Today, many people are saying goodbye to their nine-to-five jobs in favor of running freelance businesses or working as gig workers. Although this path offers more flexibility, you need to know where and how to market your business and what tools you need to help you stay organized and profitable.
Keep reading for a guide to the best tools freelancers and gig workers can use to keep up in today’s changing business world.
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We’re all familiar with a traditional economy, where people work as full-time employees of a business or company. Workers within a traditional economy tend to stay with the same company for many years or even their entire careers. In this system, companies offer benefits to employees and manage the payment of their income taxes.
In recent years, however, a different kind of economy has arisen. This is the gig economy, wherein gig workers or freelancers work as independent contractors. Within the gig economy system, people sometimes work for more than one company, managing their own taxes and benefits. People may participate in a gig economy for several reasons, including a desire to:
- Supplement income
- Gain flexibility in hours
- Work from home
If you’re a gig worker or freelancer, you are a part of the gig economy. Now, you just need the right tools to navigate this economic system with confidence and success.
When it comes to finding contract work, you can try many avenues. There are gig websites, social media sites, and job ad sites that are all helpful for gig workers.
A gig website, or freelance site, is a platform wherein independent contractors can find individual work items, or gigs, within their skill sets. There are far too many of them to list them all here, but a couple of popular gig sites are Fiverr and Freelancer. Gig sites are especially useful for beginners who do not yet have their own website and marketing strategy in place. The team at Schmittat Photography has told us that they have started an entire event photography business via gig sites before eventually ‘graduating’ into more sustainable forms of marketing, including their own professional website and social media.
Fiverr is an online marketplace of freelance job opportunities. These gigs are organized into categories, such as graphic design, writing, or programming. Gig platform workers like Fiverr because the workers set the pay rates, not the company who posted the gig.
Freelancer is another top-rated site for gig workers as it has a wide variety of jobs. The bidding system with which freelancers get jobs is certainly not everyone’s favorite. Still, Freelancer allows workers to search for jobs in foreign languages, such as Spanish, French, or German. This is excellent for freelance translators.
This website is not a traditional freelance platform like Fiverr. It’s a social media platform for professionals to share their skills and job histories. Gig workers can create profiles on LinkedIn to become more discoverable by employers seeking freelancers. You never know who may come across your profile and decide you are perfect for a job.
Gig workers aren’t stuck finding jobs on freelance platforms. Job search websites like SimplyHired or Indeed are also great resources for contract work. These sites don’t feature only local job ads. They have contract work ads, too. They are also great for gig workers just entering the workforce as they often include resume builders.
Want more tools for finding gig work? You can find a more comprehensive list of gig websites here.
As a gig worker, you’ll need to find a way to manage your time and money. You also need ways to communicate with employers and collaborate with other freelancers. Staying organized is not half the battle for gig workers; it’s the whole battle. Here are some freelance business tools to help keep you organized:
Managing your time is hard, but tools are available to make this easier. For example, Timely is a popular time tracker. It can track the amount of time it takes you to complete a project. You can also use Timely to create a weekly schedule and stay on track.
Using a time tracker will also help you manage your workload. When you know how long a job will take you, you’ll know when to say no if you don’t have the time to complete a particular task.
Freelance workers are rarely in the same place as the people they work with. So use a video conferencing and chat platform like Skype or Slack to manage your communications. Skype, for example, can connect you with others via video call and through their messaging service.
As a gig worker, you must also track the money you earn from freelancing. Tracking your income from gig work is vital for several reasons, including paying your taxes. This is your sole responsibility as an independent contractor. Therefore, consider getting a business debit card to keep all of your professional transactions in one place, separate from the rest of your finances.
Some gig workers have full-time jobs and use side hustles to supplement their income. Others make a living out of doing these “side hustles” full time. You may need to experiment to discover the ideal gig work for your situation.
The number of side hustles available increases all the time. Visit this link for more great side hustle ideas.
Many gig workers are making a living using rideshare apps, serving as a taxi service. Rideshare gigs are great if you have a car and driver’s license and want to make some extra cash.
Rideshare apps are also great for gig workers who don’t have a lot of extra time on their hands. Uber, for example, can find you a customer to pick up and drop off on the route you are already taking. This lets you make money within a time slot that you didn’t think was available.
If you’d rather not have strangers in your car, you can find gig work through delivery apps like Uber Eats and DoorDash. You can even get paid to do someone else’s grocery shopping with the Instacart app. Using Instacart, you can choose to be a designated in-store shopper or a full-service shopper. In either case, you shop and deliver products to the customer.
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This new gig economy isn’t going anywhere. It will keep growing as more gig workers enter the workforce. Are you ready to make your mark? Keep these tools in mind to succeed as a freelancer in 2022 and beyond.
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