Tips to Building Your Own Gig-Based Business
Whether you’re unemployed, newly graduated or looking for a change, the gig economy represents both a challenge and an opportunity. More companies, including those in the IT, finance, project management, writing, software development and customer service sectors are turning toward contract and freelance employees because of their affordability.
If you’re an independent contractor, you’ve got more control over your career and more autonomy because you work for yourself. LinkedIn predicted that by 2020, freelancers and independent contractors will make up 43 percent of the U.S. workforce.
Looking to build your own gig-based business? Here are some useful steps to get started.
Evaluate your expertise and passions
If you’ve got a background as an administrative assistant, it doesn’t take much to make the jump from that to working as a personal assistant. If you’re a web developer, parlay that skill into building apps. Work for a gym as a personal trainer? Partner with apartment complexes and retirement communities to create and host classes for residents.
Have a hobby you love? Consider whether it would make a profitable career. Maximize your options by building a career portfolio. Completely stumped about where to start? Start with assessing your skills and go from there!
Evaluate the market to find your niche
Lynda Falkenstein, author of Nichecraft: Using Your Specialness to Focus Your Business, Corner Your Market, and Make Customers Seek You Out, says “Good niches don’t just fall into your lap; they must be carefully crafted.” She recommends this seven-step process.
Set goals and stick to them
Lists are perfect for keeping yourself on-track and motivated. Plus, there’s something viscerally satisfying about crossing something off that “to do” list. Generate lists of daily, weekly, monthly, annual goals. Revisit those lists and goals regularly to adjust as needed.
Publicize and advertise
Utilize the resources you have—connections with past employers, your LinkedIn network and social media—to get your message out. Define your message and find channels that most effectively tell your story. Don’t neglect your audience—your message should include your value proposition.
Cultivate your digital footprint
Update all your online profiles: LinkedIn, Facebook, website, Yelp, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, and your portfolio. Taking time to build and maintain a digital footprint will pay dividends as you increase your market penetration, drive brand awareness, and grow your client pipeline.
Designing a workspace that’s right for you
When you’re working primarily from home, ideally you should have a dedicated room to use as your office. You probably won’t need a ton of tools and products to start, but the bare minimum includes:
Channel your inner resilience
When you’re considering hanging out that shingle, embrace a willingness to experiment and try new things. Use your network and connect with fellow entrepreneurs and freelancers.
Cultivate and channel your inner resilience. You’ll face setbacks and failures as you launch and establish your business. You’ll probably spend a lot of late nights, weekends and spare time working to gain momentum.
Choosing to be your own boss, however, will push you to your limits; allow you the chance to follow your passion; give you creative control; and provide plenty of challenges and opportunities for success.
Guest Blog by Lucy Reed Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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