The workforce at large is embracing the gig economy, which spells good news for business owners and prospective freelance workers at large.
And with approximately 50% of roles looking to be filled by freelancers, it’s crystal clear that a 9-to-5 isn’t the only to make a full-time living anymore.
However, entering into a freelance role doesn’t come without its distinct challenges.
After all, those accustomed to the security and structure of a full-time job, being thrust into unknown territory can certainly be daunting. Competition is fierce, especially as the gig economy grows. While side hustle opportunities certainly aren’t scarce, standing apart from competition freelancers is a must.
Oh, and those new to freelancing likewise may be somewhat unfamiliar with the technical know-how associated with such roles, too. Softwares and platforms that are second-nature to freelancers might be like a foreign language to newbies.
The good news? Surviving and thriving as a freelancer is easier than ever thanks to the wealth of opportunities and tools out there. It’s just a matter of breaking down where to find gigs, how to grow and structure your approach to freelancing.
That said, what exactly do those looking to get involved with freelancers need to know in terms? What tools are out there? We’ve broken down seven tips and technologies freelancers should familiarize themselves with to set themselves up for long-term success in the gig economy.
Don’t Neglect Offline Gigs
Bear in mind that the gig economy isn’t solely confined to the web. Contractors can find a number of offline opportunities to either supplement their offline efforts or act as a supplement to their full-time income. As noted by Ridester, tons of rideshare drivers are taking advantage of the likes of Uber to set their own hours and be their own bosses.
The allure of digital gigs is obvious: that is, working from home, not having to deal with a commute or traditional office. Even so, don’t forget that offline gigs do exist for those who still strive a sense of structure and need to “go” somewhere to work efficiently.
Flood New Opportunities to Your Inbox
It’s key to note that freelance gigs can indeed be volatile. As you aren’t a full-time employee, clients can disappear without notice and roles that you thought would last months could be gone tomorrow. As a result, freelancers should always have new opportunities on the backburner in case their current gig falls through.
Signing up for alerts through the likes of freelance platforms such as Upwork will essentially provide a constant stream of jobs directly to your inbox. Same goes for job boards like Indeed. Since there’s so much competition, applying in a timely manner matters: being the first in line for a gig exponentially increases your chances which is why email alerts matter.
Check Job Boards on a Regular Basis
Consider that there are a number of freelance-specific job boards out there which fly under the radar of traditional job sites. For example, there are the ProBlogger and BloggingPro boards for content writers and Remote.co specifically for digital nomads. A quick Google search can help you find a board for your particular niche
Commit to Organization
Especially when you’re juggling multiple clients online, organization is key. Project management platforms like Trello essentially allow you to manage your schedule, daily tasks and hold yourself accountable for knocking out your work day after day. Remember: there’s nobody else to look over your shoulder to do it for you.
Fill Out Your Portfolio
Just like you’re expected to have a resume for an in-person position, freelancers thrive on their online portfolios to stake their claim for gigs. There are tons of free portfolio-building platforms out there such as Dribble, Adobe Portfolio and Crevado that allow you to create eye-popping portfolios rich with graphics to catch the eyes of potential clients.
Step Up Your Graphics Game
Speaking of graphics, don’t rely on generic template and stock photos for your digital presence if you want to stand out to potential freelance clients. Whether it’s your blog, website or social presence, creating your own unique graphics through drag-and-drop tools like Canva represents a quick and easy way to signal your professionalism without spending an arm and a leg.
Make Yourself Interview-Ready
Freelance gigs aren’t free from all of the trappings of full-time jobs: interviews are indeed expected from time to time from particular clients. From having a high quality webcam and microphone to familiarizing yourself with Skype, learning how to nail a digital interview is crucial.
The rise of the gig economy certainly means more opportunities to make money with a side hustle, but primarily for those who have their freelance business structured from the word “go.” By sticking to these tips and tools, you can stay one step ahead of the game.