Thanks to a plethora of innovative technologies and a world that’s become more connected by way of independent workers than was ever possible before, the gig economy has gone from buzz phrase to state-of-being for people from all walks of life. In this era, everyday citizens are cashing in on their own unique talents and skills, creating career paths for themselves that supplement their traditional jobs or enable them to forge into full-time freelancing and forgo conventional clock-in and clock-outs all together.
But, while there are around 57 million U.S. workers contributing to the gig economy in some way, not everyone is able to achieve measurable success. Gig workers are, after all, running their own businesses, and we all know that running a business isn’t easy.
With that in mind, if you’re curious what kind of secrets successful freelancers are keeping up their sleeves, here’s a look at some essential strategies:
1. Flex Your…Flexibility
The beginning of this millennium saw an end to siloed work situations that used to be status quo in corporate environments. Companies began embracing the power of people who were willing to constantly evolve, learn new process, and grow within the organization.
How does this relate to the gig world? Great question!
The expectation in today’s economy is that workers will showcase versatility, even if it’s within their specific fields of focus. While you may not be relegated to the rules of a corporate structure when you’re freelancing, you can rest assured your competitors will be willing to go the extra mile if your clients find you to be too inflexible or out-of-the-loop as far as best practices and modern technology are concerned.
Industry experts can still offer a full menu of products and services to the people who hire them; it’s all about looking for ways to evolve in an ever-changing world.
2. Put Work Into Your Portfolio
It doesn’t matter what kind of skills you’re bringing to the gig economy—whether you’re a content writer, photographer, graphic designer, or a combination of a few creative talents—you need to have a place where your potential clients can learn more about the products you’re peddling.
Sure, putting unpaid time into perfecting your portfolio can seem like a huge pain in the neck, but just think about how much money you’re missing out on when otherwise-interested buyers pass you by.
The lack of a portfolio isn’t the only problem freelancers experience. Often times, poorly presented portfolios will do irreparable damage to independent workers’ reputations. Proofread your pages to eliminate embarrassing mistakes, make sure you have samples that advertise your strengths and particular areas of interest, and check in regularly to ensure you’re presenting fresh content that keeps your audience’s attention.
3. Acknowledge the Need to Network
Can you build your solopreneurship all by yourself? Absolutely! Is it going to be a hundred times harder if you don’t have a network of supporters in your corner? Yep!
The truth is, you’ll seldom ever find a successful business owner who hasn’t learned how to lean on his or her network along the way. As a gig worker, mix and mingle with other professionals who do what you do so you can learn tips and tricks, but don’t stop there. Freelancers who do other types of gig duties can complement your menu of services—and access to people who will pay you for your work—nicely.
Once you figure out how to work your network, you’ll start to see scenarios where one thing just leads to another.
4. Join Platforms that Support Your Purpose
If the idea of giving up a portion of your income to support an online platform makes you scoff, step back for a second and think about all the extra energy, effort, and time you’ll be spending doing administrative tasks when you work independently. Marketing yourself and chasing clients down for payment can be a full-time endeavor. Platforms alleviate a lot of that stress so you can focus on the stuff you do best.
WriterAccess is a place where freelance writers and awesome clients come together in a marketplace that really embraces the gig economy. Find out why the best writers are ushering in a new way of working today!
Kristin B is interested in anything that teaches her something new or gives her a different perspective on something she already knew. She’s a self-proclaimed Learn Nerd, which means the world is her educational oyster, and she’s always seeking opportunities to learn from life’s experiences and her clients’ assignments.