As a career coach I regularly talk to clients about the idea of starting a side hustle (an income producing activity on the side of our primary role) to explore new career paths or to create a portfolio career (one in which we have multiple career roles simultaneously). Whether you are aiming for the portfolio career or are currently looking for a new role with flexibility, it can be a great option to look at the gig economy. Lucy from Gigmine has kindly shared her knowledge on this topic with us. Over to Lucy …
Getting started in the gig economy has never been easier. There are tons of freelance jobs for those looking to begin their own business. If you want to enjoy the flexibility and added income of your own gig, begin by following these seven important steps.
Find Something Fun
One of the perks of the gig economy is that you can get paid to do just about anything. If you have a way with words, you can write freelance articles. You can get paid to drive people around town. Some people even get paid to hang out with puppies! Dog walking and pet sitting can provide you with endless nose boops and quite a bit of income, too.
Do Some Serious Budgeting
If you’re going to break out on your own, you need to have a solid budget worked out. Gig jobs don’t always provide a regular stream of income. You may have 20 clients one month and five the next, so it’s crucial to be careful with your finances. Lay your budget out in writing. Include housing, bills, and groceries in your core number. Be sure to budget for entertainment and extras as well.
Stay on Top of Your Schedule
When you’re juggling multiple clients, it can be easy to get your appointments mixed up. Make sure that doesn’t happen by working on your time management skills. Keep a calendar at home and stash a smaller one in your car or bag, to keep track of business on the go. You can also use a task management app to keep you on course. Be sure to schedule some time for marketing and social media, to get your gig business connected with new clients.
Be Prepared to Network
Starting a new successful gig means building a solid client base. You can definitely turn to your network of family and friends, but you’ll need to put in a little more work to sustain your new business. Get out in your town and talk to people about your business. Leave business cards and put up flyers in local shops and spend some time working on your social media and web presence. Online portfolios can snag you more clients and give people an easier way to contact you.
Pay Your Taxes
The one area where gig workers tend to get lost is their taxes. Without an employer taking taxes out of your salary, it can be easy to let this little detail slip your mind. To avoid ending up with a big surprise come July, check in with your accountant or the ATO to see what to expect. You may need to pay your taxes in installments throughout the year and could even end up with a refund.
Get Those Positive Reviews
Whether your working from an app or on your own, user reviews can make or break your gig business. People are so dependent on reviews these days that it’s hard to have a gig business without them. Encourage your clients to leave their feedback for you. If someone has an issue, take care of it right away to keep those five-star reviews coming.
Always Schedule Downtime
Being your own boss can give you a big confidence boost, but it also means you may be busier than before. You’ll have to put in some time to build your gig business but don’t let it take over your life. Leave some time in your schedule to relax and take it easy. When you reach your goals, treat yourself to a massage or nice meal out. Do whatever it takes to keep yourself from feeling burned out.
Gigs are a great way to earn income, try something different in your career and to build your own work schedule. If you think the gig economy is right for you, a little planning can make your career change come true. So get out there and make it happen!
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