How to Make Money in a Crisis
Entrepreneurs can still make money in this environment. The opportunities may be in different industries than you usually work with, but many businesses still need your skills.
In times like these, full of unknowns, it can be scary for entrepreneurs and freelancers who’ve lost business opportunities, as well as workers who’ve lost their jobs or had their hours cut. However, there are still ways to make money during a crisis, even one like this with both significant health and economic concerns.
Personally, I’ve had around a dozen public speaking opportunities get canceled or postponed, which has been hard, but having gone through the Great Recession, I’ve learned some lessons and know I’ll make it through to the other side. You can too, and in some cases, you may find that this crisis creates an opportunity to take your career or business in a new direction that benefits you more in the long run.
Some ideas to earn money safely from home include:
1. Charging for content or content support
During this period, with so many of us staying at home, with more time on our hands, you’ll likely see a lot more content creation, such as with launches of new podcasts, YouTube series, courses, etc.
Some creators may be able to monetize this content by finding advertising — if, for example, you have a sizable social media following or can get enough podcast listeners. Or you could put your content behind a paywall and charge for access.
Others, however, need to be realistic about how much, if anything, they can earn from content creation. That said, you may still have the skills to support content creators, such as helping with writing, editing, graphic design, etc. Make sure you charge for your time. You can look at project and hourly rates on sites like Upwork to get a sense of what your fee should be based on your experience and the type of work you can do.
2. Monetize your knowledge
Related to creating content is jumping into the growing online education space for all ages. You may have the skills and experience to teach on sites geared toward young students, or you might have business knowledge that you can teach to other professionals, especially those at companies that have budget that would have gone toward attending conferences.
You can monetize your knowledge by creating a course on sites like Kajabi and marketing to professionals, or you can try to get paid directly by working part-time for an online learning platform. If you have an idea for your own course, see if it exists already on a platform like LinkedIn Learning. If it doesn’t, you could have a good opportunity to create something unique that others might be willing to pay for.
3. Find freelance work
Whether you’re a creative, a coder, an administrative assistant, or many other occupations that can be done online, there’s a good chance you can still find freelance opportunities through platforms like Upwork and LinkedIn. Many businesses are still operating at full speed, such as in the technology sector and some food brands that are seeing strong sales due to demand at grocery stores.
Taking on freelance opportunities can be a great way to get your side hustle off the ground, whether that’s because you’re getting paid directly for your side hustle work (e.g, doing graphic design to eventually fund your own agency) or because you’re using freelancing income to eventually fund another type of business venture.
4. Get active on social media
Social media will experience a renaissance in 2020 as people get back to being truly social and more connected online out of necessity. While being more active on social media won’t necessarily lead directly to income opportunities, you can start making quality connections and planting seeds that can grow into ways to make money.
For example, you can crowdsource ideas for your business through social media, find new clients, find partners that help you grow your business, etc. This is also an opportunity for a new wave of thought leaders to emerge, and while only a few will make it, now could be the time to build your personal brand so that you can gain a following.
Having an audience can then lead to monetization opportunities such as through affiliate links on your website, video views on YouTube, podcasting sponsorships through Anchor and article views on Medium.
Although this crisis has affected so many of us, it’s important to try to stay positive and look for opportunities where possible. You may have to work harder and get creative, but with perseverance and quality work, you can find ways to make money in a crisis.
Carlos Gil is the author of The End of Marketing: Humanizing Your Brand in the Age of Social Media and AI, an international keynote speaker, and award-winning digital storyteller with over a decade of experience leading social media strategy for global brands including LinkedIn.