Telling Your Freelance Story During Coronavirus

As you scroll through Instagram, are you quietly noticing the businesses that you feel are doing the right thing during this crisis? You might have even changed the way you shop to order online from that local store you like. You will almost certainly have seen the headlines when big businesses fail to walk the talk on caring about their staff and customers. Seven in ten of us say that if we perceive a brand is putting profit over people during this pandemic, we will lose trust in that brand forever.

Telling your freelance story – explaining who you are, how you can help, and demonstrating your values – is more important now than ever. As a freelancer, you have your own brand to protect. Taking some time to consider how you are communicating during this crisis will help you build and maintain your reputation. We’ve all got a lot to deal with at the moment, but this can be done by keeping these three simple questions in mind.


Are your values visible?

One thing I observed time and time again working on crisis comms in local and national government was the importance of thinking long-term. You need to consider, when I’m looking back on this crisis – whether that is in a week, a month, a year – how do I want to have handled this?  Will your clients and customers remember that you were there for them during Coronavirus? They won’t remember the specific content of your messages, but they will remember how you made them feel.

Are you confident that your business communications are currently reflecting your personal approach to this crisis? If someone had never met you and all they had to go by was your website, newsletter or social media posts, would they understand how you’re tackling the impact of Coronavirus? Would they understand how you want to help them and what you’re doing to support your community during this time? Our values need to be visible.


What do your audience need now?

One of my most important questions to clients is always: who do you need to speak to? Even if you’ve not had to pivot your business online during social distancing, the needs and behaviours of your customers may be changing.

Set aside some time this week to work through these five questions. Perhaps you have asked yourself these questions before, but the answers may have changed since the pandemic began.

  • Who is your target audience?
  • What problems does your freelance offer help them to solve?
  • How much do they understand about your offer?
  • What do they care about?
  • Who influences them?

The more you can dig into the profile of your audience, the more you can deepen your focus on what you want to say, when you want to say it, and the best way to get that message across.


Are you explaining how you can help?

Given the scale of this pandemic and its impact on us all, it can feel hard to get the words right to promote your freelance story. Yes, you shouldn’t have unrealistic expectations about grabbing the headlines during a national health emergency, but that doesn’t mean you can’t continue to share what you are doing that is new and making a difference. When you feel stuck on how to explain this in the right way, think about your customers and clients: how are you helping them? To shamelessly paraphrase William Morris, are you producing something that you know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful?

Think about when and how you explain how you can help. If there’s been a big announcement at the daily government briefing, will your planned social media post look out-of-step? Now is the time to do a double check that you’ve got the basics right. Is it clear across all your channels how you’re operating, what you’re offering and how to get in touch with you?


Share what you love about what you do

Telling your freelance story is simply sharing what you love about what you do. If you’re thoughtful, timely and targeted, this will help you build and maintain your reputation. We’re all taking each day as it comes to get through this crisis. However, if you can keep thinking about how you communicate, and make small tweaks as you go along, you’ll be investing in your business. You’ll be able to look back at this time and feel confident that you too were doing the right thing.

Author Bio

Helen DeakinHelen Deakin is a freelance communications specialist with over 12 years of experience in designing and delivering communications and campaigns for charities, local government and national government.

Visit Helen’s website and find her on Twitter and LinkedIn.