In the old days – we’re talking way back in the ancient era of the early 2000s – people had to follow a well-trodden career path and model their lives on rules set by much older generations.
The internet had offered unprecedented freedom of information, individuality and chasing personal dreams were touted as the highest goals in life. And yet, for most people, the 9-5 grind was still the only way to secure some level of financial freedom.
Well, today, we can finally start to chase that dream of independent individuals making a living on their own schedule and on their own terms. Freelancing has transformed the way we define work, and it just keeps on evolving with new apps and tools like project management software, messenger apps, and the ability to create chatbot assistants.
Let’s take a look at the state of online freelancing in 2019 and see just how far we’ve come.
The Latest Freelancing News and Statistics
As per the latest statistics, from 2018, over a third of the US population has taken up freelancing. That’s well over 50 million people earning their living by offering services online. Nearly half of the 20-30-year-old workforce is freelancing, in an effort to pay off their college debts as quickly as possible and say goodbye to the stress of having a boss constantly micromanage them.
In fact, over 70% of freelancers said that they have a well-balanced workload that’s easy for them to manage, and over 60% are earning more with this kind of work than in any of their previous traditional jobs.
The best part about it is that just over three-quarters of this workforce feel that they are more satisfied, less stressed out, and able to find just the right work-life balance. So, the industry seems to be booming, and it offers a lot of benefits, but let’s see where it’s headed in the near future.
How New Technology Is Affecting the Freelance Industry
The biggest issue for new freelancers is often the number of fees different platforms impose. The market is crowded as it is, so the price of work drops, but then you have different fees that eat at your profits some more.
A potential solution to the problem of greedy freelancing platforms is seen in blockchain technology. In theory, a blockchain platform could ensure smart contracts between freelancers and their clients, mitigating the need for a full-blown third-party escrow system.
The technology offers safe payments and an easy way to verify all the steps of the process, from order to delivery and any subsequent tweaks and edits.
There are also tons of useful tools and apps that freelancers can use. These range from grammar tools like Grammarly and note-taking apps like Evernote, all the way to project management tools like Basecamp and Trello, and even chatbots. Yes, freelancers can even use the best AI chatbots to make money.
As long as the technology is used responsibly, you can create chatbot assistants to help channel clients through messenger apps, build a project management strategy with Trello, and get paid securely using a smart contract.
How to Find the Best Opportunities as a New Freelancer?
While we can expect many new opportunities to arise with the use of technologies we’ve mentioned in the previous paragraph, it’s best to focus on the platforms that allow freelancers to land jobs right now.
Not only are platforms like UpWork offering work in commonly outsourced fields like content writing, design, and web development, but there are now more direct ways to land a high-paying gig. As Big companies like Basecamp, Alibaba, Slack, and SnatchBot grew, they outsourced most of their development services to scale up quickly.
Giants like Google are always on the lookout for new talent, in various areas, and the safest, cheapest, and fastest way to get them is to outsource. This creates plenty of opportunities for hungry young freelancers.
The freelance market has grown into a massive global playground, where young talented people can find challenging and stimulating, yet well-paying jobs, all while creating a balance between their private and professional life. With the latest technologies pushing the industry ever-forward and making freelancers’ jobs easier, we can expect to see even more growth in 2019 and beyond.