Launching into the Gig Economy!
Whether you’re entering the “gig” (aka freelance) economy for short-term cash or long-term income security, there are important steps to consider along the journey.
Please note: As BoomerWorks expands its educational offerings, it is our intent to provide detailed trainings on all aspects of this instructional guide. If there are additional topics you would like us to cover, CONTACT US and let us know how we can help.
All links on this page were correct at the time of publication, however, if you encounter a link that doesn’t work, you can do the following: Notify us about the broken link, and Put on your thinking cap, use your creativity and do some Internet research yourself!
Where do I start?
- Define your “lane(s).” This should be a professional skill (or set of skills) that you can repurpose into short term gigs or a long-term business.
- Determine if you have a “tribe.” Decide if you want to target an industry or mission where you know the challenges you can solve, and have an established network.
How do I decide what to offer?
- What do you do extremely well? Determine your “superpowers.”
- Find the urgent problem. Solve problems that are time sensitive and can’t be done in-house.
How do I market myself?
- Decide your UVP (unique value proposition). What makes your skills special?
- Research competitors’ websites. Learn from how others brand themselves.
- Nix your resume. It’s usually not needed for gig work.
Where do I find clients?
- Use “On Demand” websites. Check out some examples on our Fast Cash Options list!
- Create a simple website. GoDaddy’s “GoCentral” web builder is quick and easy.
- Engage in social media / blogs. Great way to offer continual value to customers.
- Become a speaker. Lots of local networking groups have regular speaking slots.
- Attend networking events. See below for specific networking tips.
- Schedule networking coffees with “alliance partners.” Network with your tribe.
- Do great work! Best way to get referrals.
How can I make the most from networking events?
- Always dress in professional attire.
- Bring business cards.
- Introduce yourself while standing at the food / coffee table
- Develop an elevator pitch.
- One for people in your tribe / lane who will “get” what you do.
- One for person “on an elevator” who likely won’t “get” what you do.
- Only share more detail if they ask.
- List where you met them on back of their business card.
- Follow up next day. Send a LinkedIn invitation + a coffee request.
- It’s about building a relationship NOT asking for business!
- People do business with those they know, like and trust.
- Earn the right to ask for something by asking first how you can help them!
- Be a “go-giver,” not a “go-taker”
How do I negotiate contracts?
- Ask an expert. Download David A. Fields’ Sample Consulting Proposal. Also make sure to sign up for his e-newsletter. It’s terrific!
- Research the internet. Search phrase: “negotiating a freelance contract.”
What are the operational steps I should consider?
- Register as an LLC or S Corp. Consult with your accountant.
- Create a simple website. (See above “Where do I find clients?”)
- Create business cards. Vistaprint or Moo are great choices.
- Update your LinkedIn profile. Showcase the gig skills you can offer.
- Hire an accountant. Unless you are one already.
What about health benefits?
- Check out FreelancersUnion. This nonprofit was started to provide gig workers with health benefits (and other types of support.)
- Check out ehealth. This is an online benefits broker that offers a range of health plans especially for singles and families.