Are you toughing things out as a freelancer right now? Wondering how to supplement your income? Gig economy jobs could provide the answer. One of the pitfalls of freelance work is lulls in work from your regular client base. And whilst you might be able to ride out some tough times, it’s always good to have some back up cash flow.
This article explores how to find gig economy jobs, how to put your best digital foot forward and how to determine which gig economy platform is the best for you.
What is the gig economy
You might have heard the term “gig economy” before. But what exactly is it? The gig economy is where you work on a number of different projects or tasks on a casual or short term basis in an independent way.
You don’t work for one employer. Or have an office to go to every day. You don’t even have a desk. You perform discrete jobs or tasks and once that work is complete, you move on to the next “gig”.
Freelancers, temporary workers and contract workers all technically work as “gig workers”. So is it for you? Especially during times of an economic downturn? It could well be the solution when you have gaps in work from more regular clients.
Finding gig economy jobs
As gig work has become more popular with workers seeking flexibility and variety in the work they perform, a huge number of gig economy websites have appeared. These websites are designed as online marketplaces. In each of these marketplaces you have tasker (those who need “things” done”) and task performers (gig workers).
Those wanting tasks done post their jobs or projects online. Gig economy workers bid for that work and when successful, work for that task poster until the job is complete. Simple right?
The best gig economy websites to visit to explore this new world of work depends on your skillset and experience. The gig economy covers a super large range of work types. From grocery collection and delivery right through to website development and strategic planning.
If you are keen to explore some of these websites, head to my Gig Economy Apps article where you will find a full run down on the most popular gig economy platforms where you can find work.
Winning work in the gig economy
It’s not all a bed of roses when securing gig economy work. In fact, the marketplace can be fiercely competitive. So you need to plan how you are going to build your professional brand on each gig economy platform (website) to enhance your online reputation.
Most sites require you to create a profile that articulates your skills and experience. Some sites even allow you to showcase some of your work. Take the time on each platform to create a professional and compelling reason for people to work with you. This will help you to win “gigs” more easily.
Take a look at other gig economy workers with a similar skillset to yourself on each platform. Pay particular attention to those who have won a lot of gig work on that website. Note how they have presented themselves in their profile and what work samples they have provided (if relevant). Take inspiration from those profiles when creating your own.
Weighing up gig economy websites
Not all gig economy websites are created equal. Some gig economy work platforms are super competitive. On some sites bidding is so cut throat that, before you know it, you have eroded your earnings to next to nothing. This is because there are no salary protections in place for this type of work.
Don’t be afraid to experiment a little with different gig economy websites to find decent quality work at a price tag you can stomach. It can take a little while and a few “gigs” to work out which websites are best for you.
You are likely to find that a couple of specific gig websites work better for you than others. Once you find a couple of platforms that work best for you, you can simply remove your profile from those websites that haven’t been a great fit.
Here’s some questions to ask yourself about each gig economy website, to work out which is the best one for you:
- How many gigs have I been able to apply for in the last 4 weeks?
- How many of those gigs have I secured?
- What’s the average value of each gig?
- How time consuming is the process to bid for each gig?
- Is payment for each gig fast and efficient?
- What percentage of earning does the platform take each time I perform a gig?
Gig economy work – a short or long term solution?
Some workers start working in the gig economy and never look back. Others decide it’s not for them. But one thing is for sure. It can be a viable option as an income earner for those of you who choose to freelance, contract or work casually.
Whether it is a short or long term solution for you will depend entirely on your unique set of circumstances and work motivation. But as they say, don’t knock it until you try it. Given gig economy work is typically a short term work commitment, you can afford to dip your toe in the water just to see what you think.