Guide to Navigating the Gig Economy: Strategies for Finding and Securing Projects

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Many creative professionals are turning to the gig economy to find work. This method has significantly increased in popularity over the years. It’s cost-effective and allows greater flexibility. With platforms like Readymade Work, it’s now easier for clients to connect with freelancers.

While a creative freelance career is very rewarding, it comes with its fair share of challenges. One struggle many new freelancers have is securing their first project. Throughout this article, we’ll share advice from real freelancers on how to navigate the economy and secure your first project.

Focus on Your Niche

There are several types of freelance jobs available. People can find gigs for graphic design, copywriting, social media management, and everything in between.

When creating a professional portfolio for freelance work, it’s important to focus on one niche. For example, if a client is looking for a coder, they don’t want to sift through samples of logo designs and copywriting pieces to see what you can do. If your profile doesn’t focus on a specific type of work, it will be more difficult to grab a client’s attention.

If you have multiple skills and talents that you want to monetize, you still can. But you should set up separate focused profiles to showcase your work. For example, you can have one specialized portfolio for coding work and a separate portfolio for logo designs.

Build a Strong Online Presence

Creative freelancers need to build a strong online presence to create job opportunities. After all, this is how clients will find you. Creators need to leverage their talents to create a well-curated portfolio online.

Readymade Work makes it easy for creators from all industries to build their online presence and showcase their work. They can write engaging descriptions and use tags to help clients find their work.

Make Use of Freelance Platforms & the Features

Several features on Readymade Work help creators increase their chances of landing work. One of the most efficient things you can do is utilize every feature available in your profile (as long as it’s relevant to your industry niche).

If you’re creating your portfolio, you don’t have to wait until you land your first gig on Readymade Work to start showcasing your work. You can add projects that you’ve completed outside the platform. Additionally, you can also kick off your profile with a bang and create ready-to-sell projects. Show off your abilities from the very beginning.

Nourish Client Relationships

Building professional relationships is key to landing collaborations. Recommendations and word-of-mouth referrals are big in the gig industry. Experienced creators get a fair share of their current gigs from being recommended by previous clients and other freelancers.

Once you start landing clients, it’s important to nourish the relationships. A good relationship can lead to future work from the client. It can also create potential for referrals, which will help you expand your professional network. Here are some of our tips for maintaining client relationships for further collaborations.

  • Keep open communication.
  • Provide updates on the project to let the client know how it’s going.
  • Follow all instructions.
  • Ask questions any time that you’re unsure about something.
  • Submit the work by the deadline.
  • Be open to changes.

Pricing Strategies for Freelancers

One of the advantages of being in the gig industry is that you can set your own rates. You can also be flexible with your rate for different projects. There are different ways that you can set your pricing:

  • Price by project & size
  • Hourly rates
  • Packaged prices
  • Retainer model fees

How you price your work is 100% up to you. That being said, your pricing strategy will play a role in securing gigs. There are a few things that should come into play when creators set a price. This includes skill level, competitor’s rates, and the client’s budget.

Ultimately, you should set a fair rate based on your experience level. Always be open for negotiation, especially at the beginning of your career. As you gain more experience in the industry, you will be able to increase your rates.

Effective Time Management

When you begin working freelance gigs, you will be in charge of your own schedule. You won’t be working on the client’s clock. Instead, you will agree on a deadline date. Using your time effectively is 100% on you.

Every project you take on will have different requirements. But, as you become familiar with your craft, you will be able to estimate average timeframes for completing the work. This can help you set realistic deadlines that you’re able to meet. Some other tips that can help with time management include:

  • Track how long each task takes.
  • Prioritize your task so you know what needs to be completed first.
  • Establish a working routine.
  • Eliminate distractions from your work area.
  • Avoid committing to more projects than you can handle.

Navigating the Gig Economy

Creators can monetize their talents through gig work. Having the freedom and flexibility to work a creative career is very rewarding. However, landing your first project can be challenging. We highly suggest that every new freelancer takes the time to create a specialized portfolio tailored to their chosen niche. Use this profile as a way to showcase what you’re capable of creating and show why you’re a valuable asset to clients’ brands.

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