Right now it is hard to think beyond the global pandemic that is sweeping the world. With social distancing the new norm, many businesses being forced to close their doors or shut down completely, and everyone has taken to working from home. So what will life after COVID-19 look like?
It’s no secret that things have changed drastically.
What we don’t know is how long these changes will be in place for, and what the freelancer industry will look like after all this is over?
Where Are We Now?
Starting out as a freelancer can be extremely daunting, but there are many benefits that come from it:
Then a global pandemic like COVID-19 hits, and suddenly all the perks disappear and the downside is glaringly obvious.
There’s no sick leave, more quiet periods as businesses struggle under the new restrictions, and if you don’t work, you don’t get paid.
Some gig workers are still getting jobs as delivery drivers and so on, but this comes with the added downside of putting themselves at risk every day to this far-spreading virus.
So where does that leave you right now?
Twiddling your thumbs and waiting for all this to blow over so you can get back out there and set yourself up again? Perhaps you are wondering what jobs you will be able to take on in the new economy? Will there even be a spot for freelancers?
The simple fact is, yes.
But the future is happening right now and we don’t need to wait for restrictions to ease to future proof ourselves for a new economy. Life after COVID-19 will open up more doors than you ever thought possible.
The Future State of the Gig Economy
Life after lockdown seems so far away, but as restrictions already begin to ease, we can start to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
When we come out, it’s no secret that the gig economy will have suffered a huge hit, just like many other industries. But it will rebuild itself very quickly, and may even prosper as a result.
There will be those who have sunk, and those who have swum as a result.
As a freelancer, you are in the unique position of offering up your services to different clients. While the economy has taken a huge turn and many businesses – ones you may have previously worked for – are struggling, you have the opportunity to adapt.
With more and more businesses pivoting their business model and reaching their customers in new and exciting ways, freelancers are presented with a glimpse of what is to come.
This economic shake up will have a lasting effect on Australian businesses, many of which will continue well into the future.
You can either jump on the bandwagon and pivot your own skillset to match this new economy. Or sit tight and hope for the best.
Only one of these options will see you succeed.
Top Marketing Trends in 2020 Post COVID-19
In order to take a look at where businesses are heading in life after COVID-19, it’s important to look at the marketing trends that are already emerging.
If businesses aren’t marketing themselves correctly, then they won’t get seen. If they aren’t being seen, they won’t be making money.
There is no doubt that the online world has become king.
If businesses weren’t convinced before, they certainly are now. With Australians self-distancing from home, they are jumping online more than ever.
The NBN, which is now available to 95 per cent of Australian households, has seen data demand increase by more than 70 to 80 per cent during daytime hours, compared to figures calculated at the end of February.
Here are some trends we are already seeing and will continue to emerge during life after COVID-19…
1. The Different Types of Digital Media Being Utilised
Social noise is definitely getting louder, with big brands competing for space in the online world. This has many brands looking beyond the mainstream channels, such as Facebook and Instagram, and finding other ways to reach their audience.
Tiktok has taken off with its popular platform. While they don’t release their download numbers, it is no secret that the app has seen a significant jump. Podcasts have also seen a 13% increase in users.
Once people are on these new platforms, they are likely to continue there after the pandemic is over, meaning these new marketing trends are here to stay.
2. Increased Need to Connect with Readers
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, people have been worried, concerned and unsure about the future.
Now, more than ever, they are turning to businesses that are offering a personal experience and looking out for them. The mental health impacts of social distancing are far-reaching, and people are looking for connection.
From Guinness committing $500,000 through their Guinness Gives Back Fund to help communities for St. Patrick’s Day to Google rolling out free access to their advanced Hangouts Meet video-conferencing capabilities, brands are sharing goodwill globally.
Brands who aren’t reaching out and connecting on a personal level are seen as cold and out of touch.
3. More Money Spent Online
This is the big one. Now that businesses are seeing just how valuable the online world is, they are starting to put their marketing budget towards it.
This will see an increase in the amount of advertising across the Internet. It will also make the competition even higher to get those prime spots.
Businesses will be looking at combining the dollars spent and creative content in order to get noticed on the online world. This means they are, and will be constantly, looking for new and creative ways to stand out online.
While restrictions will ease and we will slowly see a return to ‘normal’ no-one can predict what this new normal will be. But we can look at the emerging trends and prepare ourselves for this future.
The digital world has and will continue to grow, and even beyond COVID-19 we can expect this trend to continue. This opens whole new windows of opportunity for freelancers to up their skills and stay relevant in an evolving market.
4. Shift in Employer Mindset
Businesses who have never allowed their employees to work from home before are now embracing this new way of life. And many are realising just how beneficial it is.
This is great news for freelancers.
The more businesses understand just how possible it is for employees to work from home, the more likely they are to extend this to freelancers and be more open to hiring them.
According to Tash Menon from MASH, businesses need to adapt with coronavirus and embrace today’s new playing field. She predicts organisations will open their eyes to a new way of working by utilising the gig economy and engaging freelance problem solvers for specific briefs as opposed to heavy head counts.
Employees will also reap the benefits of a more balanced lifestyle, with the ability to work from home becoming a new flexible option on offer.
Where Does This Leave You?
Life after COVID-19 is an exciting opportunity-filled future to think about! Take a look at where businesses are heading and upskill yourself with the ability to help them achieve success.
From creative video marketing, to excellent copywriting and everything in-between, there are plenty of ways freelancers can future proof themselves for the new economy.
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