Best Practices: Getting Your Foot in the Door of the “Gig Economy”

Is your company ready to dive into the gig economy?  Establishing your business – or even yourself in the world of on-demand, virtual work can be a daunting proposition.  Whether you’re thinking of a sideline or jumping in full-time, follow these tips to set yourself up for success.


Why a gig?  The gig economy offers opportunities for a tremendous variety of professions, from health care work to handyman services, and those jumping in can enjoy the flexibility of running their own show.  At the same time, companies enjoy the reduced overhead of employees not under their roofs and not in their benefits plans.  It can be a win on both sides of the equation.


Develop your identity.  Your foundation in the gig economy begins with your digital identity.  Prospective customers will need Internet-based resources for learning about you and what you offer.  Build a website that explains your products and services, include an effective landing page, current contact information, a portfolio of your work and display endorsements if you already have some.  Create profiles on business-oriented social media channels that coordinate with your website and make a great logo part of your presentation.


Your logo.  Creating an effective logo is a vital piece of developing a successful new business, but it can also be an extremely challenging component.  You want an eye-catching, clever and memorable design.  What message do you want to send, and what are some ways of saying what you want to say?  Check into the logos your competitors are using and think about which designs work and why.

Once you develop some ideas, you don’t need to hire an expensive marketing firm or graphic designer to pull a logo together.  You can implement your concept with a free online business logo generator tool. It will guide you through the process, and you’ll have something you can share on your webpage and through other resources.  By starting out with an identifiable image that you carry consistently, you’ll create a signature logo your customers and supporters recognize and trust.


Praiseworthy work.  Don’t underestimate the value of word of mouth and endorsements.  The Balance notes that in a world driven by the Internet and an online marketplace, testimonials and praise from third parties brings validity traditional advertising and marketing can’t.  Offer great customer service, be positive and professional and manage your affairs in a timely manner so your clientele have only good things to say about you.  When things go awry, because at some point they will, offer appropriate, respectful and respectable solutions.


What’s your niche?  Some aspects of the gig economy are developing specialized niche platforms.  These platforms connect clients with workers, typically via the web.  For instance, there are online platforms dedicated to finding people who help with pet care, others for cleaning services, and still others for bookkeeping services.  Engaging a platform where you can advertise your work can be a boon, since some clients will prefer to use those platforms.

Note that such platforms often vet businesses, which participate in their venue, so offering quality work, professional skills and great customer service will be an added plus.  You benefit because customers know a minimum standard of quality is being offered, which can be particularly helpful when you don’t have your own reputation to stand on initially.


Flying solo.  If you struggle finding your initial clientele, there are a number of ways to bolster your business and increase your customer base.  In addition to engaging specialized online platforms, one idea is to provide temporary services.  By filling in while a company’s workers are on leave, you grow your experience and potentially garner endorsements.  You can also fill in gaps during seasonal workload and production shifts.


Your gig, your way.  Follow these guidelines to get started in the gig economy.  Establish your identity, use great tools, and provide outstanding customer service.  With a well-laid foundation you’ll be set for success.

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