In today’s economy, side gigs provide a way to increase income. The trick is finding the right gig for you and your schedule. Here’s some advice from our guest blogger, Amy Collett, to help you get started.
What Is the Gig Economy?
As technology develops and changes the way we communicate, it is also drastically changing the way many people work. In the modern gig economy, companies including TaskRabbit, Uber, Rover, and Fiverr use custom apps to help skilled contract workers connect with the people who need them. These types of gig opportunities are often referred to as the “sharing economy,” the “collaborative economy,” and the “freelance economy.”
The gig economy provides the opportunity to utilize one’s skills and resources to create a career that works for you. Many people find that working freelance provides the flexibility needed to balance home and work. Gig opportunities may also provide enough money to get by while pursuing your entrepreneurial passion. The popularity of the gig economy is so vast, an estimated 57 million freelancers contribute 4 trillion dollars each year. Many people find that freelance work leads to launching a new business.
Find your Gig
Start by deciding which platform works best for you. The platform you choose is largely determined by the services you wish to provide. Sites like Upwork (link here?) are great because they connect you with potential clients looking for cost-efficient solutions for limited-run projects.
Tips for Gig Success
Instilling discipline and organization into your gig life will increase your odds of success. Consider doing the following:
- Build a personal brand. Use the same design elements (fonts, images, usernames, etc.) across all platforms.
- Differentiate your services from your competitors’ services in a way that stands out.
- Stay organized. When you prioritize what you need to accomplish, you won’t have to scramble to do something that accidentally fell off your radar.
- Consider using software for invoicing and expense tracking, website creation and to automate your social media posts.
- Learn ways to de-escalate situations with difficult customers so you’re equipped to defuse any problems. With most gig platforms, your performance is rated. A high rating means more hires and a better asking wage.
- Try to find unique ways to care for your customers that will leave a lasting impression.
- Keep records of all work-related expenses. It’s easier to do this as you go along than to attempt to recreate your financials at the end of the year.
- Determine whether you need a business license before you start working. Research state laws to ensure you are in compliance.
Make Your Business Official
Once your gig turns profitable, you may decide it’s the perfect time to start your own business. Business structures vary from state to state, so be sure to check the laws in your area.
The gig economy provides an opportunity to gain income while crafting a flexible schedule. For the best experience, find a gig that appeals to your interests and skills. If it’s a good fit, you may be able to build a steady income and start a new business.
Amy Collett helps people develop their own personal brand. For more information, please visit bizwell.org.