- The lockdown has compromised many gig workers' stream of income.
- It has also meant that a few freelancers have lost their gigs completely, as some of the companies they are service suppliers to, have cut budgets.
- Freelance career consultant, Sazi Mbalekwa, shares some advice to new and prospective freelancers on how to navigate the effects of the pandemic.
Working from home kind of feels like freelancing, but with HR.
For many, WFH has been a completely new experience, but for others, it's been their modus operandi for years - home-run-business owners and freelancers alike. The thing about the latter is that there is no HR, so the only person looking out for your employee needs is... you. The lockdown also proved that not even the government is looking out for freelancers and small business owners, as entrepreneurs scrambled for financial aid.
What the pandemic has also birthed is a new freelance career for the former 9-5'er who might have been let off as some companies folded. So essentially, a lot of young professionals are in search of advice during this time.
Joburg-based Sazi Mbalekwa, is no stranger to career-juggling, and she's here to help, thanks to her expertise as a producer, production manager and freelance career consultant.
Sazi Mbalekwa. Images supplied.
Having worked on the sets of major motion and commercial productions, Sazi Mbalekwa is a budding young expert in her field. She holds a BA in Motion Film Production from the prestigious, AFDA, which has now propelled her to oversee creative executions on behalf of Viacom Media Networks, Disney Africa, Boiler Room, Ola Films, Giant 95, Eggs Films and continue to secure the trust of brand, film and television executives around South Africa.
With her now four years of experience in full-time freelance creative projects, Sazi is inviting more young South Africans to explore the over-mystified, yet highly gratifying world of freelancing with her career consultancy offering. With the hopes to clarify what is often misunderstood about freelancing in the creative industries, Sazi produces easy-to-access educational and advisory videos for new and prospective freelancers through her over-20 000-strong combined social media platforms, including Youtube, Instagram and Twitter.
Content covered by Sazi includes pitching yourself for opportunities, quoting, negotiating with clients and navigating creative entrepreneurship among others.
Here, Sazi offers five essential tips on how creative freelancers may make themselves attractive hiring options, find and create new opportunities during the reality of Covid-19 effects on companies and clients:
Pitch yourself as a solution
Many companies are currently experiencing changes and navigating hurdles that they have never encountered before. This means that there are more clients who are open to receiving suggestions that might help them get back on track. This is the best time to pitch yourself as a solution. Identify how you can help companies in your industry manoeuvre their business approach during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Adjust your rate
Businesses are losing money fast so, showing your understanding by adjusting your rate to be slightly more competitive than the standard might put you in a better standing to winning over the client.
Add an additional service
What else can you do? Identify some of the other skills that you can monetize; maybe you are a photographer but can edit videos too. In a normal world, video editing is a skill that you don’t really rely on for an income because photography kept you busy but perhaps now is the time to dust of that skill-set and put it work.
Start creating and packaging content on what you do
Are you a web designer? Why not create educational content on the most asked questions about web designing. The more people that know about you and your services, the greater your chances of landing a new client.
After the pandemic dies down, things will not go back to what they were. Things will have changed and it will be the best time to demonstrate an acute awareness of the new times and ways of working that we are living in, in your services and practices.
Additional information and images supplied by Melenial Media