In this virtual age many millennials, and boomers get their jobs done on a gig or freelance basis. Decades ago when I first worked in advertising, many illustrators, creative people worked on a freelance contract. No benefits. Now a days, with IT and the internet connecting people across the globe while sitting at their desk, or on their sofa, gigs are done by many different specialties. Online work portals such as Freelancer, and Upwork (formerly elance and oDesk) have hot IT, Coding, WEB design, as well as sales and marketing, gigs available for those who sign on. Basically companies will post a job description and freelancers apply and bid for the jobs. This also enables clients to preview profiles of needed skilled freelancers and invite them privately to apply to a job. Now, while $4 an hour in the Philipines, and parts of Asia will get the job done, here in the good ol’ USA we need a tad more to get by.
Jobs are categorized by Entry Level, Intermediate, and Expert levels indicating how much the client is willing to pay and what level of skills they will choose. Healthy competition is always good, it keeps you on your toes. But, when it comes down to pay levels, if a client really wants an experienced professional with actual big company experience, or key SEO and coding skills they will pay more.
On that note I’ve learned a thing or two over the years from working in-house, and as a freelancer.
Don’t Compromise Your Hourly Fee. Lessons I’ve learned tell me that the only time I will compromise on a fair hourly or monthly project fee is for a legitimate and needy non-profit. When you have to remind your client weekly that you are doing more work than you are getting paid to do because they are changing goals as you go you need to rethink the contract. Let’s say on initial conversations before any agreement was reached for work to begin, you give them advice about the trends in industry and, inside information only an experienced expert like yourself would know. This happens often. You tell them about social media opportunities or industry trade opportunities that you are aware of and perhaps even educate them to their industry insiders, but you have no agreement to do work for them at that point. Then, they say who? If a CEO, Founder or otherwise senior person in a business you are proposing work for doesn’t know what is going on in their own playing field, and you just educated them to that point – the value is priceless. Priceless to you because it tells you that they aren’t into their own industry that pays their bills, and has the exact exposure they need. Priceless to them for showing what industry knowledge is, and how far-reaching it can be, not to mention some possible leads they hadn’t thought about. The real worth of industry knowledge can well be beyond any hourly fee.
For more insight, hope and inspiration in the gig economy and small biz in general check out Barry Moltz podcast on Blog Talk radio – I posted the link below. He’s written a couple of books – latest being Getting Unstuck check it out at Barry Molz and is a small business expert appearing on TV, having his own podcast on Blog Talk Radio, (Insanity Talk Radio as he calls it) and, business book author. I met him years ago in Stamford, CT at a small business roundtable and find his insight, sense of humor and messages just the right pick me up.
He gets expert guests, such as this one with Marion McGovern to elaborate on the latest topics that come up in doing business every day. Small Business Talk Radio
Let me know how it goes and keep gigging!