Thanks to technology, a lot has changed in the way we shop, commute, socialize, and even date! Even more drastically, it’s changed the way we work. People are leaving their traditional jobs to sell their services on a contract basis with a relatively smaller commitment, or "gig," for immediate compensation. This is what we call a "gig economy."
Be it Uber, Airbnb, TaskRabbit, or Fiverr, we are witnessing an evolution that, despite its shortcomings, seems to be working for everyone: he consumers, freelancers, and the aggregators!
Here are 8 tips to be successful in the gig economy:
- Know what you are doing. You must have a clear plan in place. By deciding if this is a side gig (or a long-term goal for full-time employment), you will be able to plan and execute better. Your strategy will differ depending on if the gig is going to just be side income or if you want to make it a long-term thriving career.
- Find your niche. Remember, you are competing against the whole world. Just knowing your strengths and capitalizing on them isn’t a viable option anymore. Find your niche and be amazing at it. Keep yourself updated with the latest happenings in the industry. By constantly upgrading your skills, you’ll be able to stay ahead of the competition!
- Build your network. If you are looking at the gig as a long-term career, you can’t rely on scavenging for clients on the Internet. You need to hang out at the place where your prospects and other industry authorities are hanging out. Focus on building your network by engaging with others and offering real help. Your network will be your insurance for the future.
- Maximize your gig portfolio: Whether you are a “solopreneur” or manage a team, growing your portfolio means growing your business. Each new prospect you interact with will want to see your portfolio before they even begin a conversation with you. Showcasing a strong portfolio carries a lot of weight, and does a great job of enticing your prospect.
- Social proof: Testimonials give you instant credibility and trust. Everyone needs proof of their abilities, so ask your clients for reviews and testimonials; it’s a legitimate reward for your hard work.
If you are just starting out, don’t hesitate to do some minor projects for a very low fee (or even free of cost) in exchange for a testimonial. It pays off heavily in the long term. With gazillions of freelancers in the market, a genuine testimonial gives you that much-needed credibility.
- Be hungry for more. Always be on the hunt for that extra bite, extra client, and extra project. Make sure you can chew what you bite off, however. If you take on a gig and are unable to provide them your promised service or solution, it can permanently damage your reputation.
- Build a steady clientele and pipeline. Easier said than done, but identifying a client with regular needs and sticking to them can work wonders in the long run. It not only ensures continuous business and a pretty pipeline, but the chances are good that they will refer you to even more clients.
- Sell a solution. Always remember that people work with you because you solve a problem for them. No one cares so much about how you do it; all they really care about is if your product or service solves their problem or not. That’s where you need to get really good at your customer service game. Go the extra mile and thrive on making your customers feel “wowed” with each deliverable.
Will a gig job actually work for me?
Ever wondered who this gig economy benefits? Short answer: EVERYONE! A recent WBUR study on the future of work shares the stories of numerous gig workers who transitioned from their regular jobs. They ended up making more money, working fewer hours, and worked on their own schedules. Some of them even doubled their income!
If you would like to jumpstart your efforts, consider a small business loan from LoanMe. You can speak to one of our agents about the many benefits, including lowering your fees by consolidating, and the possibility of receiving your loan in less than 5 hours.