Freelancing used to be a tedious game. It felt like hand-to-hand combat, scratching for clients, jawboning prospects until they hired you.
Then, along came email, allowing you to reach out to people far beyond your immediate geographical location. But the process still included many awkward conversations and difficulty trying to match your skills with needs.
Enter the modern freelance marketplaces like Upwork, JustAnswer, and Fiverr (These are just a few of the 200+ networks of this type around the world). Every day, these sites serve up hundreds of thousands of assignments, jobs, and projects from eager buyers who have an immediate need, a clear idea of what they want, and are actively looking for someone (maybe you) to begin work right away.
Today, millions of boomers are working in these networks doing jobs for people and getting paid from freelancers they’ve never met…and probably never talked to.
A problem for many new freelancers is that they don’t really understand how to maximize their earnings on these networks, because they don’t understand how the game is played.
New freelancers think it is about getting assignments. But there is something bigger going on here and anyone who isn’t aware of this bigger reality will limit their income.
The secret is that freelance buyers are not just looking for one person to do one job, they are looking for talent. Talent that they can use over and over again. Your initial assignments are often auditions from the buyers, to see if they want to put you on their team of “go-to talent.”
It’s far more important to find good clients rather than just one-off assignments. In today’s tight talent market (lowest unemployment in two decades) your buyer wants a freelancer they can train to do work the way they want it done. The best freelance buyers are thinking months, even years beyond the first assignment on the table with you.
Buyers are building “talent teams” of freelancers that will do work on a regular basis as part of the same team.
Even though this marketplace technology has been in use for over 20 years, advances in the ways systems match buyers with freelancers are happening every day. And every day that goes by brings faster, better internet to the farthest reaches of the globe, meaning you can work from your favorite white sand beach or mountain retreat, or from an Airbnb just a few blocks from the grandkids. This translates into more opportunity presented to you on an ongoing basis, no matter where you choose to base yourself.
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