Your boss is a jerk. Your commute takes two hours a day. You spend half your time in the office doing nothing. Sometimes it seems like you could be even more financially successful while running your own business from your own desktop. You’re probably right.

More and more people are choosing to work from home for these exact same reasons and more. Meanwhile, a growing number of companies are choosing to outsource jobs, from writing press releases to designing websites, in an effort to cut down on costs. It’s a perfect fit for everyone involved, so now is the time to get in on the action.

Decide What to Do

This may be relatively easy if you’re already working as a web designer and would like to continue doing this but from home. Other careers, such as writing and programming, already have a ready-made market. For others, it may not be so easy, but there’s no reason to despair. Ask yourself these three questions: What am I good at? What do I enjoy doing? What will people pay for?

The same answer to all three questions is your new job. Remember, there’s no reason you can’t make a career change if you already have some experience in a core skill. Take a close look at would you do on a daily basis, and you might find a task that would bring in some cash while working on your laptop.

Put Your House in Order

The first thing to do is set aside a space in your home or your apartment where you can get some work done. This may be a separate room that call your office, but a corner of your bedroom or living room could serve the same purpose once you add a desk, chair and cabinet. You’ll probably get little done if your workspace is messy and cluttered, so keep it clean and organized.

You’re also going to need to maintain financial records once the gigs start rolling in. According to Business Insider, bookkeeping software could help to keep a close eye on income and expenses while simplifying taxes. And stick to a set schedule, with time set aside for finding new clients and working on contracts already in the can.

Find Your First Gigs

Now it’s time to start making some money. For certain core skills, such as the aforementioned copywriter or web developer, job boards are a solid way to start off. The online version of Entrepreneur magazine has posted a list of their top 15 sites for freelancers looking for new work.

One of those is, which offers work in 55 categories, so there’s a good chance that you’ll find something that matches your skill set. Another one, Fiverr, has a whole section entitled Fun & Lifestyle. Though many of the jobs there pay less than $10, it’s not a bad way to build your portfolio while looking for more lucrative opportunities.

Get Your Name Out

Marketing is one of the most important things that a freelancer can do, says Matthew Stibbe, founder of Articulate Marketing, in an article with 27 tips on finding new clients. Others include making pitches to potential clients on a daily basis and writing a blog to sell your expertise.

Another option is networking, and one of the best places to start is with friends, family and colleagues. It won’t even seem like work as you’re just having a casual chat with somebody you already know. Once you’re ready to move out of your comfort zone, you can check out some local networking events. Remember not to show up in full pitch mode, but get ready to socialize and have a little fun while passing out business cards on the sly.

At this stage, you should have a few clients under your belt. Remember, without a regular salary you need to stay busy getting more business in the pipeline, but there’s plenty to be hopeful about as you’re working for yourself, and what could be better than that?

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Engaging in winning strategies can give you the edge you need for success in the gig economy.

Decide on your role. Establishing your income earning goals early on will help you to understand the market and develop a professional course. If you engage customers who need more from you than you can handle, you can damage their impression of you. In developing your business plan, you need to fully acknowledge your limitations, or you’ll never meet your goals. There are four basic categories of workers in the gig economy:

  • Free agent: When you’re ready to spread your wings and make a gig venture your primary source of income.
  • Casual earner: You aren’t ready to quit your day job, and side hustle is for fun money.
  • Reluctant: You wish you had a day job, but you’re stuck trying for gig employment.
  • Financially strapped: Your day job doesn’t bring in enough money to make ends meet, so you’re doing extra work to stay in the black.

What’s your gig? To be a success in the gig economy, you’ll need to have a clear vision. For instance, you may want to work with animals, but that’s a vague notion. However, you can narrow that down to becoming a dog walker or offering a boarding and pet-sitting service. These examples of gig businesses are concise—customers understand exactly what services are being offered. Knowing your customer base and focusing on your niche helps you target your clientele effectively and meet their needs efficiently.

Sell yourself. Once you’re goals are defined, take steps to market your business. Develop a portfolio so you can show clients what you are capable of. Set up a website and business accounts on social media, create business cards and flyers, and start talking it up with friends and family members.

Work it! Being a success means you will need to be disciplined and productive. For your gig business to thrive, you need to be professional and develop a hardy work ethic. Generate realistic goals and meet them in a timely manner, and don’t allow yourself to be distracted or disorganized.

You can be a winner in the game of gigs, you just have to have the right strategies. Decide on your role, develop your niche, sell it, and work at it.

Image courtesy of Pixabay

Gigs are the new side job and, for many, a primary means of income. Being a gig master means you have control over your own finances, schedule, and life. But there are a few things you need to do before jumping into the overcrowded pool that is s free market.

Here are some suggestions on how to break into the world of self-employment.

Know what you can/want to do. If you’ve been an employee for any length of time or have a particular set of skills that other people in need of, congratulations, you are qualified for freelance work. It can be difficult to pinpoint these skills, however, if you don’t fully appreciate the value of your talents. Monster reports that some of the highest paying side hustles, such as doing independent food delivery or driving for the two major ridesharing companies, don’t require a ton of experience. If you’re looking to replace a full-time income, you will need to focus on areas in which you’re already familiar. This might be housecleaning, graphic design, or financial consulting.

Set up your workspace. When you’re working from home, you have a lot of luxuries that you don’t in the office. But you also don’t have a network of support that can keep things running smoothly. Increase your efficiency by setting up your workspace in a way that’s comfortable for you. Start by ensuring your chair, desk, and computer screen are ergonomically aligned. Look for a room that is well lit and keep your desk as clutter-free as possible. Fast Company offers more tips here.

Market for success. Your business marketing plan is paramount to your success. And there is perhaps nothing more important to your marketing efforts then your brand. One of the most difficult aspects of creating a brand is coming up with an eye-catching and memorable logo, which serves as a visual summary of your business. If your budget is low and you don’t have design skills, consider using an online business logo generator that can walk you through the steps and help you craft the perfect logo.

Understand the economics. If you’ve ever wondered why consultants tend to charge more money than a similar employee, it’s partly because of taxes. When you’re an employee, the one who signs your paycheck forks out a chunk of cash for employment taxes to Uncle Sam. Working as a freelance contractor means you will have to cover your entire tax bill yourself. The IRS requires every small business owner or self-employed individual to pay self-employment taxes. If you expect to owe more than $1000, you’ll need to make quarterly tax payments on top of filing an end-of-year tax return.

Learn to balance. An often overlooked issue for self-employed people is finding a balance between work and home. It is easy to allow your projects to overtake your life. If you want to be successful both at work and at home you’ll need to take steps to prevent your professional endeavors from interfering with your overall quality of life. Forbes explains you can do this by leveraging technology and learning how to rethink your idea of a perfect home — chores may fall to the wayside, and that’s okay. Protect your private time and you’ll see an increase in productivity.

Never get comfortable. Perhaps most importantly, you can never get comfortable doing just good enough when you work for yourself. You must always strive to improve your products or services and give your clients the individual attention they deserve.

Being a freelancer isn’t just about working in your pajamas and a enjoying a 10-second commute. It takes hard work, an entrepreneurial mindset, and a deep understanding of both business and finances. But despite the difficulties, going the gig way gives you a world of freedom you’ve never experienced and the pros almost always outweigh the cons.

Image via Pixabay