The Problem For Freelancers

from Seth’s Blog No clients, no work. And the clients have a problem as well: Figuring out who the truly good freelancers are. A marketplace like Upwork is supposed to solve a classic two-sided problem like this one. But the problem is so difficult that marketplaces often make it worse (and charge too much as well). They make it worse by pushing people to be bottom-fishing cheap commodity providers. If someone searches for ‘logo designer’, there is a huge amount of pressure to be the freelancer who checks all the boxes, has decent reviews and is also the cheapest. More […]

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The Online Gig Economy’s ‘Race to the Bottom’

from The Atlantic You can buy almost any thing you want online—toothpaste, books, plastic devices that allow you to lick your cat. On digital work platforms like Upwork, Fiverr, and Freelancer.com, you can also buy nearly any service—often from someone halfway around the world, sometimes for just a few bucks. On Fiverr, one of the most popular of these platforms, you’ll find offers for someone who will write an e-book “on any topic”; a person who will perform “a Voiceover as Bernie Sanders”; someone who will write your Tinder profile for you, and someone who will design a logo for […]

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Leveraging The Gig Economy The Right Way

from Forbes The rapid rise of the gig economy has been stunning. Companies like Lyft and Uber have achieved enormous valuations – and the growth continues to be robust. Of course, none of this would be possible without smartphones, cloud computing and even AI (Artificial Intelligence). All of these technologies have converged – leading to disruptive changes. To put things in perspective, about 35% of the US workforce and 16% of the entire population is a part of the gig economy.  Yet this should be no surprise as gig economy workers have the benefits of earning money on their own […]

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This Hot Trend Could Make Freelancing A Lot More Fun — And Meaningful

from Forbes Bill Joy, the co-founder of Sun Microsystems once noted, “No matter who you are, most of the smartest people work for someone else.” Today, more leaders are waking up to the fact that many of those smart people are freelancers and contractors — who work for themselves, according to the 2018 Deloitte’s Global Human Capital Trends report “The Rise of the Social Enterprise.” And that could be good news for freelancers who wish their careers weren’t just a random set of assignments and yearn to work with clients who can connect them with meaningful projects that have a common thread. […]

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What Keeps Female Freelancers From Closing The Gender Pay Gap

from Forbes The gender pay gap remains a debated issue and is still a hotly contested matter within the freelance community as well. As I mentioned in a previous article, statistics are still lacking on gender pay discrepancy within many freelance niches, but what is known is this:  in those niches studied, the pay gap is high –– as much as 32%. A lot of this has to do with requirements for more transparency in salaries. What is surprising about all of this is that in the gig economy, freelancers set their own rates. So why are women setting rates that […]

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When You’re a ‘Digital Nomad,’ the World Is Your Office

from NYTs On the far eastern edge of Miami’s Little Havana, beyond a tall black gate, sit four century-old wooden buildings made of strong Dade County pine, arranged around a courtyard with a pool. Letters on the frontmost building’s pale yellow facade identify it as the Miami River Inn. One of the city’s very first hotels, it was built in 1908 to house transient laborers working on the docks, back when Miami was still a frontier outpost of barely 5,000 people. Locals have long harbored a belief that the bottom floor of one house is haunted. At the time of […]

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53 Million Americans Are Freelancing, New Survey Finds

from Freelancers Union Freelancing is the new normal — and we have the numbers to prove it. More than 53 million Americans are doing freelance work, according to a new, landmark survey conducted by the independent research firm Edelman Berland and commissioned by Freelancers Union and Elance-oDesk. That’s 34 percent of the entire workforce. The old way of working isn’t working, More than 53 million workers are showing a new way — and tens of millions more will likely follow. The new economy is already here — and it’s driven by freelancers. More here.

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4 Things Freelancers Should Say No To, Every Time

from Forbes There’s no denying how difficult it can be to make it as a freelancer. A lot of potential clients are out there to take advantage of you, and no one’s going to spontaneously offer you more money unless you ask for it. If you want to succeed freelancing and earn income that make you happy, then you’ll need to toe a hard line. Here are four questions you should say no to, every time. More here.

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Working For Free (But Working For Yourself)

from Seth’s Blog Freelancers, writers, designers, photographers–there’s always an opportunity to work for free. There are countless websites and causes and clients that will happily take your work in exchange for exposure. And in some settings, this makes perfect sense. You might be making a contribution to a cause you care about, or, more likely, honing your craft at the same time that you get credibility and attention for your work. But just because you’re working for free doesn’t mean you should give away all your upsides. Consider the major publishing platforms that are happy to host your work, but […]

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Uber Loses A Major Workers Rights Case In The UK

from workfutures.io Uber, which has over 30,000 drivers in the UK, workers that have been characterized by the company as ‘independent contractors’ or ‘self-employed’, has received what may turn out to be a devastating blow to the on-demand economics underlying the company’s multi-billion valuation. Since these independent workers are not considered employees, the company sidesteps requirements for minimum wages, insurance, vacation and sick leave, and other benefits. More here.

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The Amazing Shrinking Firm

from Medium In his seminal paper, The Nature of the Firm, the great Ronald Coase stated that the optimal size of a firm in an industry will decrease as transaction costs in the industry decrease. The Internet has proven to be a singular tool to reduce transaction costs across almost every industry, so according to Coase, the size of the firm will shrink in response. My view is this phenomenon has only begun and will accelerate dramatically over the next decade. The on-demand economy. The consumerization of enterprise. The bottoms-up economy. Micro-schools. Citizen journalists. Social media. All of these are symptoms […]

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How Freelancers Are Fighting For Their Labor Rights

from FastCompany “On average, our members are owed over $10,000 in unpaid invoices and spend 36 hours tracking down each missing payment,” says Freelancers Union founder and labor lawyer Sara Horowitz. She explains that nearly half (44%) of their members report issues in getting paid. But getting paid on time is just one of the hurdles that the growing independent workforce faces. For example, the Internet has lowered the bar to entry for professional writing and created more opportunities than ever, which on one hand is good news for entry-level writers, but shrunken profits have also hollowed out freelance rates […]

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‘Connect to’ vs. ‘Connect’

from Seth’s Blog An organization might seek to ‘connect to’ its customers or constituents. Connection is a form of permission, the ability to deliver value to the people who request it. Vertical connection creates the ability to communicate and delivers a barrier to entry. Most online stores are connected to their customers. Most freelancers seek to connect to their clients. Most teachers work to connect to their students. That’s different, though, than ‘connect’. When you connect your customers or your audience or your students, you’re the matchmaker, building horizontal relationships, person to person. This is what makes a tribe. People caring about people. Side […]

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The Shrinking Income of Young Americans

from The Atlantic American families are grappling with stagnant wage growth, as the costs of health care, education, and housing continue to climb. But for many of America’s younger workers, “stagnant” wages shouldn’t sound so bad. In fact, they might sound like a massive raise. Since the Great Recession struck in 2007, the median wage for people between the ages of 25 and 34, adjusted for inflation, has fallen in every major industry except for health care. Young People’s Wages Have Fallen Across Industries Between 2007 and 2013 …  More here.

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