What Drives the Gig Economy?

Posted on June 5, 2019 by Kristin B

gig economy

There’s a lot to be said for people who can make it on their own in this world. As solopreneurs, freelancers are tasked with huge responsibilities, including marketing themselves, invoicing clients, and, well, being good at whatever it is they do. On the other side of the coin, wise marketers look for ways to fill their skills gaps with freelancers who are either supplementing their “day job” incomes or have gone full-blown freelancer, leaving the world of 8-to-5 schedules and mandated breaks as something that lives in the rearview mirror.

The gig economy is an interesting place these days. People all over the world are harnessing the power of technology and independent working relationships in ways that afford them more money or a better work-life balance than traditional employment situations are able to offer. Some people have gone out on their own and strived to become the go-to consultant in their industry while others find success on platforms or umbrella companies like Uber and Lyft.

In any case, the people who make up today’s mobile workforce are a diverse, often high-skilled set of people who are empowering a new kind of freedom that comes with a paycheck.

So, what’s driving this greater collaboration of gig work? Let’s take a look!

1. Individuality

Freelancers don’t have to be good at a thousand things; they can be really great at one or two things. That’s what sets them apart.

When you hire someone onto your team as a full-time staffer, he or she might love to work with numbers and spreadsheets but hate words. What happens if you need that person to write a blog post or help with a newsletter? Well, you’re paying them, so they should probably rise to the challenge. The work you’ll get might not be what you’re looking for, but at least you got a final product on the boss’s desk, right?

The gig economy removes those trepidations, enabling you to hire exactly the kind of professional you need for the project you’re pitching,

As a marketer, you can find people who offer conversational language, love diving deep into analytics, or have devoted their entire lives to creating logos.

As a freelancer, you have the opportunity to be the person you want to be, choosing your clients carefully and honing your skills.

Long-time gig worker and wellness entrepreneur Gerry Ellen says of the gig economy:

“If there’s ever strife in your bottom line, dig deep and get creative with what your heart is seeking. Uniqueness drives the gig economy.”

This is such a true statement. Gig workers who are able to showcase their uniqueness can drive incredible amounts of traffic their way. Similarly, marketers who are looking for professionals with niche skills are able to find a significant number of people who are capable of filling their skills gaps without hitting payroll’s bottom line. In the end, the gig economy is making win-win scenarios for everyone involved.

2. Ownership of the Process

In the corporate world, people have to do as their told, even if the projects they’re given aren’t the best fit for their unique skills. The gig world has given way to a new way of doing things. It’s a place in which freelancers can own the processes they do best and businesses can lean on these professionals to complete specific projects.

As WriterAccess journalism and marketing writer Matthew D states:

“Freelancing is being the CEO of your own small business. You may not have any other employees, but you’ve still got to think about what’s best for your company and your clients every day.”

Marketers who find business-savvy freelancers are incorporating integral professionals onto their teams in ways that work for both the businesses and the service providers who offer their knowledge and skills.

3. The Cost of Doing Business and the Relative ROI

Studies show that the cost to replace mid-level positions is about 20% of each employee’s annual salary, and highly skilled executives can cost as much as 213 percent of their annual salary. To make the marketing, screening, interviewing, onboarding, and training worth it, companies have to have a substantial need for that person’s position to be an ongoing, full-time role within the organization. That’s not always the case, as most businesses have ebbs and flows with regard to their output levels.

Freelancers free up marketers and other organizational leaders to focus on their tasks at hand without adding additional heads to the payroll count, some of which may not be justifiable when things slow down. Instead, they pay per-word or per-project rates that ensure freelancers get to live life on their own times while companies can set aside a specific budget without worrying about lulls in their balance sheets.

In today’s world, it’s often far more cost effective for businesses to hire specialized independent contractors who have honed a specific skill. In doing so, organizations are promised top-of-line final products and freelancers aren’t forced to work with any company for which they don’t deem the project costs worthy of the payment. The cost of doing business and the relative ROI are considerations that are greatly weighed on both sides of the gig economy coin.

 

For freelancers who are considering going gig, Gerry Ellen put it best: “Why put yourself behind a desk for someone else all day? Join the gig movement and allow yourself to shine and rise above the norm. Be a leader, not a follower.”

WriterAccess is a gig-economy platform that brings writers, content strategists, and editors together with the clients who need their services. No matter which side of the coin you’re on, you’ll benefit from the things this marketplace can do. Check out our blog to gain more insights!

 

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.


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