In this post, I have the pleasure of hosting Lucy Reed, owner, blogger and developer of Gigmine.co. She shares some great tips to grow how you make money with the opportunities technology has created. Enjoy!
Getting Started In The Gig Economy
You may have heard the term “gig economy” and wondered what it meant, or maybe you’ve wondered if it’s for you. The gig economy, simply put, is made up of workers who predominantly make a living from short-term or freelance work.
This has opened up opportunities for many people to make a living on their own terms. Some gig workers even open their own businesses. In fact, according to CNN, gig workers now make up about one-third of the workforce. If you’re wondering if you can be successful in this economy, these tips are for you.
Before You Get Started
While you may have no trouble finding gigs and clients, there are a couple of things you should know before you start.
Freelance work has no benefits. That means you’re on your own with health insurance and retirement plans. That also means no unemployment benefits when you can’t find work.
It’s best to build a nest egg before you quit your current job. Work your freelance projects on the side until you build up a clientele or regular gigs.
Inc. offers some helpful tips for newcomers on how to thrive in a gig economy.
Finding Gig Work
Gig work gives you the freedom to do what you like or try new things. For example, you can start freelancing with your existing skill set. Start by doing something you already know how to do well, anything from graphic design to writing resumes to gardening. Brainstorm how you can offer your chosen project as a service.
If you are going this route, you’ll want to find a way to showcase your work. You can use an online portfolio service or create your own website. Post writing samples or photographs of anything you create. Sell your work on Etsy, or use Upwork or Freelancer to find freelance projects. You can also try Fiverr to start selling your services.
In addition, there are established on-demand service companies, like Uber, that need gig workers. There are lots of options available - just check out this list of the 10 best sites to find gig jobs at The Balance, or this article at US News, which lists more ways to find work in the gig economy.
Running Your Business From Home
Organizing your income, expenditures, and client base is important when you're running your business out of your home. Harvard Business Review advises gig workers design four main “liberating connections:” place, routines, purpose, and people. These connections are meant to free you to be creative while making sure you get income-generating work done.
That starts with finding an at-home workspace that is secure and private enough for you to complete any work you need, whether your services are mostly done by computer or your computer is just for business accounting. A spare room is your best option for an office, but if you don’t have one, you’ll need to find a room where you can have privacy while you work.
Your space needs to be both organized and encouraging. While many feel more creative in a mess, it’s best to keep important corporate and tax documents, phone records, client contracts, and any other critical paperwork safe, sound, and easy to locate. Take stock of the technology you need (computer or laptop, printer, fax machine, etc.) and purchase reliable brands while installing a stable internet connection. You may want to invest in warranties on your electronics as well.
However, you don’t have to recreate a corporate atmosphere! Design your workspace to be inspirational and encouraging. Framed prints, motivational artwork, an unconventional desk, and even unique lighting can all contribute to a place you want to work, even if you’re just crunching numbers for the taxman. And don’t forget a comfortable chair that won’t hurt your back!
The gig economy can provide the opportunity and freedom you are seeking if you need work or are tired of the corporate life. Plan well and you can succeed with your own business.
Thanks so much Lucy! Joining the gig economy is an exciting expression of being growth centered, the pathway to true success.