How to land a deal as a freelancer during tough times

By Naman Sarawagi|22nd Apr 2020
Cracking a deal during times of crisis is difficult and one has to be very tactical in one’s approach to land a good deal.
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COVID-19 has caused many business owners to re-evaluate their costs and let go of some of the overheads. Detailed reports from top consulting firms are coming on how COVID-19 will impact businesses in the short and long term. Though, there are no specific reports on freelancers, one can draw inferences that freelancers will also bear the heat.


In such a scenario, cracking a deal is going to become all the more difficult and one has to be very tactical in one’s approach to land a good deal. Here are some quick recommendations on how to crack a deal during such times.

Decide your industry sectors

Not all businesses are doing bad. In fact some are flourishing, like online education and businesses which are into essential items. You need to make a list of such sectors and figure out which ones are most closely related to your niche. If there is nothing overlapping with your own niche, it’s time to develop a new one. It is going to take time, but do you have any other option?


So, finding out a flourishing niche is the first step you need to take.

Revamp your portfolio and profile accordingly

Once you know the sectors to focus on, you need to revamp your portfolio accordingly. If you already have sufficient material available, re-organise it to fit your focus areas. If you do not have enough material, you can think of creating new matter for your portfolio to suit the focus areas.


If you do not have any portfolio so far, consider making one. Writers can make on Medium, designers can make on Behance, developers can make on Github etc.

Look out for leads on war footing

You can look out for more work by: looking out for work on freelance platforms like Fiverr, Freelancer, and Upwork, reaching out to your network, your previous clients, and friends for any references, scouting for work on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook groups etc.


There is never a bad time to look back on how you started. Some of the methods you used then can come in handy now also.

Pitching and follow up

These are challenging times. To earn a deal, you will have to work harder and smarter. So, you will have to ditch your old template pitches and make customised pitches for each new client. If it requires creating sample content asked by the buyer, this is not the right time to deny it. Follow up with the leads at required time intervals. You may be a pro in your work, but as a freelancer you are your own sales team also.

Be the best closer

While you negotiate, know what interests you. For some, the interest might be a regular flow of work even if it comes with lowering the price a bit. While for others, it might be fewer gigs but of high value. So, know your interests and then negotiate.


Be your own Harvey Specter!


These are unprecedented times for sure. But we have passed through this earlier, and we will pass through it again.


(The article is authored by Mr. Naman Sarawagi, Founder of Refrens.com)


Edited by Javed Gaihlot

(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)

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