The coronavirus pandemic caused disruptions in a multitude of industries all across the globe. One of the sectors with a massive impact is the freelancing or gig economy. While the relevance of the gig economy has been steadily rising since the last few years, 2020 has completely shifted its dynamics. A recent survey highlights that after the Covid-19 pandemic, 92% of the respondents are seeking to look into the gig economy in one form or another.
In this article, we explore the dynamics of freelancing in 2021. We also seek to understand the best practices that can be adopted to leverage the growth of the gig economy in 2021.
Gig Economy Growth
The gig economy has largely changed the landscape of work. The practice of seeking skill-based workers and the advantages of not being confined to a nine-to-five job has created a win-win situation for the organization as well as contractual workers. The gig economy, valued at $204 billion in 2018, is expected to reach $455 billion by 2023.
Furthermore, research indicates that 32% of organizations are keen to replace full-time workers with contractual workers. A recent report by Gartner indicates that the uncertainty of losing their jobs due to the pandemic has resulted in workers shifting towards the work models of the gig economy.
The freelance job market increased by over 25% in the duration from April to June. The number of freelancers are subsequently increasing at a fast pace. Estimates suggest that the number of freelancers are projected to increase from 57 million in 2019 to 90 million in 2028 in the United States alone. Amidst the growing concentration of freelancers in the gig economy, this article further explores some of the best practices that can be adopted to stay ahead in the game.
Tips for Freelancing in 2021
To succeed as a freelancer in 2021 would require innovative methods so as to lead in your industry. Whether you are a beginner or an expert gig worker, these are the tips that can be taken into consideration for seeking clients, offer a smooth working experience, and gradually build your portfolio.
1. Master a Skill-Set
If you are a beginner to freelancing in 2021, one of the best ways to kickstart your career is to master a specific niche. By mastering a skill-set, you are likely to build your freelancing career at a much faster pace by offering unique services in the marketplace. Even if you have generalized experience in any industry, try learning specific skill-based methods or techniques from the same sector. This will further help you in differentiating from your competitors.
2. Build an Online Presence
Social media is one of the best tools for you to set up and maintain an online presence. Websites like LinkedIn will not only help you secure new clients but will also help you build an online portfolio of your work experience. Moreover, using social media, a freelancer can help build a brand identity for their business, secure clients at a global scale, and improve the visibility of your products.
3. Start Networking
Networking is the key to secure new opportunities even in a crowded marketplace. By interacting and staying in touch with your existing clients helps you procure more work and even build relationships with new clients. Freelancers can also explore forums and groups to leverage new opportunities, build connections with peers, and gain market insights in a particular niche.
4. Build a Website
While the gig economy marketplace is filled with third-party platforms that help you connect with clients and attain jobs, they pose challenges of fees and timely payments. Furthermore, working through marketplace platforms does not aid in helping you build your identity. Building your own website facilitates you to create a professional brand identity. Creating your own website also opens up the possibility to convert freelancing into a full-fledged business organization.
One of the best practices that continue to remain significant for freelancing in 2021 is marketing your skills and showcasing your success. Email marketing continues to remain one of the most powerful tools to increase your outreach. Apart from social media marketing through paid advertisements, monthly newsletters can be another way for you to connect with your client base. Leveraging SEO techniques and updating your website with new blogs or content can also be considered to stand out from the crowd.
6. Payment Gateway
Whilst building your own website, try to make operations as automated as possible. This will help you with time management along with offering an optimized experience to your clients. One of the tools that can be integrated into your website is a secure payment gateway. Integrate a well-performing checkout page into your website for clients to securely proceed in an automated manner.
XanPay: A Cross-Border Payment Solution
XanPay is a payment gateway solution that allows freelancers, among others, to leverage its services for cross border transactions in a simplified manner. With XanPay, freelancers can engage in cross-border transactions without paying a heavy remittance fee and without waiting for days or weeks to complete a transaction.
Moreover, by integrating XanPay, freelancers can offer an additional feature of allowing their clients to pay in their local currencies. XanPay automatically converts into a freelancer's preferred mode of currency without any hindrances. Additionally, it is easy to integrate XanPay into a freelancer’s website through a REST API.
The gig economy is likely to play a much bigger role in 2021. Moreover, the definitions of ‘work’ have significantly changed in 2020 and remote work is likely to be one of the continued trends in 2021 as well. An increasing number of organizations are also seeking contractual skill-based workers as opposed to hiring a full-time worker. All these factors have further boosted the scope, potential, and dynamics of the gig economy. Employing these practices are tools to succeed in your career as a gig worker.
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