The Future of Freelance and How to Stay Ahead
Recent studies suggest that freelancing is on track to become the majority employment option in the United States, by 2020. This means that at least 51% of all workers in the United States will be primarily freelance. Recent reports suggest that up to 70% of 18-21 year olds have had some form of freelancing experience, before traditional employement. With freelancing continuing its rapid growth in popularity around the world, there has never been a better time to pursue your dream job! The technology and systems that are making this possible, however, are rapidly changing. This means that being “up-to-date” in entrepreneurship looks different today than it did 10, 5 or even a year ago! This is why it’s so important that we are mentally and logistically prepared to evolve with the industry! Here are a few tips to help you do that.
1. Stay educated
The main driver of the continued growth of the creative/freelance economy is the advancement of technology. The availability of that technology has given our generation access to tools and resources they could never have dreamed of. This access has been a catalyst for possibility, but for the savvy, also for constant knowledge.
There is always someone on the first wave of a technological revolution. Someone with a keen eye, insight or information necessary to be ahead of the curve. Access to information that can help us make more informed decisions about our business, is readily available. For example, blogs like Millo or Fizzle, provide up-to-date useful information regarding freelancing and entrepreneurship!
In a freelance economy, we are almost entirely responsible for our success and our failure. It’s the tradeoff we live with for opportunities we would not have otherwise. The responsibility is on you to stay up to date, stay informed, be educated and form opinions on the state of your industry or craft! Don’t rest on what you know.
2. Don’t get too attached to any aspect of business
Similarly, we’ve seen how quickly opportunities come and go in the digital age. This can take shape in a variety of small ways: various trends in photography, web design, event styles etc. That means that at any moment, you might need to accept that an aspect of your business or style is on the way out or something else is worth considering.
No one will force you to compromise any aspect of your brand or business and you may well be perfectly successful doing what you do. For many freelancers though, the digital age offers the opportunity of new challenges or trends at a fast pace. Many of the most successful freelancers see an opportunity to evolve and strike gold. This will only continue to increase!
3. Don't be afraid to take risks
You’re only as good as your last at-bat, and with a constantly changing freelance economy, you’re gonna have to step up to the plate often. The flip side is that the risk in each potential leap has been mitigated a bit, by technology making entry to entrepreneurship a bit easier.
Think your website could use a rebrand to stay up to date with current trends? Give it a refresh and if clients come at your with clubs and knives, just set it right back! It’s a situation we would all like to avoid, of course. Just know that today, a swing and a miss isn’t the end of the world.
Risk taking is more likely to put you at the forefront of something great than it is to put you out of business. Don’t be afraid to take some risks.
4. Invest in real relationships
As evident by the abundance of creative communities meeting both online and in person, investing in real relationships within the freelance/creative worlds is crucial to the future of business. You might think you’re on an island by yourself, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Real relationships will be the support system that co-workers provided in a traditional employment setting and so much more. They are more valuable because you choose them. You aren’t forced to sit next to someone in a cubicle. You don’t have to find a way to make it work with a team you don’t connect with. No one is perfect, but investing in relationships is a chance to do business in it’s best form. Authentically.
5. Invest in the right systems
Technology is going to be important for starting your business, but also for helping you work as effectively and efficiently as possible. It’s important to do your research and know what services are available to you as they release. They could be the difference between thousands of dollars in revenue or hundreds of hours of free time.
Talk to other freelancers in your community or industry for ideas. Read blog posts. Stay up to date with influencers in your field. These are all avenues to find tips and tricks regarding the most important systems for your business.
A CRM like Dubsado can revolutionize countless aspects of your business. Asana and Slack make communicating and organizing easier than ever. Hootsuite keeps all your social media up to date and together. Go Live HQ provides beautiful website templates. The possibilities are endless, as long as you’re willing to put some time in on the front end.
The amount of information available can be overwhelming, even if it is helpful! That's why we're here to help you make sense of it all and to provide many you, with all the resources you could want! With strong ideas, work ethic, passion, and information, you can conquer an ever-changing freelance landscape and craft the career of your dreams! Ready to step into freelance? Let Dubsado make the leap, easier than ever!