The gig economy: how to be a successful freelancer

More people are saying, “my dream is to be my own boss.” Now, with the gig economy in full swing, this dream of a being a successful freelancer is becoming a reality for many people. The people who are tired of the 9 to 5 job working for someone else. But just what is a gig economy? Instead of being employed full or part time as an employee for a company or organization, people work as freelancers or contractors.

Taking on small projects that come to an end, gig workers have the flexibility to decide when and where they work. They can also decide how much they’re worth, usually making much more income working for themselves than they do working for an employer.

How to be a successful freelancer

Here’s what else you need to know about the gig economy and making your own move from corporate employee to self employment and being your own boss a freelancer.

The facts about the gig economy

Around the world, more workers are shifting to freelance work, completely redefining the traditional workforce. According to marketing studies, in America 57 million people reveal that they consider themselves to be gig workers, if not full time then on the side as they supplement the income they make in their primary job.

Other interesting stats show that it’s not just Millennials who are shifting to the gig economy – those 45 to 54 years of age are also just as likely to quit the burnout of their 9 to 5 job for the freedom and flexibility of freelance work. Those workers aged 35 to 44 leave company jobs for gig work because of toxic work environments.

Tips to launch your freelance career

When starting up as a freelancer, you can head over to freelance work platforms to post your portfolio and list your skills. Or you can network within your own industry and pick up your first clients on your own. No matter what method works best for you, there are five steps that can help you succeed:

1. Decide what your skills are and what services you’ll provide

Some gig workers specialize in one area, such as marketing content writer or photographer. Others offer more generalized skills that encompass more than one area, such as accounting or administrative projects.

2. Find your niche market

Come up with your own unique brand for selling your services – then find your target market and pitch your skills there. Determining your niche market will let you focus in one area, increasing your job prospects.

3. Come up with pricing

One of the reasons you want to be a gig worker is the ability to be more in control of how much you’re making based on your worth. Set your rates so they’re attractive to clients. You may have to price a bit lower to start, but as you gain more clients you can adjust your rates.

4. Let clients see your work

Create an online portfolio so your prospective clients can learn more about what you have to offer. Include projects completed as well as raving reviews from clients.

5. Market your gig services

There are many ways that you can market yourself, from free to low-cost. Set up accounts on social media, send out email marketing, and network within your community.

Take the plunge and become a successful freelancer

If you’re ready to join the gig economy, there’s no time like now to take the plunge. Use the tips here to get started, getting more information in this gig economy guide about how you can navigate the shift from employee to full time freelancer.

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