working at home freelancer

Freelance Freedom Exposed: 5 Ways to Rock the Gig Economy Lifestyle When You’re New to Freelancing

 According to a research study from MBO Partners on the #futureofwork, by 2027, 58% of American workers will have become part of the independent worker economy ( When you consider this freelance freedom statistic is only for workers in the U.S.A., you realize how pervasive the movement to the gig economy truly is. Workers are flocking to employment opportunities that allow them to work on their own terms. Data from SoftChoice ( indicated that 74% of workers would quit their current job for an employment opportunity that allowed them to work remotely. ‘Working for the man’ is changing; today’s version is often more about working for yourself and building a formidable financial future than toiling away for a corporation for your entire working life.

But wanting to enjoy the life of a freelancer and actually succeeding as part of the gig economy are two different stories. It’s one thing to want to work from home or from a tropical beach and quite another to successfully transition to a profitable career with an abundance of freelance clients. Understanding how to make the most of the gig economy lifestyle is crucial for those who want to succeed long term as a freelancer. If you want help learning how to make the freelance life work for you, following are a few crucial truths you need to face.

1) If you don’t know how to (or are too introverted to try) market yourself, your chances of succeeding as a freelancer are limited. Marketing yourself and your talents is critical for business success in the freelance world, even if all your income comes from gig economy platforms that connect you with clients. You must be able to sell a potential client on your talents if you are going to land well-paying gigs on a regular basis. The key to success as a gig economy worker is to build a roster of happy clients and you’ll only land those clients if you can convince them of your talents. If you do only one thing to improve your odds of success in the gig economy, start learning how to build a brand around yourself and how to market your expertise.

2) Market research is another essential component of long-term success as a freelance worker. If you are new to freelancing, one of the smartest moves you can make is to focus your talents on business sectors with deep pockets and a shortage of talent. Rather than trying to compete with millions of global freelancers all chasing the same type of ‘economical’ clients looking for the cheapest freelancer, focus your efforts on building a solid reputation in a high-paying industry desperate for talent. Use a search engine like or to investigate global companies offering top wages in a sector related to your talents, and then start to hone your reputation as a freelancer within those sectors. Whether it’s freelance technical writing for writers or UX designing for global oil-and-gas corporations, the key is to combine your talents with high-paying business sectors. You can easily become a six-figure per year freelancer if you focus on top-tier clients instead of bottom feeders.

3) Another essential truth new freelancers need to understand is that connecting with high-paying clients isn’t going to happen on a continual basis if you are using freelancer-for-hire platforms. Whether you’re trying to make a living as a housekeeper, a writer, a driver, or a designer, banking your future on a freelancer-for-hire platform is a pathway to nowhere. While these on-demand worker platforms are an option for those wanting to investigate the types of jobs companies are hiring gig workers for, they’re not a sound option for those wanting to build a thriving freelance business. The sooner you realize gig worker platforms are a good business research tool and not a good client connection tool, the sooner you’ll start to increase your income as a freelancer.

4) Your reputation is everything when you are trying to make a living in the gig economy. What you say on public forums can come back to haunt you. How you behave on social media will influence the type of clients who will hire you. If you want to build a long-term, profitable future as a freelancer worker for hire, it is imperative you start thinking of every online action as a reflection on your business. Start thinking of your services and your talents as a brand and not just as some random freelancer trying to make a living online. Switching your mindset from ‘freelancer for hire’ to ‘solo-entrepreneur service-based business’ and you’ll find you start behaving like a professional online.

5) Being new to freelancing doesn’t have to mean toiling away in the low-paying gig sector until you’ve earned the right to ask for higher-paying gigs. Understand from the beginning that you’re running a business and you decide what your services cost; clients don’t get to tell you how much they’ll pay.

Learn these essential freelancing truths early on and you can totally rock the gig economy lifestyle as an on-demand worker. Fail to face these tough-love truths and you just might find freelancing freedom isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.


Freelancer working on branding

10 Personal Branding Tips All Freelancers Should Embrace and Use

More and more people have taken to freelancing as their path to financial independence, and for good reason. They get more control over their lives, while simultaneously avoiding the pressures and issues of leading a company. However, there is a task that both companies and solo freelancers must accomplish well – building a brand.

The fact that you’re doing this alone doesn’t mean you can ignore the development of your personal brand. It’s what will make your name stick in the mind of clients, which will help them remember your name if they need more of the same work, or if they’re asked to recommend a freelancer to another business. Fail to do this, and you’ll fail to create any sort of consistent income. Here are ten things you can do to make sure your personal brand is top-notch and memorable:

1.    Make a Personal Website

Personal websites are a dime-a-dozen, yet many freelancers opt out of making their own. This is a tremendous missed opportunity. While you’ll get most of your jobs through direct application, you can get just as many by having a website with your portfolio on it. Not only will it generate organic job opportunities, it’ll give referrers something to point potential clients to that can show off your skills.

2.    Price Aggressively

One of the most interesting quirks in selling a product is that setting a low price isn’t always the best call. You might get more sales, but the amount of money you make for the hours you work will be middling – and money isn’t made by spending a lot of time making little money. It’s far better to sell a small number of products for a high price than vice-versa. Using this approach will mean you don’t get the rush of constant acceptance from companies taking your offer, but it will also mean that you’ll make the most out of your time.

3.    Ask for Reviews

As a freelancer, your reputation is your life. Much of the reason developing your personal brand is so important is because it gives you more control over how you are perceived. That’s why you need to ask clients for reviews, and not just on the site they found you. If they can put in a good review for you (that you deserve) across multiple sites and platforms, you’ll greatly increase your exposure and improve your reputation with every well-done job.

4.    Pay to Develop Your Brand

There is only so much brand development you can do for free. Eventually, you’ll have to pay for something you can’t do well, whether it’s copy for your website or a great logo. The gig economy is only going to get bigger, and you’ll need to stand out from the crowd. Winging your brand simply will not do. It’ll cost money to professionally develop your personal brand, but it’s money well spent, as a good brand will make you more money down the line.

5.    Focus on Good Work

Freelancing isn’t for everyone. The lack of consistent income can send stress levels skyrocketing and compromise your decision making. This can cause you to try to sell your work just so you can make rent. While difficult, it’s often better to stifle this instinct and to focus wholeheartedly on making sure the customer gets what they want.

When you work for someone, you’re not just building a relationship with them – you’re securing referrals and future hiring opportunities. While you shouldn’t sell yourself short, keeping your focus on good work and serving customer needs will help ensure that you have a semi-steady stream of income heading your way.

6.    Collaborate with Other Freelancers

If your skills are good enough, you’ll find someone to hire you. However, projects are not completed through a single skill-set alone. Most companies will hire swaths of freelancers to accomplish a task no single worker can do. While some freelancers may see this as a sign that they should expand their skill-set, you should take this as a sign that collaboration cannot be avoided.

Collaborating with other freelancers not only gives you a network, it will help you secure more jobs. When they get work that requires skills they don’t have but you do, they’ll recommend you – and vice-versa. If your collaborators have websites of their own, put links to those sites on your own page and they might do the same for you, expanding your reach and brand.

7.    Develop a Strong Portfolio

Much like the standard hiring process, potential employers will first check out your history and portfolio before ever considering an interview. Consider a good portfolio the metaphorical foot in the door. Without one, doors will close before you ever have a chance to make a good impression.

It doesn’t matter what your field is. You can make a portfolio of your work. Graphic or web design, management, writing – get your work up on your website, and make sure any job applications you have point towards them.

8.    Find Your Niche

Talk to two experts in a single industry long enough, and you’ll realize that even people who went to the same school and studied the same things have their own specializations. The same should be said of your freelancing career. You may be among millions of designers, but each one caters to different people.

Think about your skills and the problems they can solve. The companies and people who have those problems are your primary customers.

9.    Invest in a Network

No man can do it alone, even freelancers making their way on their own. You might be the sole member of your team, but that doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from allies and a network of compatriots who can help you find work and improve your skills. Unfortunately, this is not something that often comes together naturally. You’ll need to get out there, visit websites, attend seminars – go to where your people are and start bonding with them. You don’t need to bond with everyone, but you do need a network. So work at it.

10.    Guest Post

One of the challenges facing your freelancing career is developing your authority. Unless you’re a recognized expert, you’ll need to do something that gives your name and personal brand a quick starting boost. A good way to achieve that is to start writing or working on projects that show off your knowledge on reputable sites, but that’s only the start.

You can and should promote your guest posts on your own site, as well as on your social media platforms. A guest post with a reputable company or outlet lends you their reputation and credibility, so the more people you get to see your creation, the bigger the impact it will have on your standing.

Crafting your personal brand is time-consuming, difficult, and sometimes boring, but your success as a freelancer depends on it. Gone are the days when you can just work well and rely on word of mouth to keep your one-man business afloat. Competition is fierce, and you need to be fiercer to succeed.


gig economy doordash

5 Tips To Succeed As A Freelance Worker In The Gig Economy

More and more people around the world are now working temporary and short-term contracts. This is the gig economy. Whether it’s through one of the major freelance platforms, such as Fiverr and Upwork, by marketing yourself and cold-calling clients the old fashioned way, or driving for Doordash or Uber, it’s undeniable that the trend toward the gig economy is showing no sign of slowing.

It’s predicted that by 2020, 40 percent of Americans will be working as independent contractors. It’s also important to note that internet access around the world has risen sharply in the past decade. This is allowing an unprecedented degree of access to labour from around the world.

If an economy can be explained through supply and demand, the gig economy’s supply can exceed entire national populations because nearly anyone can participate.

If you find it hard to compete for jobs where you live, your challenges become much more complicated when competing with the world. This doesn’t make it impossible; it just means that you will need to understand very well where you can provide value and how you can satisfy someone’s need for that value.

How can you set yourself apart from the pack?

1. Provide consistent levels of quality.

This applies whether you’re a complete novice or seasoned expert in your niche. Providing high-quality content adds value to your clients and builds a good reputation.

Take writing for example. Poorly written content, or even worse, “scraped” or plagiarized content can result in SEO punishment for the client if they’re trying to get their blog or website on the first page of search engine results. Proverbs 10:4 says that “the hand of the diligent maketh rich.” Good quality work done diligently can result in your ability to command higher prices than competitors.

2. Diversify your sources of work.

Platforms such as Fiverr and Upwork can be excellent for connecting freelancers with clients, but both come at a cost. 20 percent of your earnings will be lost in exchange for your ability to use these platforms.

While it may be worth it when starting out to accept this 20 percent hit, you’ll eventually want to look for clients on your own and negotiate for fair rates.

Connecting to potential clients in your niche requires drive and persistence, but eventually, you can begin to build up your network and get noticed outside of these platforms.

3. Build a portfolio.

Related to the previous point, you’ll want to assemble a portfolio exhibiting your proficiency in your niche.

Whether it’s video editing, translation, programming, or anything else you excel at, be sure to have some examples of your work ready to show potential clients. This will let them know that you’re serious, organised, and capable of getting the job done.

Websites such as, or better yet, your own blog or website can be a good foundation to introduce clients to your portfolio. Be sure to include a good photo, a little blurb about yourself, and a catalogue of some of your best work. New freelancers should consider building a portfolio as they go along with their work. Don’t be afraid when starting out to ask clients if they’d mind if you can use your work for them in your portfolio.

4. Set fair prices.

One mistake a lot of budding freelancers make is that they set their prices extremely low for exposure. This is a debatable topic, whereby some will claim that it’s recommended in the beginning whilst others will maintain that you should not sell yourself short. This will be one of the first things that you should consider, because if you set too low a price initially, you may find it harder to justify raising them later. On the other hand, if you start out with high prices for your labour, you may find it hard in the beginning to win contracts. This is up to you.

5. Know your competition.

Online, you’ll be competing very often with people from all around the world where wages may be far higher or lower than where you live. Be prepared to be underbid for prices that are already far below minimum wage (if there is one) in your country.

It’s not uncommon for clients to request native English speakers for writing or editing, yet offer rates that are abysmally low. “Good work doesn’t come cheap and cheap work doesn’t come good.” It may take some time, but if you are persistent and set your work at a fair price, the market will decide what you’re worth and you can re-evaluate from there.

As the gig economy continues to grow, you’ll surely find that there’s more competition but also a greater demand. It can be argued that there will always be a demand for good quality work in any niche. Look at your competition as a way to benchmark your own skills and talents. Most importantly, learn how to be adaptable and always look to get better at what you do. Hopefully, these tips can set you on the track to success.


Flexjobs freelancer

Top 10 Side Gig Apps and Sites for Freelancers

If you’re looking for a steady side gig and you have specialized skills to share, becoming a freelancer is a great opportunity to make some extra cash on your own terms. Whether you’re freelancing full-time or just to make some money to supplement your income, there’s a good chance you’ll spend a significant amount of time looking for new projects and clients. Below, we’ve put together our list of the top 10 side gig apps and sites for freelancers.

1. Upwork

With over 12 million freelancers and 5 million clients listing around 3 million freelance writing, design, and development jobs each year, Upwork has become one of the most popular platforms for freelancers to find work. Companies post job details, and freelancers can apply to the job with some details about how their background and experience is well-suited for the project. Then, the company chooses which freelancer they want to work with. Upwork does take 20% of the project fee, but this is a great platform for those who are new to freelancing and trying to build up their clientele.

2. Fiverr

Fiverr gets its name from the company’s premise that every freelance job starts at just $5. Though this may seem like a low price to charge for freelance work, you are able to set up tiers above the base $5 option to charge appropriately for different services. You decide which gigs you want to create (or services you want to offer) and then you post them to your profile. When clients want the service, they can pay you to deliver. It’s free to sign up, but Fiverr takes 20% of each transaction, so you’ll want to keep that in mind when pricing services.

3. FlexJobs

FlexJobs is the go-to site for not only freelancers but also for those who are looking for other remote opportunities and flexible side gigs. This platform makes it easier for freelancers and flex workers to find worthwhile opportunities, as the FlexJob team works to filter out scams and other junk opportunities so users are only looking at real quality job opportunities. Though you can browse opportunities on the site for free, if you want access to the full freelance job postings, you will need to become a paid member.

Fiverr freelancer working


4. 99 Designs

99 Designs is a popular site for freelance designers that works a little differently than the standard freelance site. Clients will publish contests on the platform, and designers will submit their work. The client will then choose the design they like best and pay the designer for their work. The downside to this site is that if you don’t win, you won’t get paid for your design work. However, this can be a great way for new freelancers to build up their portfolios and earn money based on their talent and skill rather than years of experience.

5. Gigster

Gigster is a site focused on freelancers with tech expertise. Freelance software designers, web designers, and app developers can find projects as the site’s AI matches freelancers with projects based on their experience and skillset. It’s important to note that this is not a site for newbies. But experienced tech developers can find interesting web development, artificial intelligence, mobile development, and product design projects from a wide variety of companies.

6. Freelancer brings together freelance writing and design professionals and companies who have projects they need to hire for. This site has a wide variety of project types with some offering an hourly rate and others designed as contests. What’s the catch? You only get 8 free applications before you have to pay a membership fee. Once you start taking on freelance projects, the commission fee is between $3-5 or 3-5% of the project price, whichever is greater. This is one of the lower commission rates out there for freelance platforms.

7. Guru

The Guru platform makes it easy for freelancers to create a profile that demonstrates their experience and skill set, helping potential employers easily find the freelancer online to reach out about projects. Guru also features a wide variety of different job postings that freelancers can apply to, including projects for programmers and developers, designers, artists, writers, translators, sales and marketing professionals, secretaries, engineers and architects, business and finance professionals, and lawyers. Users have a limited amount of free applications, and Guru takes a 9% commission rate.

8. SolidGigs

Similar to some of the other freelance sites, SolidGigs hand-picks the freelance job opportunities you see by filtering out the scam postings and junk opportunities that are a waste of time. After combing through dozens of freelance job boards, SolidGigs sends you the top 2% of freelance gigs available each week straight to your inbox. As an added benefit, SolidGigs also has a massive resource library with courses, interviews, templates, and other tools that will help you pitch, price, and sell your freelance skills to new clients. After a 30-day trial period for $2, regular membership is $19 per month.

9. Belay

Interested in becoming a virtual personal assistant? Belay is one of the leading virtual assistant solutions companies in the United States. The site offers both part- and full-time virtual assistant positions for freelancers who want flexible, remote work as an administrative assistant. It’s important to note that Belay is looking for individuals with at least 5 years of experience in an administrative support role and availability during business hours with at least 20 hours per week to dedicate to the work.

10. Toptal

Toptal helps freelancers in the IT and finance spaces find quality gigs. Jobs can range from software engineering and coding projects to market research and product management. It’s important to note that Toptal is not the best option for those who are new to freelancing or those who only have a few years of experience in their industry. You have to apply to be able to use the platform, and the company only accepts the top 3% of freelancers.

Boost your income by taking charge of your freelance game. Try one or more of the above services as a way to supplement your full-time job.

Freelancer Working For Upwork

8 Things to Know About Using Upwork as a Freelancer

Whether you already do freelance work in some capacity or not, you probably know there are a number of tools available to connect freelancers with potential clients.

If you haven’t tapped into the platform Upwork, you might be missing out. Not only are there many jobs available, but working on Upwork also allows freelancers to offer a variety of services in the following categories:

  • Web, Mobile & Software Dev
  • IT & Networking
  • Data Science & Analytics
  • Engineering & Architecture
  • Design & Creative
  • Writing
  • Translation
  • Legal
  • Admin Support
  • Customer Service
  • Sales & Marketing
  • Accounting & Consulting

While the platform is fairly intuitive, there are a few things that are unique to Upwork as you set up a profile and begin applying for opportunities.

1. Membership Plans

There are two membership offerings on Upwork.

The Basic membership plan is free, includes 60 connects per month (see below for more about connects), provides hourly protection to ensure you’re paid for each hour worked, and secures fixed-price payments through milestones.

However, a Plus membership offers many perks, including:

  • 70 connects per month
  • Your profile will never switch to private based on inactivity
  • You can buy more connects for $1 per connect
  • Unused connects rollover (up to 140)
  • Setting to keep your earnings confidential
  • View competitor bids for any job

2. Completing Your Profile

As you set up your profile, include as much information about yourself as possible so potential clients have a clear understanding of your experience and skills.

Make sure you add a thorough overview with a summary of your experience. You can even add a video talking about your skills or showcasing your work.

Your profile will also list your hourly rate, total money earned, and number of jobs you’ve worked. Other pieces of information include location, languages, number of hours you’re available, work history, and feedback from clients.

You can also add a portfolio, skills, tests, certifications, employment history, and education.

3. Getting Paid on Upwork

Upwork is flexible in that it offers a number of ways to receive payments. Common ways include connecting to your bank account or directing to a local bank. You can also opt to use a third-party payment vendor such as PayPal or Payoneer.

Earnings become available on different schedules, depending on the type of payment. For hourly contracts on Upwork, each weekly billing cycle ends on Sunday and your earnings will be available 10 days later, the following Wednesday.

For fixed-price contracts, freelancers will be paid based on milestones. Once the client approves your milestone, funds will be available after a five-day security period has passed.

Another aspect of getting paid on Upwork is the fee taken out of your earnings. While fees can be a downside of this platform, the advantages of using a site like Upwork can sometimes outweigh the disadvantages. For the first $500 you bill to a client, Upwork will take 20%. Once you reach $500 to $10,000, Upwork will take a 10% fee.

Finally, once you exceed $10,000, the fee will go down to 5%.

4. Understanding Connects

Once you set up your account, you’ll see a number of connects listed on your account as you search for jobs. Basically, these are tokens you can use to submit proposals each month. When submitting a proposal, most jobs require two connects, but this may vary. If a client initiates contact with you first, you won’t use a connect.

5. Searching for Jobs

As you search for jobs on Upwork, there are a few things to keep in mind.

  • Search for jobs that focus on your area of expertise.
  • Look for clients who have a verified payment method – it’s nice to have that peace of mind.
  • Take a look at reviews for past jobs the client has hired for; this will give you a good idea of how they work with freelancers.
  • Filter jobs that are based in the U.S. or if you’d like to apply for international jobs, include those as well.
  • Take notice of information such as whether or not jobs are hourly, estimated time to complete, hours required, and the level at which the client is paying – Entry-Level, Intermediate, or Expert.
Upwork Freelance Tips


6. Be Realistic About Your Experience

While someone with several years of experience might not want to take a low-paying job, you should be open to taking a slightly lower paying project to start.

This could lead to more jobs with this client.

If you find you’re not being offered higher paying jobs and you feel your experience qualifies you, try to showcase your experience on your profile and when you submit a proposal.

7. Submitting a Proposal

Applying for jobs on Upwork is fairly easy, but there are a few things you should be aware of. For example, when you click “Submit a Proposal,” the top of the page will tell you how many connects are required to apply.

Next, you’ll enter an hourly rate or milestone amount for that job. This section will also clearly display how much the service fee will be and how much you’ll earn.

Finally, you’ll want to include a cover letter that details your experience and why you would be the best fit for the job.

Note that Upwork advises freelancers not to upload their resume as an attachment when submitting a proposal, but rather, include work samples or other documents.

8. Take Tests to Prove Your Expertise

Upwork provides freelancers the opportunity to prove their expertise and impress potential clients by taking free Upwork tests. You can choose tests based on category and choose the best fit from there.

If you’re a writer, there are currently 20 tests available to prove your English language ability under English Language that may prove helpful as you submit proposals.

Ready to chase after your side hustle on Upwork? Get started here.