A Fresh Start: Getting Started in the Gig Economy

by Aug 15, 2018Tips & Tricks

The rapid growth of the gig economy is largely the result of companies discovering the benefits of hiring freelancers for short-term projects — and of workers discovering the satisfaction of doing work they enjoy from home. It’s a symbiotic relationship that’s allowed 53 million Americans — 34 percent of the workforce — to leave behind a restrictive and unsatisfying work situation to go into business for themselves. For people with skills that meet the needs of a specific market niche, the gig economy opens up a broad range of opportunity that can lead you to a whole new career. If you like working independently and don’t mind working hard for many different employers, chances are you can thrive in the gig economy.

What’s Your Niche?

Figuring out what you want to do based on your interests and skill set is the first step. If you enjoy writing but have spent years in a job that doesn’t allow you the opportunity to write, there’s a wealth of income-generating opportunities in the gig economy. Organizations often need writers, editors, or proofreaders to help with short-term or protracted work assignments. If you’re trying to raise your profile as a writer, consider growing an online following by writing blog content. If you have a marketing background, there are lots of sites and companies looking for productive content producers. Or, you could try something completely different and start a dog-sitting or dog-walking business — a rapidly growing niche — if you enjoy canine companionship. The sky’s the limit: it’s just a matter of determining what you want to do.

Do Your Homework You’ll need to get online and do some research before making the jump to the gig economy. If you’re looking to start a catering business, it’s good to know what the competition is like in your area, what kind of resources are necessary to get started, and the earning potential. Research is important because knowing what’s expected and what the work entails can solidify your decision

or lead you in another direction that makes more sense for you. Try talking to someone who’s committed to the gig economy to get a firsthand view of what you can expect.

Stick to Your Routine

As a freelancer, you may be called upon to complete projects on short notice, so it’s important that you’re prepared to maintain discipline, stick to a routine, and stay focused on your work. Producing quality work on or ahead of time is probably the best way to earn a solid reputation and find yourself in high demand. Working from home is difficult for people who can’t tear themselves away from the TV or the gaming console. Set up a dedicated, distraction-free workspace, maintain established work hours, and stick to them.

Establish a Presence

These days, most freelancers find work via the internet. That means establishing a strong online presence with a well-designed website and an eye-catching logo that sets the tone for your marketing efforts. If you’re not familiar with website design, consider hiring someone to build your site, and use a free online logo maker, which can help beautify your brand and help set your business apart from your competitors.

The gig economy is heaven-sent for people with an entrepreneurial bent and a strong preference for setting up on their own. Computer technology makes it easy to work from home or wherever you want. Remember that working in the gig economy can be a very positive, life-changing decision, but it takes hard work. Make sure you have a conducive work environment and the support you need to make it work.

Article by Lucy Reed
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

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