Nowadays, the “side gig” has become all the more common. While many still maintain full-time work, the independent contractor has become a staple in the US economy. The good news is, you don’t have to give up your full time employment to take part in the gig economy. For many people, it just takes the form of monetizing a hobby they already do in their free time. The difference between those who strike gold, and those who don’t, is effort. Not only in your work ethic, but in your online presence and scheduling. To make sure you maximize your earning potential, here are some great tips on how to earn big in the gig economy.
One big mistake a lot of side-hustlers make is spreading their focus too wide. Casting a wide net can seem useful at first, but long-term business comes from building a book of business. The best way to do this is to begin by focusing in on one particular skill you have, and hitting it hard from the get-go. You can diversify later, but if you want steady income, spend your first months developing a clientele and a good reputation at one trade. Use that initial endeavor as the anchor for your independent work, and you’ll find yourself ready to be your own boss much sooner than if you spread your efforts around many different jobs.
Getting clients for your side gig is more than just posting ads. While it is vital to have adds up on all relevant sites like Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist, having a central point of entry is extremely important. Instead of just dropping your contact info on each ad, get ahold of a cheap or free web domain and create a site for your trade. This way, you can direct people to a website focused on you and your portfolio. Now, instead of saying “they did great, I found them on Craigslist,” your clients can send a link to their impressed friends and family. Now you are dealing with a faster referral process, and much less competition. The site will also provide more space for you to explain what you do, and how well you do it.
Consistency is key. If you have a set schedule of when you can get jobs done, make it public and stick to it. One of the biggest issues people have with independents is reliability, and you can be the one to change that impression. Having this schedule public will also serve to reduce friction in the customer acquisition process. “Can you do 6pm on Thursday?” leads to a close much faster than “When are you able to come by?” As with anything, the more information you give at the onset (without overloading) the less they need along the way. When it comes to business that more or less has to finds you, a fast initiation process can make or break you. People are usually asking around many different ads, and the person who can close them the fastest will usually win the day.