From Tech Crunch: The Freelancer Generation

freelancer generation

There are more than 53 million (almost 54 Million) freelancers in the U.S.

More than one-third of all U.S. workers have partaken in freelance work in the past year

It’s also predicted that by 2020, contingent work (freelancing jobs) will become the dominant form of labor, making up to 50 percent of the labor force.

Another interesting stat is that 43 percent of freelancers are Millennials.

freelancer generation

From business.com: How to Maximize Productivity When Working from Home

maximize productivity

Niraj Ranjan of business.com suggests 13 ways to maximize your productivity when you work from home:

  1. Create a Shell, Work From Inside It. Don’t Let Anyone Enter Here
  2. Keep Your Calls to Afternoon
  3. Invest in an Ergonomic Chair and Desk
  4. Use Cloud Sharing to Avoid Unnecessary To’s and Fro’s
  5. Track Your Work Hours and Be in Sync With Company Work Hours
  6. You Must Discipline Yourself
  7. Always Dress for Success
  8. Plan Your Meals and Personal Work Ahead
  9. Start Early, Finish Early, Binge Away on Netflix
  10. Get Out of the House to Fight Slumps
  11. To Save Time, Declutter Your Day and Your Desk
  12. Don’t Forget to Make Technology Your Super Power
  13. Use the Pomodoro Technique

maximize productivity

For Freelancers: How to Interview Potential Clients

Interview Potential Clients

Why interview potential clients before you accept projects?
To get to the point where you have a freelance operation that works, you want to develop enough leads so you can take projects that you can really excel at and deliver good results…or at least the results that the client wants. Interviewing the potential client up front is a good way to anticipate potentials issues, see if it’s a match as far as work style, determine if you are capable of delivering what they want with your skills set, and set some expectations if you do, in fact, decide to bring the client on.

When you are interviewing a potential client, you want to uncover their needs. There are two main types of need that you should be looking for: must-haves and latent needs.

Must-haves are features that must be included in your offering or the customer will not even consider buying it. Latent needs are hiding just behind those needs and will delight the customer.

The client interview simply helps deliver good results and avoid problem clients.

How do you interview potential clients?
The first step is to script your interview before you even begin to interview people. When you’re scripting your interview, you want to focus on two main questions: why and how. How is this feature going to be used? Why do you think that? This will uncover your customer’s motivation and that will give you insights that you can use to design your offering.

You might also think of all the questions that will help you determine whether you have the right skill set, how the client would prefer to work with you so you can anticipate whether it’s a right fit, information about their product and market, and the specifics on what features they want to cover with the project.

Narrow down to the key questions and set up a form in a document. Print it out and have this with you at the interview. That way, you can refer to it later and you won’t forget any key points that might help you determine whether or not to bring on the new client.

If you need more help designing a script, download this reference script that we built.

Upwork.com, Freelancing, the Gig Economy, Solutions Design, and “Scaling Yourself”

This is an exploratory blog. We are going to be explorers together because we are seeing a really interesting future with this company Upwork.

Upwork is a merger of two big online freelancing websites (Elance and oDesk).There are some really interesting features in Upwork and it has relevance for both entrepreneurs and freelancers.

As an entrepreneur, one thing that’s really interesting is that you can hire tons of talented people using Upwork. Not only can you hire them on a gig basis, you can actually hire multiple people who collaborate on a project for you. So, for entrepreneurs who need to scale their time –Team Eazl can definitely relate to this because we are so busy and time is not our friend– being able to manage and hire people through Upwork would be something that would really help our team members scale themselves.

Now, let’s talk about it from a freelancer standpoint. From a freelancer standpoint, you can –first of all– get some work. Maybe you can earn some money on Upwork and I’m sure some of you are doing this, but the other thing that you can do is you can actually represent yourself as a Solutions Architect by being very capable on Upwork.

You can actually represent yourself as a Solutions Architect by being very capable on Upwork.
You can actually represent yourself as a Solutions Architect by being very capable on Upwork.

For example, if you’re a developer, maybe (similar to the entrepreneur case) you are going to be able to do larger projects where you get paid as sort of the “general contractor” and you subcontract out some of the work through Upwork people. Even if your clients ask you, “Oh, I’m paying you. but you’re hiring other people?”, you can present the argument like, “Well, do you know who to hire or have you worked with these people before? Have you made sure that they’re good?” If you’ve already done that –if you have a network of people who you collaborate with frequently– on Upwork, then you can represent yourself as a kind of Solutions Architect, which also means that you’re going to make more money.

Basically, we’re seeing this future where, in our opinion, “freelancer” is not going to be that useful of a term because we’re going to get into a future where we’re operating more as economic networks than companies and individuals. If you want to win, I suggest that getting familiar with organizations and platforms like Upwork is a really good head-start.

What do you think about all this? What’s the future of freelancing? Is Upwork valuable? Can you make a living on a platform like Upwork and make enough money to have a high quality life? These are all real questions and we do not have the answers, but we would love to know what you think.