How to Get Started in the Gig Economy and Build Your Own Business

So, you want to get started working for yourself. With access to the Internet, it’s never been easier to be your own boss and build your own successful gig-based business. Here are some of the best ways you can start on the path to creating your own business.

What You Need to Succeed

To work for yourself, you need to be able to work by yourself, without someone breathing down your neck and pressuring you to get the job done. As Plexus notes, it helps to have key personality traits in order to successfully run your own business. You need tenacity. You have to be a risk taker and possess the ability to adapt to unforeseen situations. You have to give 100 percent all day, every day. If you cannot manage your finances well, this may not be the best decision. There is no guaranteed paycheck when you do freelance work. Technology is going to be your primary means of finding and completing your work, but technological issues can arise, and software is constantly changing.

If you have a difficult time keeping up with trends, this may not be your field. However, you can acquire these qualities if you are dedicated to making things work. You need to be committed.

Find Your Niche

The gig economy and freelancing are no longer small fields. More people are filling the market, so you need to be competitive. Generalized freelancing does not exist. You may be a freelance writer, but what do you specialize in? Do you have three years of proven SEO experience? Have you proofread technical documents in the past? If you have not yet given yourself a niche, you need to decide what area is your strongest. Do you have commendations from a specific project? What do you enjoy doing the most? Is that in an area that people need work done?

You might be surprised what can earn you an income. If you are well-acquainted with social media, you could turn that into a job by marketing your skills to small businesses and help them establish a presence online. If you find a specific corner of your market, you may not need to “up sell” yourself as you did before. Let your experience do the work, and find gigs that speak to your particular skills.

Manage Your Work

As mentioned, time management is going to be one of the most important aspects to being successful in the gig economy. So, you have a project. You have a due date. A freelancer who misses their deadline is a freelancer who doesn’t get paid. This is not an office space where you can negotiate an extension. If you feel intimidated by the scope of a certain job, break it into manageable pieces. Set a timeline for each step of your project, allowing for mistakes or setbacks. Communicate effectively and be clear about what your current employer can expect from you. And if you don’t have a good laptop that allows you to work where you want and when you want, now’s the time to find one that’s affordable and beefy enough to keep up with all the programs you need to succeed.

Think Outside the Home

Often, freelancing jobs are done from our home office. You may be a virtual assistant for a week for one company, and then you might be ghostwriting guest blog posts. However, there is plenty of work that takes place offline for freelancers. Some things, like caregiving, might require some basic training, but if you have some savings, it should be easy to accomplish. Others require little to no experience, like dog walking. If you have a reliable vehicle, you could contract with a temporary delivery service and make deliveries between other jobs. Even the hospitality and labor industries are branching into temporary, gig-based employment. If you are willing and able to work outside of the home, you may be able to open yourself to new, paying opportunities.

Freelancing seems to be the employment of the present and future. All it takes is the right attitude, a reliable Internet connection, and the ability to market yourself in your chosen field. If you want the independence of being self-employed and have the drive to commit to managing your own schedule, you will be able to make the gig economy work for you.

This article was brought to you by Courtney Rosenfield. Contact us for more information.