WWD Roundup: Surviving the Coming Shakeout


There’s no need to rehearse the latest round of bleak economic news once again. Now that it’s widely agreed that large parts of the world are in a recession, it’s time to focus our efforts on our core constituency: the web workers. Economic contraction is a mixed blessing for us. On the one hand, experience in working in an agile fashion, with the ability to draw on the worldwide internet for your clientele, is a big plus. But on the other, with traditional jobs vanishing for some people, there’s likely to be an influx of new web workers – leading to the potentially difficult scenario of too many web workers chasing too little work.

As a web worker who cares about your career, it’s just plain good sense to do what you can to make sure that your income survives increased competition. Fortunately, WWD has offered plenty of advice on that score over the years. Here are an even dozen of our best articles and tips for supercharging your career.

Manage Your Online Presence

As a web worker, you are who you are online. While you’re unlikely to make the most obvious of mistakes (unlike those poor people who post drunken photos on MySpace and live to regret it when applying for a job), managing your online presence is a proactive endeavor. You need to think about what face you’re presenting to current and potential clients.

  • Building Your Online Credibility
  • Why You May Need an Online Persona
  • Build Your Brand

    Your online presence is the sum of all of your activities on the internet, but your brand is both more focused and more diffuse. On the one hand, it’s a subset of your online presence that’s designed to quickly tell potential customers what you offer and why they should pay for it. On the other, good branding extends past online to other interactions with your clientele.

  • The 3 Laws of Online Personal Branding
  • How to Build Your Personal Brand Online
  • Pursue New Work, and New Types of Work

    Now is a good time to review whether you’re trying to get all of the work that you can do. Is your career definition too narrow? Are you doing enough to get the word out?

  • 5 Ways to Recession-Proof Your Career
  • Banging Your Own Drum
  • Where do you Find Web Work?
  • How Do I Find Customers?
  • Keep Your Costs Under Control

    If your income stream is looking potentially shaky, the time to take action is now, not when you actually run out of money. In addition to pursuing new work, you can take advantage of the web and the culture surrounding web working to lower your costs of doing business.

  • Coworking Roundup
  • How to Save a Bundle on Printing Costs
  • How to Pay for Web Apps Without Hurting Your Wallet
  • The Co-Working Revolution: Your Office Away From Home


    Good list. I’d also add “keep up your marketing efforts”. History shows us that those businesses (no matter what size) that maintain or even increase marketing during an economic downturn recover fastest when the economy improves. It’s also a great time to reach out and touch your clients and prospects while your competitors are busy cutting back.


    Any tips for those who are looking to weather things outside of freelancing? How to sell micro businesses?

    For example, my income has been reasonable, my bookkeeping hasn’t been the best, I have a decent rate of incoming requests, and I’m looking for advice on how to sell the business.

    Deb Frawley

    Great Mike, thanks for linking back to all those posts, very helpful. I love reading this blog, always such good advice and suggestions.

    Brandon J. Mendelson

    Hi Mike,

    This was very useful. It doesn’t hurt to suggest as well: Cut everything you can when it comes to expenses. Even the smallest change will save you something.

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