With airports closed, borders shut and lockdown policies in place, the paramount question being asked by global freelancers and solopreneurs is definitely ‘how do I do business when I can’t travel?’
2020 has officially got off to a weird start. COVID-19 has swept the globe and people everywhere are now stuck at home, unable to go out properly due to social distancing measures. This has obviously affected the world of work enormously. ‘Normal’ working people have found themselves at home alongside the hordes of self-employed and freelancers who have been doing it for years.
In a way, maybe it shows that freelancers, digital nomads and solopreneurs all over the world were ahead of the curve – we’ve been social distancing for a long time! Indeed, remote work has become increasingly popular in recent years, with a survey by FlexJobs and Global Workplace Analytics showing that remote work grew 92% in the 10 years up to July 2019.
However, as the monikers suggest, freelancers and digital nomads alike definitely have had their worlds turned upside down as well. They are no longer ‘free’ to do as they please and they can no longer be ‘nomadic’. Although many of us work from home, we often view trips to co-working spaces, coffee shops, client offices and networking events as essential. This doesn’t even include all those freelancers who are lucky enough to have clients overseas who they regularly visit and collaborate with.
So how can we do business if we can’t travel? How do we sustain our globally focused clients if we can’t visit them? And how do we find new work streams as we feel our way through the gig economy?
We need to go digital of course! We need to make virtual reality our new reality and nurture our online relationships with as much care (probably more so) as our ‘normal’ ones.
Many people think that ‘virtual collaboration’ is second-best to being face-to-face. While it is true that there is a lot to be gained for ‘in-person’ meetups, now is the time to challenge that belief and make the digital world work for you.
According to the results of a LinkedIn global survey, ‘61% of professionals agree there are opportunities to be found through regular online communication.’ In this scary and uncertain time, there is no time like the present to go digital!
With millions of workers across the globe suddenly isolated, the importance of digital collaboration has never been clearer. So, what are the benefits?
There are lots of tips and tricks out there on how to replace travel by working well from home, how to stop yourself from going mad in isolation and how to choose the right tools for solopreneur success.
But how should you make the digital world work for you when you can’t travel anywhere?
Although these do seem like very uncertain times for freelancers, there are plenty of reasons to stay positive and make the new order of things work for you.
Who needs overly air-conditioned airports, overcrowded coffee houses and too trendy coworking spaces anyway? Online is where it’s at!
Thank goodness for Wi-Fi, thank goodness for the entrepreneurial spirit that makes hustling for new work a breeze, and thank goodness for a freelancer’s confident mindset in the face of adversity.
How can you do business when you can’t travel? Maybe that question should be ‘do we ever need to travel for business again?’
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