you don’t know what day it is, you know you’ve reached that point of total relaxation. In today’s COVID-19 crisis, when you don’t know what day it is for those first few minutes in the morning, you begin to realize just how long this situation has been dragging on. And, as of mid-April, there is no real end in sight.
We’ve had time to digest the enormity of this crisis. Now, as the lock-down lifestyle becomes our new normal, our focus shifts to the future.
What will life be like after this?
When will the economy reopen?
When will the kids return to school?
What will the first time out to a restaurant look like?
Will we ever take a vacation again?
Experts are pondering all of these questions and predicting that the pandemic is poised to accelerate many trends that were already underway. Broadband is no longer a luxury, but a necessity. Automation and remote work trends will be amplified. The economic divide will increase. And so on.
But what about the future of the freelance writer? Here are 5 predictions.
Bad News First
Rates will decrease.
It is likely that freelance writers will have a hard time finding jobs that paid the same as before the pandemic.
The majority of clients are dealing with their own budget cuts. Remember that accepting a lower rate to support your clients during this difficult time is very different than accepting an offer that feels unfair to you.
Not all clients are making cuts, however. Stay tuned for the good news section.
The good jobs will be snatched up quickly.
The freelance market is open for business. Jobs are being posted, applied for, and assigned every minute of every day.
However, if the economic shutdown extends indefinitely, more cuts will happen. When the marketing budgets and departments are cut, that work may very well head toward the freelance writer. But those laid off workers will flood the market as well.
Some Good News
Some companies will be just fine.
It seems logical to assume that every industry has been humbled by the pandemic.
However, tech companies like Amazon, Google, Microsoft and Netflix captured substantial market share after the 2008 recession and look poised to emerge from this crisis rather unscathed – maybe even stronger.
As the remote worker lingers at home, demand for online services like video conferencing has exploded. Software platforms that support companies as they operate remotely, like Slack, Zoom, and Asana are cranking out new business like never before.
Companies like these will be hiring and distributing content.
Buyers will do more homework.
Months before the COVID-19 virus took over our lives, a survey reported that more than 80% of US B2B buyers said they were concerned about a recession in 2020. To help them survive a recession, these buyers said they would require vendors to provide more accurate information about potential purchases. They are seeking more confidence through more information.
Enter the freelance content marketing writer. You’re still going to be in demand. Yes, people are buying less, but they are going to be researching more.
Content will change.
Will we return to normal? Or is life as we know it changed for good?
Without a vaccine, we are looking at a significantly altered lifestyle for the foreseeable future. Recognizing this, the freelance market has quickly adapted:
Freelance writing jobs containing COVID-19 keywords are everywhere.
Content about persevering through this crisis is becoming, and will continue to be, commonplace.
Content is serving as a lifeline to many brands and its overall purpose and value in the marketing funnel might evolve as a result of the crisis.
So, what does this all mean for us as freelancers?
COVID-19 might change the way we approach our jobs – driving us to become better negotiators, improving our overall game, and making us more effective business-people in the end.
And what does it mean for us as humans?
The term social distancing can sometimes feel like a misnomer as we find ourselves actually becoming closer with others during this crisis. We are spending more time at home, eating meals together and calling loved ones to hear real laughter rather than read their “LOL.” Maybe we will be changed for good.