An Aspiring Freelancer’s Guide to the Gig Economy

Gig Economy, Secure System Services, Inc.
Image Source: Pexels – Gig Economy

An Aspiring Freelancer’s Guide to the Gig Economy

For individuals seeking flexibility in their professional roles, becoming a freelancer is a great choice. Being a freelancer gives one complete control over the number of projects to undertake, pay rate, and time. Additionally, the growth of platforms such as Fiverr and Upwork has made it extremely easy to find gigs and earn a steady monthly income. For professionals looking to dip their feet into the gig economy, this article by Secure Systems Services will explore all the important steps to be followed.

Choose Your Niche

According to Fortunly, currently, around 36% of workers in the US are part of the gig economy. This number is expected to increase to 52% by 2023, making the freelancing space extremely competitive. To ensure you stand out from the crowd, it’s important to select a niche, i.e. a specialized group of customers to sell your services to. Based on your experience and skill set, here are some prominent niches to consider:

  • Blog Writing
  • WordPress Developer
  • Web Programmer
  • Graphic Designer

Your experience in the niche will allow you to quote higher prices and secure longer-term projects.

Be Realistic About Earnings

While having the flexibility to choose gigs is great, it also means that the amount you earn will be dependent on how much you work. Hence, it is important to create a realistic weekly and monthly earnings plan based on the projects you are willing to accept. Additionally, take into consideration all costs associated with the gigs, for instance, you may need to buy a new laptop, upgrade to a faster internet plan, buy a work table, or other equipment related to the gig.

If you have a varied skill set, seek to apply for roles in multiple niches, increasing the chances of you landing a gig.

Prepare for Taxes

According to TurboTax, along with income tax, freelancers are expected to pay 15.3% self-employment tax. This tax includes your contribution towards Medicare and Social Security.

But, as a freelancer, you receive numerous tax benefits as well. Below is a list of expenses that you can use as write-offs come filing season:

  •   Cost of buying business equipment
  •  Fuel costs if you frequently travel for business
  •  Home-office deductions
  •  Lodging and food costs
  • Establish an LLC If you start freelancing as an individual, you are automatically considered a sole proprietor. As a sole proprietor, the business and you are recognized as a single entity, resulting in personal finances and assets being at risk of litigation. By registering your services as a Limited Liability Company, the business becomes a separate legal entity, providing you protection from all business liabilities. Additionally, you’ll continue to enjoy all tax benefits as before. The thought of starting a business can understandably feel challenging. To help you develop the specialized skills of being an entrepreneur, consider pursuing an online MBA program. An MBA will help develop the skills of critical thinking, time management, marketing, financial management, and more which will enable you to successfully run a freelancing business.
  • Streamline Your Work with Software

Freelancers need to manage numerous important responsibilities at once such as – applying for gigs, discussing project guidelines with clients, working on projects, and more. Trying to manage all these responsibilities manually is tedious and inefficient. To help you manage all work-related needs consider using the following types of software:

  • Project Management: This tool will help you to stay on top of deadlines, meeting arrangements, and other work-related responsibilities. Additionally, when working for multiple clients you’ll be able to review your schedule and provide reliable deadlines.
  • Invoicing: Using a customized invoice generator allows you to send automated invoices to clients and receive timely payments. The invoice generator will provide you with numerous templates to choose from, which can be customized using your brand colors and logo. Additionally, if needed you can print invoices and share them with clients.
  • Time Tracking: For projects that are paid by the hour, it’s important to use a time tracking app to ensure you’re correctly paid for your efforts. The current gig economy is brimming with opportunities for newcomers in all industries. Find a niche, establish your LLC and start enjoying the benefits of flexible work life.