An Overview of Freelancing and the Gig Economy

Posted on Wednesday 11 April 2018

Freelancing for extra income

As the world evolves, so do work options and the workforce in general. The inevitable emergence of artificial intelligence and automation has also played a role in the shift and perception of work.

Traditionally, when most people thought of work, they were reminded of a specific place where they went to offer a particular service or product. However, this, too, is changing.

More and more people are rejecting notions of traditional work and pursuing other options and avenues such as freelancing and the gig economy. Findings from the Harvard Business Report moreover affirm that over 150 million individuals across North America and West Europe are pursuing the aforementioned work avenues.

Thriving in the Gig Economy/Freelance Market

Many people dream of a carefree lifestyle (Maybe when you retire) where they can work when they want, how they want, and where they want. Despite the possibility and attainability of the foregoing lifestyle, it does not come without hard work.

The first year as a freelancer can be most challenging (Whether you are a programmer, mortgage broker or anything really). You may even have to take a loan to get going. It takes time to network, get work from various customers, and build up a network of clientele. However, with persistence and gumption, it can be done. One of the most important, yet frequently overlooked requirements for freelancers is the ability to work well with others.

While many freelancers can work from their laptop in any location with internet access, they still have to interact with the clients who are contracting their services. The clientele is absolutely paramount to success in the gig economy. Without clients, freelancers have no business or autonomy. Just ask any expert on how to make money on Facebook or Instagram, they will tell you that without clients, it's just not possible. Even when you’re committed to making money as a blogger, you must have a great work ethic to record meaningful results.

Freelancers and others who work in the gig economy must also meet deadlines, complete assignments, and communicate with their customers. All of this goes back to the ability to work well with the clientele that breathes life into the freelancer's ability to do what they do. As a freelancer, this is how you can build a personal brand, which will continue to attract more clients to you.

The preceding requirements are applicable regardless of whether or not one is a freelance writer, editor, graphic designer, etc. While each field varies, the general must-haves remain the same across the board. Sometimes cash loans may be taken out to keep the business going. This makes it important to work hard and spend smartly as a freelancer. If you want to scale higher, you have to stay away from activities that might make you go broke and leave you with a very little amount to spend on growth.

When you’re working as a freelancer, there are times you might feel you need to be paid more, especially as a particular project progresses into a more advanced stage. In such an instance, all you need to understand are the basic principles of negotiating with your boss for a payraise. Among the factors that will influence your negotiation will be the value that you bring to the company.

Getting Started in the Gig Economy/Freelance Market

When breaking into the gig economy, one of the most important factors entails knowing where to begin and how to reach clients.

Thankfully, there are many job platforms such as Upwork, Fiverr, and Freelancer which are excellent for freelancers at all levels. Not only do the aforesaid platforms connect freelancers with clients, but they also allow freelancers to market their skills and abilities on their profiles. Clients who have worked with freelancers can then leave feedback on their profiles.

If the feedback is positive, it may result in additional work. Feedback from past clients can also impact whether or not future prospective clients choose to do business with a freelancer or move on to others. As previously stated, clients are the ones who make it possible for freelancers to succeed in the gig economy. Unless you have a business that creates passive income. Then you are living a different life.

Understand that you have to make money work for you ultimately. As a freelancer, while you have your regular earnings, you must also invest in projects where you put your money to good use. This will serve as a source of passive income for you. Freelancers who have this understanding are able to live off the grind and remain financially comfortable.

A Final Word

There is no step-by-step success manual on how to succeed in the gig economy. Each freelancer will inevitably encounter their own difficulties and struggles that they must overcome in order to enjoy the perks. While each journey varies, the right tools, a strong work ethic, and the determination to succeed will make all the difference in the world.