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What should freelancers do during slow periods with little work?

By GigMastery | 26 March | 5 Min Read

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Slow periods with little work, a daunting challenge for any freelancer. It is easy to succumb to the fear of not landing new projects anymore. Depending on your field of expertise, there can be some months when work seems to slow down.

Let us look at some ideas on what you can do when the workload is slow:

Work on your brand

Even though you are an expert at working on your client's brands (especially in my case as a digital marketer), freelancers have a bad habit of neglecting their own brand. Brand perception is becoming an important decision factor when buyers decide on a purchasing freelance services. During the slow months, It’s a great opportunity to market yourself and to build or update your portfolio to showcase your skills. Using social platforms like YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram give you the opportunity to be creative when promoting yourself. When creating profiles across your various social accounts, ensure consistency in your descriptions, work samples and quality.

Diversify your skill

Diversification is a nice way of mitigating the risk of slow times. When the demand for one service is low, one of your other skills could carry you through. Acquire this alternative skill through completing online courses and practice in your spare time. This makes it easier when your primary skills are not being purchased to keep generating an income.

Keep your profile up to date

It is a boring yet important task for almost all of us, during slow periods update your portfolio to showcase your latest projects and achievements. Keeping your portfolio updated shows your customers you’re progressing by expanding your work, skills and achievements.

Do not stop marketing

Marketing is a never-ending endeavour. When work has slowed keep promoting yourself to potential clients as well as keeping in touch with existing contacts. Keep your communication with customers professional, because well written correspondence shows the customer you’re making the effort to establish and maintain a relationship with them.

Reflect and Improve

During seasons when work is slow, it’s a great idea to perform a retrospective look at your performance and analyse customer feedback. When doing this, take a step back from your bias and step into the shoes of the customer. Identify your areas of improvement and create a game plan on how to achieve the improvement goals. Ensure your goals are measurable. Set milestones to ensure the goals are achieved.

Remember, you are your own boss. You work for yourself and you are the brand. Like every successful organisation, you too need to make the effort to continuously improve. Slow periods when freelancing is more of an opportunity that a loss. Capitalise on this time to mature in both your own character and your quality of delivery to customers.

Lastly, I encourage every freelancer to connect to a community of freelancers. This helps you to share experiences and ask advise from like-minded individuals.

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26/03/2021

How to Start Freelancing While Working Full Time: Part 2 (another 3 steps)

By GigMastery | 25 January | 8 Min Read

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Okay, so lets not waste any time. I'm excited to jump straight into part 2 of this series. But before I do, here's a quick recap of part 1. If you haven't read part 1, please click here to read it. In part 1 we covered the first 3 steps, I recommend you follow to start freelancing while working full time. They are:

  1. Goal Definition
  2. Find a Niche that is Profitable
  3. Identify Your Target Customers

The next three steps are:

4. Calculate Strategic Pricing for Your Services

I've covered extensively about the right price that you should set for your services before you get started, and to reiterate, your price should be based on your value, and not be based on what your competition is charging.

Do not allow anyone else to determine on your behalf the terms by which your value is defined. One of the greatest lessons I've learned through freelancing, is that the higher your rates, the less customers complain. The reason is that I have spent much time targeting customers with larger budgets that are more willing to spend money. These customers understand that they will make their money back by investing in your value and quality services.

On the other hand, smaller customers, more often do not have the money to spend and therefore cannot sustain losses in the event that a project doesn't deliver big returns.

There is no such a thing that your prices are too high.

The price you set may be too high or in some cases too low for the customers you're targeting. Research who exactly you should be pitching to, and find out exactly what your customers need at the prices they're willing to pay.

I've been writing well researched, detailed blogs for many years and a lot of what I write is more that 1000 words a piece. My blogs are designed to rank well in organic search results, and they add a lot of value to most companies. The work I do often extends far beyond just writing a headline, or modelling an article, and into strategic distribution that drives maximum traffic after the blog is published. More value is added to customers than any other blog writers can offer. For all the extra value I offer, my rate is R5.00 a word and increases sharply from there, depending on what other requirements the customers may have.

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Customers are going to hire someone for their projects, now it's important to show them that you are the right freelancer. If they are convinced that you are the right freelancer to help, then price becomes the secondary concern. Bear in mind that you will not always be the right freelance for every customer.

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5. Build a Portfolio that is High Quality

The purpose of having a high quality portfolio is that it's the first impression that a customer will have of you, your type of work, your style and your references you've worked with as a freelancer. You need to be able to communicate your services in an effective manner, and indicate who they are for. In addition to this, you need to sell yourself and be convincing on why you are the best freelancer for the job.

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Your portfolio needs to achieve the following goals in order to be really effective at selling your services:

  • Tell prospective customers about what you specialise in, and give examples where possible.
  • Show customers who you are by displaying a clean profile picture.
  • List your education, outstanding accomplishments, but most importantly your skills.
  • Where possible, showcase your customer testimonials.
  • Regularly update your portfolio to show you're progressing with new customers, testimonials and more work samples.

While you are creating your portfolio, search other freelancers who inspire you and gain insights on how they are positioning themselves, communicating their value and how they're going about building a successful freelancing career.

6. Create Striking Work Samples

You want your portfolio to serve as a place where your expertise are showcased. Keeping that in mind, publishing new content, video or images on a regular basis shows you know what you're doing. Ensure you're publishing content that will impress your target customer. Once you have gained an understanding of what your customers need, create examples of their requirements as if they've hired your services to produce that work.

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This is by far the best way to sell your services, showing your customers your ability to create the work they need. Moreover, it will make the customers work easier when you have created a library of work relevant to their requirements to access when they place the order with you.

If you're a graphic designer, your portfolio should be carefully crafted as everything about it showcases your abilities to be creative and to show you have outstanding attention to detail. If you are a writer like me, then your personal blog posts need to showcase the quality and value you deliver. For photographers and designers the same thing applies, ensure that the your images represent the style and value you will be creating for your future customer.

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25/01/2021

How to Start Freelancing While Working Full Time: Part 1 (3 steps)

By GigMastery | 25 January | 10 Min Read

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As of June 2020 there were an estimate number of 1.1 billion freelancers worldwide, many are opting to do away with their traditional jobs and start freelancing. This option gives people around the world more flexibility to create a lifestyle that they love.

Many businesses are finding it more attractive to hire freelancers. This is creating amazing opportunities to use your skills and talents to start freelancing while still working full-time. This may eventually lead you to growing your freelancing into a full-time sustainable career.

Less taxes, fewer employee-related expenses, no medical aid contributions, smaller offices, the list goes on. These are only a few reasons why many businesses are looking to freelancer designers, developers, writers, and marketers to assist them with growing their companies.

So, the question is - how do we, despite our age, who want to be self-employed get started with building our careers? Well, one of the most realistic, viable and achievable ways is becoming a freelancer while keeping your full-time job (and the security that comes with it).

Start Freelancing While Working Full-Time (Part 1)

Before you jump into freelancing, you should be very clear on the reason you want to start freelancing in the first place. Once you have a helicopter view of your goals and you know how to utilise the minimal amount of time you have will be the deciding factors of the level of success you'll attain with freelancing.

Read this guide carefully to help you on your freelancing journey.

1. Goal Definition

Without having clear vision of where you want to go, it becomes increasingly difficult to set goals - where there are no goals there is no focus. A few questions you can ask to help define your goals:

  • Do you want to freelance for extra money on the side?
  • Do you want to eventually make this your full-time?
  • Are you using freelancing as a means to eventually attain a different goal entirely?

Despite the eventual goal you want to achieve, this needs to be crystal clear. Only once you are sure of your goals can you start planning next steps & set milestones that will help you stay on track to becoming a successful freelancer.

As an example, lets say that you have determined that your goal is to become a full-time freelancer. You'll set your own hours of work, decide who you work with, and make all the mission critical decisions. Now, what do you do to get there?

You know that you would have to get your freelance earnings up to a level where you can eventually leave your current full-time employment. Many people leave their full-time employment too early and end up having to stay with friends and family. One rule you can set is to earn at least 75% of your current full-time salary before considering freelancing full-time.

A great place to start is to determine your freelance income target, consider your living expense, how much risk you are willing to take and how much savings you are willing to use to sustain your day-to-day living expenses. Once you have determined this you can more accurately gauge how many customers you need on an ongoing basis. Very quickly you will determine how much to charge your customers.

2. Find a Niche that is Profitable

Let's assume you're a graphic designer, or you have attained skills in Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator in your spare time. There are clearly many competitors in your industry who do the exact same thing. They are willing to charge much lower rates than you, despite all your efforts to lower costs. There are so many people around the globe with lower living expenses. They will be more than happy to accept lower paid gigs than you. The quicker you stop competing on price the better.

Racing with other people to the bottom for freelance jobs is simply not worth it, especial on freelance platforms like Fiver, Freelancer and Upwork. These freelance sites simply have too many low-priced freelance options. I personally recommend never posting on these sites. They are simply not for the South African market. Rather exhaust all the options in this blog and list on South African freelance platforms instead. Once you are focused on competing on quality, the way in which you think about selling your freelance services will completely change. Start competing on value and not price.

Rather than taking any graphic design opportunity that comes your way, try focusing on infographics for blog sites only, or writing eBooks for a specific sector like tech companies. Pick an industry that really excites you and spend time and energy on becoming the best graphic designer in that smaller area, that is how you truly find the correct niche. You can then start charging a premium rate for that service once your are confident you have reached a higher skill level than your peers. After this, it's the right time to start looking for the ideal customer.

3. Identify Your Target Customers

Equally as important as identifying a niche that is profitable, is being able to attract the types of customers you want to offer freelance services to. When you are just getting into freelancing its okay to take more of a shotgun approach to getting some customers. You can make a few assumptions of who it is you want to work for in the beginning, target these customers first, and once you've worked with some of them, you will very quickly gain clarity on whether to pursue similar customers.

Since starting with freelancing, my key focus areas are high-growth technology start-ups and business influencers with established brands. The main reason I've narrowed my focus is because I work well with these very similar clients, they both work in the same circles, which leads to more frequent referrals. By doing this my reputation is built within my niche.

Also this is difficult when you are just starting as it means that you will decline some work, targeting the right customers will benefit in the long run. You will soon have customers who are willing to refer you and rate your services and then you'll start gaining real momentum.

Just taking a step back to focusing on value and not price, everything you delivery and all the work you perform, must point back to your ability to delivery top quality results to your customers. Like another successful freelancer puts it - do everything to make your customers happy and they'll become your sales force.

Ask yourself the following 3 questions to help determine the best type of target customers:

  1. Which customers will find what I do useful?
  2. Which customers are prepared to pay my rate so I can reach my income goal?
  3. Who makes decisions in these businesses, what are their interests and can I connect on a personal level?

When all the info is gathered, you'll be in a good position to write an email or reach out via a social platform that addresses the exact needs of the customer. When connecting with them you'll be able to add immediate value.

I hope this has given you some food for thought. There are a total of 10 steps that I would like to cover over a 3 part series. See you all soon.

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25/01/2021

What is the purpose of freelance platforms?

By GigMastery | 22 January | 4 Min Read

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An analysis of freelance platforms - What is the purpose of freelance platforms?

In order to shed more light on the freelancing world, we have put together a series of short blogs specifically on the topic of freelance platforms; their workings, benefits and shortfalls as wells as their cost. We hope that this series will give you better insights into how freelance platforms function and how you can use it to further your freelancing career.

A freelance platform is a digital marketplace where qualified freelancers and buyers meet - freelancers can showcase their skills and buyers who need those specific skills can hire freelancers.

Freelancing has grown dramatically over the past couple of years and is predicted to expand even more in the years to come. It is expected that by 2030 up to 80% of the global workforce would comprise of freelancers. Freelancing is no longer considered a side-line job, a way to earn some extra money, to many it has now become a primary income stream.

There are a number of reasons for the massive growth in the freelance space, one is that the traditional 9 to 5 office job is no longer congruent with the everchanging, fast-paced, digitally interconnected world. Second is the development of advanced freelance platforms which has made it easier for freelancers to find work and for companies to find freelancers with the desired skills.

A report published by Accenture in 2017 identified 100 of Fortune 500 companies that use freelance platforms. This clearly shows that not only small businesses use freelance platforms. As freelancing grows so does the attention of big businesses, as they are finding it easier and more convenient to source the right talent on freelance platforms.

What is the purpose of freelance platforms?

The purpose of a freelance platform is two pronged. Firstly, businesses, both big and small, can source the best talent across the world. They are not limited to any location and there is no need for permanent employment. This makes it very convenient and cost-effective for businesses as freelancing is on a per project basis. Secondly, freelancers have an opportunity to create a profile and showcase their talent and experience. They are able to attract buyers from anywhere in the world and communicate directly with them.

Here is a short list of what a freelance platform is and what they can offer:

  1. View Freelancer Profiles. Freelance platforms display freelancer profiles which showcases their skills, experience, qualifications and rate which helps businesses find the right freelancers. These profiles help businesses to shortlist candidates that have the required skill and experience.
  2. Progress Tracking. Freelance platforms have progress tracking tools to help track freelancers’ work.Real-Time Communication. Freelance platforms provide chat functionality to facilitate communication between freelancers and the buyers so that all job specifications are clearly communicated.
  3. Secure Payments. Payments are only released once the job has been successfully completed to the buyer’s satisfaction. This is security to the freelancer as they are guaranteed to receive payment. It is also peace of mind for the buyer as they know payment will only be released once the job is complete.
  4. Rating System. The buyer is able to rate the freelancer once the job is complete. This is beneficial for both the freelancer and the buyer as higher ratings is an indication of higher quality work and reliable service which results in more conversions for the freelancer and serves as an indicator for buyers.

This is Part 1 in a series of blogs to help you understand what freelance platforms are. In the next blog we will be discussing why you should use a freelance platform such GigMastery.com.

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22/01/2021

Are you considering becoming a freelancer?

By GigMastery | 21 January | 5 Min Read

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Finding a job at this point in time has never been more difficult.

Before the pandemic, South Africa’s unemployment numbers were hovering around 30% in quarter one, as maintained by Stats SA. This number has dramatically increased during the last few months of lockdown, which has pushed South African’s to think creatively about what to do to earn an income.

Whether you are unemployed or simply looking to supplement your income, it may be beneficial to start investigating other options, such as freelancing.


Here is what you should know before getting started as a freelancer:

The gig economy is quickly expanding, this means there are more people plunging into the freelancing space.

There are a number of skills required when becoming a freelancer, such as time-management, financial planning and networking, just to name a few.

When becoming a full-time freelancer, it is also important to remember that you will no longer receive company benefits such as medical aid, pension funds or retirement. All these expenses will be solely on you.

This might sound like a drawback, however there are many benefits of being a freelancer, such as flexible working hours and schedules that match your lifestyle as well as being in complete control of how much you charge for your services. Personally, I feel these benefits alone far outweighs the drawbacks.

That said, there are a few administrative standards you would first have to put in place when becoming a freelancer.

Freelancing contracts

It is vital for freelancers to create contracts between them and their clients. This ensures that both parties have a clear understanding of what the scope of the work would be, how long it would take to complete it and the fees associated with the job. There are a number of websites that offer open source contracts which you can easily tailor.

If freelancers however choose to work with a platform such as GigMastery.com, there is no need for contracts as the platform acts as a mediator between the clients and the freelancer. This is a great option as it gives freelancers security and peace of mind knowing that all payments from clients are guaranteed and made before work commences. There is also additional security in that all disputes are resolved effortlessly through the platform.

Billing for services

Although, you as a freelancer have the liberty to set your price for the services you will provide, it however remains one of the biggest decisions you would have to make as your price may attract clients or deter them.

One way you could approach billing is by assessing the workload, the time and the resources required for the job. Charge appropriately in congruence with the value of your work. It is also important to realize that not every client should become a client.

What about tax?

As a freelancer, you would not receive a pay slip. This does not mean you would not pay tax. You would still have to file a provisional tax return, as SARS stipulates that individuals who earn an income from running a business must file a provisional tax return. And although freelance work is not subject to PAYE it still counts as running a business.

Finding work

Freelancers depend on a steady inflow of work, one or two jobs a month might not be sufficient to settle monthly expenses.GigMastery.com is a platform that assists in this regard. They do all the marketing to bring customers to them so that freelancers can focus solely on providing top quality services and not spend time searching for customers.

There are many factors to consider when moving to freelancing, however it may be the best option, especially for those who are finding it difficult to make ends meet in this current economic climate.

GigMastery.com can help you make the move.

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21/01/2021

Jobs in the pandemic: More are freelancing and it may remain like this forever

By GigMastery | 12 January | 7 Min Read

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There is a saying that's going around these days "the future of work is now". The pandemic has managed to speed up the transition and it has transformed millions of people into a virtual workforce. COVID-19 has also driven a huge shift to more freelancing that is cutting ties between employees and companies.

The past 12 months America has seen an increase of 2 million people who have started freelancing. This number has seen the percentage of the workforce who perform freelance jobs, increase to 36%.

Even before the global pandemic hit, the job market saw many workers choosing contract work or freelancing because of the variety and flexibility it offers. Now; however, evidence shows that more people are turning to freelancing out of shear necessity and not just by choice. This is as a result of employers shedding millions of full-time, permanent jobs.

Challenges with freelancing as a business

The big challenge facing many of the now freelancing workforce, is how to make this work as a business. Many have now been thrown out of permanent work full-time, into the less stable insecure world of being a freelancer.

Interestingly, there have been some occupations that has seen a higher increase into freelance work than others. For example, the field of communication was only around 12% before the pandemic and has increased four times this amount by April 2020. Another is marketing jobs, this has increased from 8% to 28%. Also followed suit are the human resources and advertising sectors.

Travel and Tourism: First Job Loss Victims

Travel, tourism and restaurants were at the centre of job losses at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, as months went by it was seen that a wide range of white collar workers were also victims to the mass job losses seen globally. Many experts have said that a huge amount of white-collar jobs will now be fulfilled by contractors as opposed to permanent staff members and this may be forever.

A career in freelancing after you have lost your job is not really something that many people choose to do. A founder of a well known freelance staffing agency says that it's almost as though you start freelancing out of necessity. She says, you do not have time to be depressed, down and cry because you've lost your job. Bills need to be paid and they don't care whether you've lost your job.

Becoming a free-agent nation

Many futurists have for some time now predicted that nations will embrace the free-agent culture, where workers offer their skills, talents and services independently. Workers will brand themselves to start landing gigs and freelance jobs as full-time employment starts fading away. This however has happened in parts of the global economy but not at the fast speeds predicted by some futurists.

However, the pandemic has surely increased this pace, as a founder of a online market place said that the trend has now accelerated rapidly. What they thought would happen in 3 years has in fact happened in only 3 months.

Conclusion

The gig economy and freelancing was huge before the pandemic, it's grown a lot bigger during it. Platforms like GigMastery.com support freelancers who are looking to find work. The platform allows freelancers to list jobs at specific pricing. These jobs can then be bought by businesses and other consumers as if they are buying a product through an e-commerce website. It's safe for buyers and freelance workers alike. Payments for the services are made upfront and payment is released to the freelancer once the job has been marked as complete by the buyer.

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12/01/2021

A day in the life of a freelancer

By GigMastery | 11 January | 7 Min Read

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I unfortunately lost my job due to this whole COVID-19 thing. Since then I've been freelancing. I've had a few months now to try figure out my routine and get into the whole vibe of being a freelance writer. Over the past few months there has been some excitement but most of my days are not as glamorous as most freelancing and working from home is made out to be. What I've found is that the life of a freelancer can sometimes be quite isolating and at times boring. However, it comes with a fair amount of perks as well. Here is a quick glance of what a typical day looks like working from home.

7h00 am: My alarm wakes me up

Without setting my alarm clock I could easily sleep until around 8:00am, but I have been conscious of the fact that I need some discipline being a freelancer. Sometimes my children play the role of waking me up and when this happens it's mostly before 7am. That; however, beats having to wake up at 5am to ensure I make it to the office on time - this was the reality in my previous job. It's really nice being able to wake up after sunrise most mornings now.

7h00 am: Read email while still in bed

Seemingly an unhealthy habit, most mornings the first thing I do is read emails from my phone while lying in bed. This is followed by glancing over my social media accounts. I suppose this happens because I sleep with my phone next to my bed. This allows me to enjoy the comfort of my bed while looking through the morning news and emails from customers. I have some international clients so some mornings I wake up to a barrage of messages as they've typically been working for a few hours before I wake up. So I tend to scout for anything urgent that I may need to attend to before breakfast and before my day really starts.

7h30 am: Time for some breakfast

I'm someone who likes an easy-to-make breakfast, so most mornings I simple pour some cereal in a bowl and drench it with milk, add some honey and occasionally some fruit, done! I then carry the bowl to my desk, sit down and plan my day while eating my breakfast. This all happens while a pot of coffee is brewing in my drip coffee machine.

What typically happens while eating breakfast, is that I review the tasks that I had left over from the previous day. I assess whether these take priority over the items I've listed to be completed today. I usually choose around 3 to 5 tasks that I mark as absolutely non-negotiable to complete during the day. Once these are done, I approach the next items in order of priority.

Working from home has meant that there is no energy-sapping commute to work early in the morning. I find early mornings to be my most productive and supper excited that I can now spend the time working and adding value rather then being stuck in traffic from Pretoria to Johannesburg on the N1-M1 hi-way.

Most days I seem to earn more money freelancing before lunch time than I did during a whole day of work in my previous job.

12h00 pm: Lunch Break

Given the light breakfast I usually get really hungry at around 12pm. I find that this is the perfect time for me to stop to make something to eat. I also like to take the dog for a walk, run an errand or even watch a short video of something interesting while eating my lunch.

On some occasions I would make lunch and jump back into work if I feel motivated or if I have a deadline to meet. When working from home I can easily go two or three days without leaving my house. I therefore try making a point to take the dogs for a walk or join my wife and kids for a quick run to our local grocery store.

12h45 pm: Getting back to work

After a lunch break I get back to work for the rest of the afternoon. I tend to do my more intense writing in the morning and lighter writing gigs in the afternoon when my attention span seems shorter. These smaller writing gigs usually include some social media posts, website content writing, promotion writing etc. Other tasks that I may catch up on are things like invoicing and accounting, but these tasks usually take me around 20 to 30 minutes at a time.

There are some tasks that freelancers have to do that does not earn money. So I typically try doing the work that earns me money in the morning, in that way if I do get caught up doing the non-earning tasks I'm all set for the days earnings.

5h00 pm: Try stop working for the day

At around 5pm I'll try walking away from my desk to spend time with my wife and kids. This in my opinion is one of the best benefits of working from home. I get to play with my boys and spend time with my wife without having to justify to my boss why I've stopped working the time I did.

Although I usually stop working around 5pm I don't shut everything down as yet. I typically check back to see If I've received any new emails or finish off some more work before closing out entirely for the day.

5h45 pm until I go to bed: Customer responses

Even though I have stopped working for the day, I'm always still available to customers. I do have some customers who work after hours and different timezones. I like to be as responsive as possible for them and provide an outstanding customer experience. This means that I always keep my cell phone close by to check if anything urgent has come through that I can respond to immediately.

Being a freelancer, I only earn money when I'm actually working. I cannot keep clients if I'm not able to delivery high quality consistently. This from time-to-time results in long working hours, but I also have the freedom to take time off when I feel like it. As long as I can keep delivering to my customers, freelancing can offer great flexibility to your life.

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11/01/2021

Why should freelancers join GigMastery?

By GigMastery | 11 January | 5 Min Read

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So why should freelancers join GigMastery?

Because GigMastery is AMAZING... it truly is! GigMastery is all about promoting the freelancing community. We provide freelancers a platform to showcase their skills and experience and help them reach customers that require their much needed expertise. Whatever your skill is, GigMastery can help you.

Here are just a few reasons why you should join GigMastery:

Anyone can join.

GigMastery has made it easy for anyone to sign up and post a job. If you have a skill, you're able to sign up, it does not matter what your skill level is or how much experience you have.

However, if you regard yourself as a professional freelancer with extensive qualifications and vast experience and want to become a verified freelancer, you can simply complete the verification process. This will better your ranking and will attract more customers.

GigMastery protects the gigger and the buyer.

Our platform acts as a guardian, we ensure that both the freelancer and the buyer are protected. The freelancer has peace of mind with regards to payment as GigMastery ensures that buyers pay upfront. Funds are released to the freelancer only once the job is complete and when the buyer is satisfied with the service, this protects buyers and maintains high service quality. If there are any disputes between freelancers and buyers, our dispute management system will ensure that any disagreements are resolved.

Massive range of services.

Unlike many other freelance platforms, GigMastery is unique in that it offers a vast range of services. Services ranging from graphic design, web development and voice-overs to accounting, landscaping and plumbing. So, if you are highly skilled in one field or the "jack of all trades" type of guy/lady, GigMastery gives you an opportunity to leverage whatever talent you have to earn an income.

It's a free marketplace.

As a freelancer, you are in complete control. You set the price of your job and the delivery time so you can work at your own pace. And posting jobs is completely free too!

It's a space to grow.

As said previously, you are in complete control. This means that, as time goes, once you have refined your skill, you can very easily increase the rate of your jobs - as the quality of your work increases so should your rate. Furthermore, job posts are very customisable in that you can also very easily up-sell by adding extras to your job.

Gain mastery over your skill.

No matter what your skill level is at, there will always be someone who will need you on GigMastery. In no time, as you gain experience and start mastering your skill, you will begin to attract more high-paying buyers.

Higher quality work results in more buyers.

Through our ratings system, buyers are able to rate your service once the job is complete. The higher your ratings are the greater your chance of attracting more buyers as they associate higher ratings with quality and reliability.

These are only a few reasons to join GigMastery, there is no better way to get paid for something you love doing.

Join GigMastery.com and start mastering your gig!

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11/01/2021

Gig Economy Enabled Through Technology

By GigMastery | 11 January | 4 Min Read

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The gig economy is continuing to provide a unique environment to work in, all thanks to improving digital platforms

There has been a rise in information and a huge increase in the pace of work. Tech has helped in how challenges in the workplace are resolved. Technology has also helped increase the number of people engaging in freelancing work, also know as the gig economy.

The last 10 years has seen an increase of people coming into the gig economy. According to some search done by ADP Research Institute, since 2010 around 6 million workers moved into the gig economy, showing a 15% increase in the past decade alone.

The Gig Economy's Driving Economic Conditions

Freelance or temporary work is synonymous to the gig economy. This work is largely performed online. People who perform this type of work do not usually operate in a standard working environment. These people rather work independently and therefore rely on tech to communicate with buyers who they contract to work with.

Most freelancing allows you to work from anywhere. All you need is a stable internet connection. This has lead a lot of technology companies to open doors for freelancers looking to join the gig economy.

This year is an unprecedented year for transitional workforce and freelancers. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused many people to become unemployed and caused a deep economic crisis. This crisis is worse than the Great Depression. This has significantly changed the ways in which office workplaces function while boosting competition in the gig economy workforce. This competition is due to volatility within the job market.

In only a few months the pandemic has impacted the economy and place of work has created a change in people, technologies and the companies they do work for. Some of the more profound changes include the flexibility, dependence on technology platforms and the increase in digital infrastructure.

Some of these digital platforms has shown a significant increase in user engagements with the "new normal" conditions. Once of these examples is Zoom (NASDAQ:ZM), the online conference calling service, has significantly increased in popularity since COVID-19. This platform, GigMastery and others like it allow organisations and individuals to work remotely in an easy way.

Gig Economy and Digital Infrastructure

There are many different ways in which organisations can embrace trends toward digital workforces. Some of these include improved security policies like firewall protection and VPN access, restriction on devices and dual-factor authentication technologies. Organisations who have already adapted to using the gig economy and its reliance on digital infrastructure will potentially thrive in this new way-of-work. This way-of-work relies heavily on the ability to can create a workforce that can communicate online in a seamless way. This will aid in the collaboration between various different locations.

Due to the breadth and impact of COVID-19, the extent to which the traditional workforce will be challenged by the gig economy remains to be seen.

Under the new condition of the economy, gig workers and freelancers have the opportunity to become the forerunners of innovation. New tech like Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning have also created new opportunity for growth. Agile freelancers are in the best position to take advantage of these types of breakthroughs.

As the more modern workplace is continuing to embrace the new trends in technology and digital platform enhancements, organisations and employees who are innovative have the best opportunities to use these capabilities to work more effectively.

The spike in organisations and freelancers using digital platforms has shown that the changing economy is quickly adapting to new market conditions.

Conclusion

The move of workplaces towards digitisation has been coming over the last decade. The more recent shift into new economic conditions has highlighted the importance of the supporting digital platforms like GigMastery. It is imperative that these platforms facilitate coordination, collaboration and most importantly communication between freelancers and buyers. Organisations and individuals who are capable of accessing and using these platforms have huge opportunities to thrive in this new workplace environment. We believe that the gig economy and the current economic climate is the recipe required to challenge the traditional workplace environment.

Join GigMastery.com today to become part of the gig economy.

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11/01/2021

Freelance & Work From Home

By GigMastery | 5 January | 5 Min Read

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Most of us have felt the impact of lockdown. Some, unfortunately more than others. Jobs have been impacted and some companies have lost some of there best talent. This has inherently created further opportunities. These opportunities are using your talents in the gig economy to freelance & work from home. Freelancing can be a permanent source of income for those who can offer their skills to prospective buyers.

Some of the challenges that face freelancers and more specifically those offering their services from home, is the ability to attract buyers that can produce a constant income stream, and secondly, the maturity required to work without supervision. Lets look at these challenges separately.


1. Marketing your freelance skills

If you are serious about attracting buyers of what you have to offer, you need to get yourself out there. There are many options, these include social media and freelance marketplace platforms like Gigspace. Some of these platforms like ours create a marketplace where buyers and sellers of services can meet up and transact.

Buyers of freelance services like this concept as it provides some protection against poor delivery. The freelancer doesn't get paid unless the buyer is satisfied. This ensures that the freelancer delivers the quality promised to the customer.

Disputes between freelancers and buyers

If there are issues with the delivery of the services by the freelancer then the platform provides functionality to manage these disputes and resolve amicably. Other benefits from listing on GigMastery type platforms is that the platform does the marketing for you. Your responsibility in this regard is to accurately describe your offering, make your public profile look compelling and review the offers from buyers.

Be specific about what you offer

Unfortunately the saying "Jack of all trades, master of none" applies when marketing yourself. Be specific about what you do, choose core strengths and skills to promote and highlight them on your profile. When you are too broad about what you can offer then the buyers have difficulty in identifying what you are really good at doing. Ensure that your social profiles coincide with each other and that your GigMastery profile reflects the best of you.

Dedication pays off

The hardest part of getting into freelancing if you previously worked a full-time (one company) job is to set the right price for your skill and experience. The best advise we have for this is to take your previous monthly cost to company and divide this by 160 hours (average working hours in a month) and calculate your hourly rate. Once you have determined this rate then browse some of your peers to see if you have come to a similar number, if you have come to a much higher value you may have been above market value in your previous position and may need to reduce this figure in order to get buyers to pay your rate.


2. Working from home

Freelance & work from home sounds glamorous but it comes with its fair share of challenges. Some of these include the fact that you have constant access to your fridge... and the kids...and the pets... Although we may chuckle about this, it can be a real obstacle to getting work done from home. Until the new idea of working from home settles with those who co-exist with you at home it may be unsettling and hard to find that space in which you are productive to the max.

There are some tips that can help you fast track getting there, these include:

  • Getting a dedicated work space (preferably behind closed doors)
  • Establishing a routine e.g. set a fixed time that you commit to being at your desk and fully engaged in work.
  • Staying consistent - ensure that you perform more or less the same activities day-to-day. Given all the distractions at home it can be challenging to stay out of the garden or sit on the patio or grab something from the fridge...
  • Working hard! Working from home doing freelance work should never mean that you slack or compromise your quality of work.

Conclusion

South Africa's gig economy is on the rise, globally the work from home culture is growing rapidly. Consider these tips, get yourself out there and start earning money. You are never too experienced or too inexperienced to become a freelancer.

Join GigMastery today to start promoting your skills.

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05/01/2021

Your Freelancer Profile

By GigMastery | 5 January | 5 Min Read

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Freelancers! First impressions are important - we want you to stand out! So, we have decided to give you a few simple tips to help you create a professional profile that showcases your qualifications, skills and experience, a profile that meets the quality service that you provide and gives you the best shot at attracting buyers.

Here are a few helpful guidelines:

Profile Photo & Banner

Your profile photo and banner are the first two things that potential buyers see when they click on your public profile. These two items are an essential part of your profile, so careful consideration should be taken when deciding on what to add.

The profile photo is there specifically to display a picture of yourself or your company's logo. If you are going with a picture of yourself, make sure it is high quality and that it reflects your maturity and professionalism.

The banner area should reflect your or your company's theme and personality, so be creative with it but make sure it remains relevant to the service that you will be providing.

Tagline and Description

A tagline is a short, unforgettable phrase which functions as your business' motto. It is an important marketing tool that helps people recognise who you are and to distinguish your brand and marketing message. We would encourage you to add a well thought out tagline on your public profile page.

Your profile description should explain who you are and what you can provide. Don't be shy, let your potential buyers know what your accomplishments are, it should be brief but comprehensive. Also, write with passion, the more passionate your description is the more compelling it will be to read. Lastly, check your writing. Grammar and spelling mistakes will make your profile look unprofessional – try to get someone to review it, if needed. Use full sentences and avoid using all caps.

Skills

Give a comprehensive list of keywords that showcase your skills set, this allows buyers to relate to your abilities that they may need, i.e types of welding, specific electrician skills, variations of graphic designing, etc.

Education and Certification

Be sure to add all relevant information on your education and certification in the forms that we have provided.

Next Steps?

So, you have created your perfect public profile, what’s next?

After you have completed your profile, you are now ready to post your first job!

Click on "Post New" and follow the job instructions. Again, we advise you to be as meticulous as possible - the more complete your job post is the more attractive it will be to potential buyers.

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05/01/2021

Getting Started for Freelancers

By GigMastery | 4 January 2021 | 5 Min Read

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Okay, so you’ve registered your profile, right? If not, this is the first step to getting started. Once you have registered there are 5 easy steps required to begin your freelancer journey on GigMastery. Here is how to get started:

Step 1: Go to "Post New" Menu

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Once you register your profile and login with the credentials you've chosen you will see your display name on the top right of the website. Hover over your name and see the menu display.

Hint: Before posting a job, complete your profile settings by clicking below.

UPDATE YOUR PROFILE

Step 2: Complete Job Information

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When choosing a job title be as clear as possible. Say what you will do for the price you are charging. When setting the price consider the billing type i.e. hourly, weekly or monthly etc. You can also set a once off fee for the job. Please consider the commission's charge when setting the price. This is based on the level you are on.

Step 3: Complete Information to Buyers

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This section is important as it contains any instructions to the buyer on the job they are purchasing. If you need to engage with the buyer through a process of gathering their requirements before you can start with the work, then that needs to be said here. It also allows you to set the max days to deliver the job. Also specify here if there are shipping fees or requirements to meet with the customer (for electricians, plumbers etc.).

HOW TO MANAGE DISPUTES WITH BUYERS

Step 4: Upload Media Content

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Good images attract buyers. Be sure to use good quality images and to upload both a cover image and other images to make your job look complete and interesting. Please note that there are size and dimension requirements for images so if an error displays when uploading media, read the error carefully and adjust the image accordingly.

SEE LIST OF FREE IMAGES  

Step 5: Define Extras for Sale

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Extra's give you the opportunity to sell more than just the job itself. If you have capacity to work after hours to deliver faster for some extra money then list that here. You may also want to sell extra reviews/revisions of your work or sell extra content like more pages for a mobile app or extra 1000 words for content writing. Here is the place where you define this.

Summary View

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You will see a summary view of the job you just created. You will have the ability to edit the job, deactivate, delete or feature the job.

CREATE FIRST JOB NOW

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04/01/2021