Can’t Find Freelance Work? What to Do When Your Freelance Work Dries Up

Can’t Find Freelance Work? What to Do When Your Freelance Work Dries Up

Right now, in the face of a global pandemic from the coronavirus (COVID-19), many employers in a wide range of industries are struggling. This means contractors and freelancers are in an equally precarious position if they depend on these employers for projects and income. 

While the nature of freelance work includes the potential for lean times, the current situation is unprecedented, and many freelancers may feel anxious and stressed as their clients take a wait-and-see approach with COVID-19.

Below are some strategies to help you stay centered and productive while managing the situation effectively.

Tap Previous Clients 

While your first thought for replacing lost client work might be to begin from scratch in identifying opportunities, looking through your portfolio to remember clients you worked with in the past can be a smart place to start. This approach avoids the cold call/email, and means that you’re honing in on people who you know not only need your services, but have been interested in them in the past.

If you’ve been in business for a while, this step may take looking through older files and emails to recall former clients likely to reengage.  

Consider New Income Streams

Rather than barking up the tree of your exact current business model, think about whether there’s a way to expand your services to widen your net. For example, if you’re a freelance writer who generally provides bylined content to your clients, figure out if there are any ancillary services that you might offer—such as communications consulting, ghostwriting, or social media offerings—which could increase your monthly income opportunities.

Look for Clients Who Are Looking for You 

In the case of a crisis like the coronavirus, some businesses will experience a decline while others will thrive and become more necessary. Determine where the need is, and tilt your services to address that need. If you’re not clear on what that need might be, don’t reinvent the wheel—online job sites like and FlexJobs have identified employers who are looking for remote workers in specific industries, so spend some time seeing which types of clients need help right now.

Get Thoughtful About Spending 

Examine your finances and see if you can cut corners when your income is less certain. Get back to basics, and trim unnecessary memberships and subscriptions.

While it may feel tempting to shop online while working remotely, get more serious about your habits here and curb your impulse buys. Set a strict budget for yourself and stick to it until you have the client base to support larger purchases.

Short-Term Solutions

While you can be more selective about which projects you take during high times for your freelance business, you might want to widen your options for paying projects in a dryer period for work. It’s still always important to stay true to your values and ethics, and also to avoid red-flag clients who don’t feel like the right fit for you. If you generally work only with one industry, for example, consider broadening your base.

Finding Remote Jobs

When freelance work slows down or you can’t find freelance work ,you might be interested in exploring a part-time, or even full-time, remote job. If this is something that you’re interested in, can help. We have fully remote positions in a variety of categories ranging from development and IT to accounting and marketing.


By Robin Madell | March 26, 2020 | Categories: Work Remotely

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