Coronavirus Impact: How to Make Money Under Quarantine as a Freelancer

What’s up Film Jammers. I hope you are all staying safe, and healthy. This is quite a pickle the world is in right now. So, this week I wanted to take a look at some ways to make money and stay productive during this crazy time. The Coronavirus is impacting us all. BUT the Film, Video and Photo industry has gotten hit especially hard. A lot of films have completely shut down. Most freelance jobs have been cancelled. Certain states are in a complete Quarantine. We’re all wondering what’s going to happen next. So how can you make money under quarantine as a freelancer?

Ways to Make Money From Home 2020

So today we’re going to try and find some silver linings during this catastrophe. There are some things today that may be easier to do than yesterday when the phone was ringing and the toilet paper shelves were stocked. Here are 11 tips to survive the apocalypse!

1) Companies Need Video & Photo NOW – Now, more than ever, companies are trying to promote their brands on social media, websites, etc. With Quarantines and social distancing in effect, and restaurants & bars closing, traditional business is all but gone.

Many large marketing events and conferences have been cancelled, BUT companies still need to get the word out about their products. NAB the largest conference for video and film production in the world is cancelled in April, but the companies still have products they plan to release. Using videos and photos online to market these new products is now more important than ever. So, how to make money under quarantine as a freelancer?

Reach out to local businesses and see if they need videos or photos to promote themselves online. Using social media and websites is integral to these businesses surviving, and as a creator, you’ve got the tools to help them. Instead of releasing products or announcements at trade shows, for now, everything is going to be online. Companies need video creators to do this. So, connect with the people that can make marketing decisions.

As an example, when NAB was cancelled, we partnered with numerous vendors to do videos on their products since they won’t be able to announce them at NAB. Luckily a lot of us can create videos from our homes with minimal or no crew, so we can still create while under quarantine.

2) Live Stream!

With many events cancelled – like Apple’s worldwide developer conference, live streams are going to be more and more common. Even the President is live streaming as opposed to meeting press in person now for certain situations. You can setup a very inexpensive live stream studio in your home or office to offer this service on a local level. This may help local businesses reach their clients and survive.

If you’re under a complete quarantine, you can offer to live stream for your clients. I think there will be a huge market for this in the coming weeks as more and more lockdowns happen. So get that live stream studio setup now – try YouTube, or Vimeo’s Pro Account which has all the tools you need to get started streaming live!

I’ve even seen some of my musician friends streaming live concerts from their living room with the ability to accept tips through certain apps or just including their PayPal or Venmo link in the description. Get create and offer something unique that you can stream to earn money either for you or your clients.

3) Contact Companies About Relief Programs

More and more companies are starting to offer relief to film and video creators. Right now Adobe is offering 2 months free on their Creative Cloud plan, so you can continue to create using Adobe Premiere, Photoshop, After Effects, etc. ….Creative Cloud is almost $50 per month. Every little bit helps. And plus that’s like 2 rolls of toilet paper (adjusting for inflation.)

If you rent a studio or have a home office, contact your landlord about relief programs. I contacted our landlord, at our studio, and they said they’re working on a relief program for tenants. A lot of people want to help, sometimes you just need to reach out and ask. I recommend you ask immediately my dear fellows!

How Make Money Online 2020

4) Sell Stock Footage & Stock Photos

A lot of sites like iStock, VideoBlocks, Shutterstock, Pond5, etc., offer a percentage of sales to creators who add stock video, photo, and music content to their library. Using the downtime you might have to create is a great way to earn a little extra cash. You can film stock footage and stock photos by yourself, and if you’re quarantined, you can always shoot in your home. Think up some creative stock footage, photos or music, upload it online, and start collecting those royalty checks!

5) Create an Online Class – Sites like Udemy offer a way to earn money by teaching. If you create a video on “how to edit” or “how to do interview lighting” or “how to record a song”, for example, you can then charge people a fee to download it. There are a number of different “Learning” sites that you can use, or if you’re feeling ambitious, you can create your own website to sell all your content. “How to Make the Perfect” – mmmmmhmmmm!

How to Make Money Under Quarantine

6) Sell a Movie on – offers Video on-demand options for creators. We have 2 movies on Vimeo that we produced – Jules Dongu saves the World, and The Skyship Chronicles. If you have a project that’s been sitting on the back burner, get it up there and promote it. People are looking for movies to watch in Quarantine, and you might earn a little extra money. If you have a link to your film share it with us below. I’ll check it out! After I finish mowing the lawn…six feet from all the squirrels.

7) Update Your Portfolio or Demo Reel – If you’ve been thinking about updating your portfolio, Demo Reel, or resume, a little alone time, could be a perfect opportunity to do that. I know I’m always saying, “I’ll get to making a new demo reel, when I’m less busy, Maaaaa!” But I’m definitely not too busy now, so I’ll be creating a new demo for our Steadicam Reel. And if….or when we get back to normal, you’ll have your marketing materials in place to blast off and get new business started. Poooshhhh! BLAST OFF, Captain Kangarooo!

8) File for Unemployment – There’s nothing to feel bad about here. We all pay into the federal unemployment fund with every paycheck we’ve ever made. So if you need it, claim some of that money back. It may not be a huge payout, but if you’ve got nothing coming in, every little bit can help. If filing for Unemployment can put food on the table, why not do it?

9) Volunteer – There’s nothing like giving back to people and putting some good Karma out into the universe. If you’re able to volunteer or donate a video to a local business that might be hit hard, when all this non-sense gets back to normal, you may receive some of that good Karma right back. Plus it feels pretty good to help others in a time of need. This one is an all around win-win in my book. I don’t really have a book, more of a pamphlet. But most of the times that I’ve reached out to help people it normally gets re-payed double. Send a little love, get a little love back. Give a little bit…

Coronavirus Quarantine: Ways to Make Money

10) All Wealth is Not Material – While having money to pay the rent and buy food is at the forefront of most of our minds, having extra time now, can be a great opportunity to invest in yourself. There are so many good online classes – a lot of Universities are now making them available to us for free. There’s a plethora of knowledge on Youtube, Masterclass, FILM JAMS, etc where you can spend time while under Quarantine to get smarter, and learn. While everyone else is getting fat eating potato chips and Oreos, you could become a literal encyclopedia of knowledge. Read up on Search Engine Optimization. Study that program you’ve always been meaning to learn. I mean I think about about learning Resolve, but now may be the time to do it. What am I doing here??

11) Sell Your Alexa For a Case of Toilet Paper – I’d rather wipe my ass with a dirty rag full of fire-ants than do that! But I mean if it comes down to it, if you have some old gear you were thinking of selling, now might be a good time to offload it. A lot of lens manufacturers and camera manufacturers had to stop production so it’s harder to get certain products now. Your gear might be worth a good amount on the used market. So it’s worth checking if you were considering selling some items anyway.

We hope these 11 tips on How to Make Money Under Quarantine as a Freelancer were helpful. You can also check out our other video on Tips for Making Your First Feature Film – as it might be a good time to start writing that new movie while sitting at home eating those cans of cream corn!

Times are tough, but there are some options for filmmakers and photographers. What are some other ways to make money during the Coronavirus Quarantine? Thanks for watching. We’ll see you with new videos every Tuesday and Friday on our YouTube Channel!