How to Manage Self-Isolation: Tips for Freelance Photographers

How to Manage Self-Isolation: Tips for Freelance Photographers

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Given the recent guidelines on social distancing from various health organizations, the novel coronavirus and the disease it causes (COVID-19) means that most of us will be self-isolating for some time. As a freelancer, how can you manage this enforced downtime positively? Over the past five weeks, I was already dealing with an enforced “lay-off” from work. An accident whilst taking photographs for a forthcoming book left me with a broken ankle and six weeks of being unable to work. With the growth of the novel coronavirus pandemic, many freelancers are now facing a similar period of being unable to work. Freelancers don’t receive any Statutory Sick Pay in the UK, so we are left income-less when not working. As such, I thought I’d share some tips I’ve garnered over the last few weeks to try and use this time positively. Communicate to Customers The first thing you have to remember is that your customers don’t know what has happened to you. As soon as you know that you are going to be unable to work get in touch with them. The most important thing is to be absolutely honest. Let them know why you are going to be unable to work with them. Tell them you are gutted that you can’t do the job. Give an indication when you are expecting to become available again. If you had been paid a deposit or a fee already, offer a refund or re-booking for another date. I had to cancel around 20 appointments due to the broken ankle. All but one of the customers agreed to reschedule. That’s not always going to be the case but I am sure that the open and honest approach meant clients would work with you. Think About the Customer Journey This leads directly from communicating to customers and is a great way of making sure you look in control. I have a fantastic booking system for photography workshops that is provided by FareHarbor. One of the features they provide is text and e-mail reminders so that customers don’t forget when they have booked their workshops. They also help me send out post-workshop surveys so I can make the customer experience even better in the future. By working with FareHarbor I was able to establish those automatic triggers that could have sent messages to customers whilst they were deciding when to reschedule to. They already had a process built into the system so I could stop the messages for a period of time until I was returning back to work. As a small business, your reputation is probably one of the biggest assets you have. It would be silly to have it take a knock by not thinking about what your customer will feel. Personal Development Freelancers know their customers are really important. Without them, they don’t get paid and without getting paid they won’t be freelancing for much longer. As a result of this, the photographers (and other freelancers) I know are trying to […]

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