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January 17, 2018 By Raph DaCosta

5 Tips for Making the Most out of the Gig Economy in 2018

January 17, 2018

By Raph DaCosta

Read More from Raph DaCosta

January 17, 2018

5 Tips for Making the Most out of the Gig Economy in 2018

By Raph DaCosta
Social Media Specialist

As the ranks of gig workers continue to rise, freelancers and solopreneurs may feel a little squeeze. True, the booming gig economy means …well, more gigs. On the other hand, as the flexibility of the freelance life attracts more workers, that’s more competition for you.

To be successful in the freelance world, you need to be on your toes constantly. Whether it’s keeping up-to-date with new technology and tools or learning new skills, taking advantage of the gig economy in 2018 will require you to up your game. Use these strategies to launch a great year.

1. Think like an entrepreneur.

As a freelancer, you’re basically a small-business owner — so start thinking like one. When you’re an employee at a larger corporation, your skills, passion and drive for your work may be enough to thrust you to the top. When you freelance, however, you need a long-term strategy, or risk getting tunnel vision and spinning your wheels every day just to get projects completed.

Successful small businesses share many of the same elements. For starters, they have:

Thinking like a business owner or entrepreneur creates a much broader view of your freelance career. Plus, it puts you in a better position to face the “feast or famine” of the freelance life.

2. Be more strategic about clients and projects.

Once you start thinking like an entrepreneur, you need to evaluate opportunities through a new lens. First, ask yourself, what are you truly selling? If you’re earning money just for your skills, you’re missing out.

Think more holistically about what value you bring to your clients and how you can help them solve their problems. How can you leverage that into higher earnings? Do you have unique expertise or a niche specialty? Can you package your services to make them more attractive? Do you have an established reputation for exceptional customer service?

Second, don’t take on new clients and projects based solely on the income potential. Offer introductory pricing rather than a permanent discount to a client who’s on the fence, take on a pro bono project if it enhances your portfolio, reconsider whether to charge per hour or per project and learn when to say no.

3. Add new offerings for your clients.

A business grows by adding new products or services. Diversify while evolving with the needs of your customers as well as with the market and your industry. Some simple ways to do this:

4. Streamline your work.

As the saying goes, work smarter, not harder. Technology can be used in more than one way to streamline your daily work.

  • Use apps like Trello or Asana for online collaboration, Wunderlist or Todoist for task management, and Zapier or IFTTT for app integration.
  • Manage customer service with a mix of tools.
  • Outsource non only your nonessential tasks like accounting or transcription but also some second-tier work like research and social media updates — use your valuable time on strategic work instead.
  • Save time by conducting most of your meetings remotely via video conferencing.

5. Start building your nest egg.

You love your work so much, you never want to retire, right? But do you really want to bet on the gig economy remaining robust all the way through your golden years? Not to mention it’s a lot more fun to stay active in retirement through play instead of work.

If you’ve been putting off retirement savings, start stashing away a little cash. Besides, if you use these ideas and boost your profits this year, there’s no excuse for not starting this new habit now.

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