Top Tips for Getting Started in the Gig Economy
Guest blog post by entrepreneur, developer and blogger, Lucy Reed, founder of GigMine.
Setting up a gig-style business can be daunting. You have an amazing vision, and you want to pursue your dream, but how do you do so successfully? Here are some tips for establishing your own gig-style business.
What’s a gig economy?
Investopedia defines a gig economy as an economy in which businesses hire freelancers or independent contractors instead of full-time workers. Gig employment allows you flexibility and offers employers the opportunity to engage quality workers without traditional overhead. As much as a third of the American workforce currently embraces some form of a gig capacity. A few great examples of gig-style businesses would be dog walking, dog boarding, and pet-sitting services or website designers, developers, and illustrators. Even some college professors fall into the category, working part-time at various campuses.
It isn’t enough to offer terrific ideas or a great product. In order to be successful, you will need to embrace marketing yourself. Being shy simply won’t get you anywhere, and you want to build your brand’s name recognition. You’ll need to embrace a vigorous online presence. As Entrepreneur explains, you can engage via social media, create a website for your business, and develop an online portfolio. Employ applications and tools that are designed for professional outreach and boosting your brand.
Organize your goals and time.
Engaging in an organized schedule not only helps your efficiency, it establishes your professionalism and allows you to better communicate with clients. After all, if you don’t have timelines you follow on your own, you can’t share your expectations with clients. You’ll find that as Forbes notes, many organizations prefer to hire people they can rely on, so being predictable, responsible, and punctual can be important keys to your success.
Focus. You know that saying, “jack of all trades and master of none”? Trying to start a business that’s a catch-all is a bad idea. Instead, offer potential clients work that is optimized to meet their particular needs. Trying to be all things to all businesses can make you appear to lack direction, and as some professionals point out, it suggests credibility and implies expertise when you offer a specialized focus. Offer high-quality and competence instead of trying to do it all!
Connect and communicate.
Good communication is vital to your success. You need to offer several avenues to your clients and be available via email, video chat, and the phone. With numerous options available, you can navigate projects more cleanly, avoiding missed steps or miscommunication. Also, while it should go without saying, being gracious and polite in your communication will keep you on your clients’ good side.
After your project is complete, continue to keep in touch with your clients. Follow up a few weeks after delivery to ensure each project meets expectations. Ask for feedback and be open to what you hear. Going forward, you can build on your strengths and try to reduce weaknesses. This is the perfect time to request a testimonial for your business website. You can also develop anchor clients, which some experts note can be a boon to your developing business. These would be your steady customers, and that relationship is vital to growing your business through referrals and your portfolio. Don’t underestimate the value of referrals, as word-of-mouth promotion can mean more to prospective clients than any other marketing avenue.
Pursue your success!
Building a fruitful gig-style business can be more than just your dream job. With these simple strategies, you can develop your idea successfully. Market yourself, establish organization, focus your product, communicate well, and follow up with your clients. You’ll be on the road to success in no time!
Guest Blog Post by: Lucy Reed
Guest blogger Lucy Reed, founder of GigMine, has been starting businesses since she was a kid — from lemonade stands at age 10 to a dog walking business she started in college. Inspired by the growth of the sharing economy, Lucy created GigMine (gigmine.co) because she wanted to make it easier for entrepreneurial individuals like herself to find gig opportunities in their areas.