How to Thrive as a Freelancer or Contractor in the Gig Economy


Many people work in the gig economy because they have had enough of working for one employer and want the freedom to choose their projects. Others are looking for a way to make some extra cash or use their skills as an outlet for a hobby. But being a freelancer has pros and cons, and balancing your time between your main projects can be tricky.

You need to keep many things in mind when you are a freelancer, and it is important to plan ahead. You must be prepared for fluctuations in your income, a lack of benefits like health insurance or retirement savings, and the possibility that a client won’t pay you on time. This can be a real struggle for those accustomed to a regular paycheck where they know exactly when their money will arrive, which may cause them stress and anxiety.

Get Acquainted with the Gig Platforms

Gig workers may be paid per job, hour, or via another agreed-upon method. For example, a ride-hailing or food delivery platform driver accumulates earnings for each trip they complete and transfers the money to their high-interest bank account at regular intervals.

The gig economy benefits businesses and workers, as many small business owners take advantage of the flexibility and cost savings available through the gig platform. Often, gig workers can choose their hours, which means they can fit their work around family and personal commitments.


Social Media

Social media is an important part of any business, especially for freelancers and small businesses. It can be used to drive traffic to your website and to generate leads. It can also be used to build community and brand awareness.

Creating professional social media accounts like Instagram or LinkedIn can be a great way to showcase your work and attract new clients. Use them to share your portfolio, testimonials, and other relevant information about your services. You can even make creative posts like carousels or Stories to engage your audience and build a personal connection.

Be Flexible

A key aspect of thriving in the gig economy is flexibility when working with clients. Whether it’s an emergency or unexpected situation that requires a change in your schedule, you need to be able to adapt & respond on time.

Another crucial skill to thrive as a freelancer or contractor is effective communication skills. This includes responding to emails & messages promptly, setting expectations & providing regular updates on your work. It also involves explaining your services & pricing to potential clients, which will ensure that you get the right rates for your services.


Keep Track of Your Earnings

The gig economy is a rapidly growing segment of the workforce. According Harvard Business Review to approximately 150 million North America and Western Europe workers now work as independent contractors or freelancers.

Many people mainly work in the gig economy for more flexibility and autonomy. This allows them to set their hours, work in their office space and improve their work-life balance.

However, you must be organized and efficient to thrive as a freelancer or contractor. This includes managing your finances, setting rates, creating contracts & invoices, and keeping track of your expenses, taxes, and benefits.

Create a Plan

Creating a plan is key to freelance success because it allows you to identify goals and determine how to achieve them. A plan also helps you stay focused and determined when things get tough.

Set specific office hours with each client so that you can work on your projects predictably and efficiently. This will help you avoid misunderstandings and keep everyone on the same page, which is essential for the long-term success of your business.

Lastly, open up an online savings account for rainy days or periods of irregular income. This will allow you to avoid unexpected expenses and ensure you can cover your living costs during times of uncertainty.


Be Prepared for Unexpected Changes

Unlike traditional jobs, where you may have a steady income and benefits, working independently can mean uncertainty and irregular income.

Therefore, it is important to be prepared for unexpected changes in the Gig Economy to survive these times of uncertainty and financial instability. That includes implementing some cash flow tactics.

This could include having a budget and emergency savings, diversifying your income streams, and seeking multiple clients and projects. This way, you can still earn a consistent and predictable income even during economic downturns.

Join an Agency

Growing your freelance business can be done by forming or joining an agency with other freelancers that share your goals and objectives. This can be done by pitching joint projects to prospective clients, sharing referrals, and creating partnerships to provide a more comprehensive service. Ultimately, by creating a virtual agency, you can create a team of freelancers capable of promptly delivering high-quality results to clients. By doing this, you’ll be able to scale your freelance business while keeping quality at the forefront of everything you do.


Set Goals

Whether you’re just starting as a freelancer or have years of experience, you must set goals to succeed. Plans give you direction, help you stay on track, and keep you motivated in tough times.

Having SMART goals can make your journey as a freelancer much easier. They also help you avoid making costly mistakes.

To ensure that you meet your SMART goals, set a deadline. Having time-bound goals is key for freelancers because you need to be able to measure your progress.

Ask for Referrals

Asking for referrals can be a great way to build your business, but it takes a little strategy. First, you want to avoid over-ask or seeming like you’re trying to take advantage of them.

Instead, ask for referrals after a client has had their project delivered. This is when they see results and are genuinely happy with your work.

Consider offering incentives for referrals. These can be anything from cash to a discount on future work.


Build Your Brand Name

Creating and establishing a strong, unique brand is important for any business. A freelancer must be able to communicate to prospective clients their unique advantages to see why they should choose them over the competition. Building your brand and becoming a trusted expert in your field is crucial to succeed as a freelancer. This can be done by regularly posting updates on social media and building a portfolio of your work online.