You have probably heard about the revolution of the job marketplace that is linked to the development of the gig economy, which can be described as an environment in which organizations contract with freelancers using short-term engagements to get a specific task done such as a website design, writing, translations, programming and others.
Several marketplaces can be considered as typical of the gig economy such as Fiverr or Upwork and are now described as an opportunity to promote new ways of working.
Even though we can discuss the nature of the work relation and the lack of job security that is inherent to the freelance activity in the gig economy, I would like to share here 5 simple tips that can make the difference for those who wants to be successful on these freelance service marketplaces.
Build a clear freelancer profile
This may seems simple but on the freelance marketplace, your profile is the first thing that the customer will see and there are usually a lot of profiles in competition for one offer except if you have very rare skills which we will discuss in the next point.
Depending on the marketplace, you basically will have three choices:
- Option 1: Create a professional profile with your real name, expertise, hourly rate, location, job sucess. This model is mostly used on marketplace such as Upwork and Guru for example. In this case, take notes that customers may also use these information to look at your experience, using professional networks, such as Linked In for example, which is why it is important to display a very professional profile.
- Option 2: Create a seller profile with either your name or a public display name (pseudo) and the specific service you propose. This type of profile is mostly used on Fiverr for example.
- Option 3: Create a company profile if you already own a company. This is for example the solution chosen by some providers on Guru who use this marketplace to promote their services.
Whatever is the solution you decide, make sure that your profile fits the marketplace you propose your service on.
Be clear about the freelancing pros and cons
Starting as a freelancer is an exciting journey but is also a challenging one. Many professionals have taken this journey before you and, like you would do by discovering travels blog from others when preparing your next road trip, I encourage you to look at other freelancer stories before to start your own activity.
A very good guide to read before to start is available here on the website of Toptal. Toptal is a company dedicated to propose solutions to hire elite independent contractors and has a large experience of the freelancing industry.
Among the pros identified by Toptal, you will not be surprised to find the better lifestyle control which goes with the fact that as a freelancer you can adjust your workload, rate and the time you want to work at. Of course, it also depends on your activity and the demand for your services.
The cons are mainly linked to the unpredictability of your revenues, together with the difficulty of running a business. At some point, when sharing with freelancers I also discovered that some of them missed the fact to work with a team. This last point is important to consider when you want to work as a freelancer, you need to be able to create your network accordingly.
Present precisely your skills and expertise and segment your offer
Job marketplaces like Fiverr or Upwork are skills and tasks based. This is another specificity of these marketplaces and that is also why there is a high volume of job and tasks exchanged on these platforms.
It means that in your profile, in order for your customers to understand your services, you have to be very precise in the skills and services you offer. One example: if you are a mobile developer, precise which tools you master, for example for iOS if you master iOS SDK, Xcode, or if you develop under Android using JavaCore, Kotlin. This is just an example but it shows the importance of being precise in your skills description.
Also, depending on the marketplace, you can propose different services that can be displayed on your profile. As these marketplaces are tasks and service based, you have to be precise in what you offer. Fiverr is a good example of that. You can offer to develop 2 logo in 3D for 5 dollars in 24h for example. And if you can provide several services, split them in very specific services. This will add clarity in what you can offer and you will likely attract more customers.
Align your market price
This is actually crucial on these marketplaces. You need to know the value of the service you provide. On some pmarketplaces you can propose a fixed price. On others you can propose an hourly rate depending on the nature of the job to be done. Whatever is the solution you use, you need to regularly compare your prices with your competitors and eventually to adjust your prices. Having good ratings and customer feedbacks can be a way to propose more premium services for an higher price, but be smart in managing your proposal in order to follow the market rules.
Market your end products and customer feedbacks
The last tips I wanted to share is to market your end products, so that your potential customers know what you will deliver and when. It is important to show examples of your jobs, and to promote your customers feedbacks (which is generally done by the ratings of the marketplace). Your response time is also very important, so take care of your customer service as some marketplace show your response time.
I will publish other articles on the gig economy, and on these new types of job marketplaces, but I already hope that you will find this article useful and that for those of you who want to try this adventure, it will give you some interesting tips!