Gig work has sparked debates long prior to the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, with the outbreak, the role of many gig workers was brought into the spotlight as many of them are within the ranks of essential workers playing a key role in keeping supply chains moving and helping make staying at home possible. Because the gig economy is large and diverse, the pandemic has affected some workers more than others.
Food couriers for instance are seeing more demand for their services. Some grocery delivery platforms reported spikes in downloads, some increasing by more than a whopping 200% in comparison with February. Huge businesses such as Amazon revealed its intention to hire around 100,000 workers to meet the demand for increasing online orders. Some believe that these numbers can be a good initial indicator of how receptive consumers have become to mobile and e-solutions and speculate that the trend is likely to continue upwards in the post-pandemic period. On the other hand, other gig workers such as graphic designers, writers and photographers may have seen potential work opportunities dry up.
Although some expect that once the pandemic is under control, the need for gig workers might skyrocket as delayed projects gear up into implementation, several workers have been saying that many of their near-future projects are cancelled.
As the saying goes “we can’t direct the wind, but we can adjust the sail”, many workers have been proactively sharing their best practices in facing the challenges raised by the COVID-19 crisis. We have talked to some gig workers and we bring you the top three tips they have shared with us to help you as a gig worker navigate through this current situation:
1/ The first thing is to reconnect with your former clients. Get in touch with your previous clients, project genuine interest by listening to their updates and how they are running their business amidst this pandemic. Some workers mentioned that such brief check-ins helped them trigger clients to seek their support hence drumming up a new gig.
2/ The second tip is to use the word-of-mouth marketing. In times of crisis and scarce resources, organizations want to give critical projects to talented pinch hitters. Many gig workers have mentioned that the few new opportunities they landed were referred to them by former clients. They also mentioned that it might be useful to reach out to former clients to write up a recommendation to sharpen your social media profile.
3/ The third tip is to rethink your service delivery model and provide services online. Freelancers who have weathered downturns before mentioned that it is important in moments of crisis that they ensure that the services that you provide remain agile. This can include developing new skills to cope with the new realities.