Surviving as a freelancer is challenging enough at the best of times, let alone during a pandemic. For many of us who've lost work and clients, the focus right now is on pivoting and finding new ways to earn money, but that's by no means easy. And being stuck at home makes things even harder, both practically and emotionally.
At times like these, a friendly voice on a podcast can really help guide you, and put things in perspective. So here we've brought together nine recent episodes from our favourite freelance podcasts, all recorded during the lockdown era, and all dealing with the challenges that have come in its wake.
You won't find a 'magic bullet' in any of these discussions that will restore your client base and income overnight. But what you will find is some helpful ideas and suggestions for making the best use of your new free time, and planning realistically for an uncertain future.
For more helpful resources to help you keep your creative business on track, pandemic or not, see these brilliant ebooks or the best graphic design books. You might also want to see our top tools for freelancers and tips for staying sane as a freelancer.
01. Freelance Party Broadcast: How You Can Use Lockdown To Work On Your Business
- Release date: 21 April
- Episode length: 27 minutes 21 seconds
- Short of time? Skip to 6 minutes 5 seconds
Freelance Party Broadcast is a regular podcast brought to you by Freelance Corner, an online platform for UK freelancers. In this episode (opens in new tab), hosts Faye and Jess chat with Alison Grade, author of The Freelance Bible, about how out-of-work freelancers can use the lockdown period to work on their businesses. Grade offers some great advice about doing a skills audit so you can reinvent yourself, position yourself differently and find better and more rewarding work when society emerges from lockdown.
02. The Fizzle Show: Locked Down with an Uncertain Future: How Entrepreneurs Are Surviving
- Release date: 14 April
- Episode length: 72 minutes 32 seconds
- Short of time?: Skip to 21 minutes 40 seconds
Founded in 2013, Fizzle offers training, community and resources for freelancers, creatives and entrepreneurs. In this episode (opens in new tab) of its weekly podcast, Corbett Barr chats to Justin Jackson from Transistor.fm about how freelancers and entrepreneurs are surviving the lockdown, and what we can all be doing to make it through, both economically and psychologically. The two discuss how they have each navigated financial crises in the past, and what lessons they can draw from these experiences, at the same time as recognising the ways in which this current crisis offers wholly unique challenges.
03. The Freelancers’ Show: What Do You Do In An Unexpected Downturn?
- Release date: April 21
- Episode length: 43 minutes 42 seconds
- Short of time?: Skip to 6 minutes 0 seconds
With online retail becoming so much more important under lockdown, you’d think ecommerce specialists would be the last to lose work. But Petra Manos’ clients include hotels, beauty parlours and party suppliers, so she’s been suffering along with everybody else. In this episode (opens in new tab) of The Freelancers’ Show, a weekly discussion-based podcast, she talks about how she’s refocused her efforts onto content marketing during lockdown, and the panel discuss ideas for dealing with unexpected slowdowns in work.
04. The Daily Creative: Taking Time to Invest in Yourself
- Release date: 30 March
- Episode length: 16 minutes 35 seconds
- Short of time?: Skip to 6 minutes
Hosted by Todd Henry, the Daily Creative podcast offers a quick daily idea, tip, or strategy to help you be better at what you do each day. In this episode (opens in new tab), he notes that many of us suddenly have more time on our hands, which we could use to, as he puts it, "invest in ourselves and to plant seeds that will produce a harvest later". However, he argues, this is not going to happen unless we’re disciplined and thorough, and he explains how going into "monk mode" can make the difference between squandering our free time and making valuable use of it.
05. Creative Pep Talk: The Powerful Thing You Can Do When All Seems Lost
- Release date: 25 March
- Episode length: 1 hour 18 minutes
- Short of time?: Skip to 52 minutes 47 seconds
Feeling down and like you don’t have the energy to be creative? Then maybe you need a motivational pep talk. And Andy J. Pizza, an illustrator for the likes of The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Nickelodeon, is ready to give you one in this episode (opens in new tab) of his weekly inspirational podcast. His lengthy monologue is highly personal, and doesn’t include anything approaching practical information. But it does feature a lot of insightful thoughts about how to find the "inner you" that you may have lost over the years, and light your creative spirit on fire again.
06. Beyond The Status Quo Podcast: How to Handle Losing Clients
- Release date: 20 April
- Episode length: 17 minutes 36 seconds
- Short of time?: Skip to 2 minutes 40 seconds
In her weekly Beyond The Status Quo Podcast, Avani Miriyala offers short blasts of cheery, positive thinking for dream-chasing freelancers and entrepreneurs. But she’s not afraid to acknowledge the real challenges of achieving your goals, and in this episode (opens in new tab) she candidly discusses the impact losing a big client has had on her. She goes on to explain how she turned this around, and outlines four ways you can transform losing a client from a knockback into an opportunity.
07. DIFTK: When You've Just Left Your Job To Go Freelance, In The Middle Of A Global Crisis. Eek!
- Release date: 1 May
- Episode length: 19 minutes
- Short of time?: Skip to 6 minutes 37 seconds
Doing It For The Kids is a podcast for freelance parents trying to make flexible working work. In this episode (opens in new tab), Frankie Tortora and Steve Folland respond to a question from photographer Hannah Brooke, who left her job to go freelance just as the pandemic was kicking off. They offer some helpful advice about pivoting, sending out the right messages to clients, and being well placed to take on new work when the lockdown ends. Although this is specific advice for a single freelancer in a specific situation, it’s likely you’ll find much wisdom here that applies to your own freelancing challenges.
08. Deliberate Freelancer: Pivoting And Finding Resilience
- Release date: 30 April
- Episode length: 33 minutes 48 seconds
- Short of time?: Skip to 21 minutes 20 seconds
If all your usual clients aren’t hiring during lockdown, it’s time to start thinking about pivoting. But how do you actually go about that? In this episode (opens in new tab) of Deliberate Freelancer, a podcast aimed at helping freelancers build a successful business, Melanie Padgett Powers explains how she recently did so herself. Her process began with answering questions such as 'What new skills can I learn?', 'What am I really good at but haven’t been doing because I don’t love it?' and 'What do my clients need right now?'
09. Freelance Pod: Imposter Syndrome, Social Media and Getting Through A Pandemic Lockdown
- Release date: 30 April
- Episode length: 29 minutes 50 seconds
- Short of time?: Skip to 2 minutes 29 seconds
Freelance Pod is an award-winning podcast sharing stories of news, creativity and the internet. In this episode (opens in new tab), host Suchandrika Chakrabarti interviews author and psychologist Dr. Richard Orbé-Austin. The two discuss how imposter syndrome is becoming particularly problematic during the pandemic lockdown, and practical ways to rise above it and build your inner confidence.