How Contractors Can Be More Successful In The Age Of The Gig-Economy

The gig economy runs on both pre-determined, precise rules and crowd-sourced feedback. It’s the accepted way to engage ‘gig’ workers…

And it’s pretty cool.

This is how it works:

  • before signing-up or paying for workers from on-demand service platforms (like airtasker.com or freelancer.com, for example) users like to look for feedback about workers other users have previously engaged
  • you see, it’s common practice after engaging workers on these platforms for users to rate the contractor (or ‘gig worker’) based on their experience
  • the more the gig-worker is engaged by platform users, the more positive feedback they receive, if they’re delivering quality services
  • as a result, they can trade off this feedback as it influences the perception of the platform’s users

As you can see, the gig economy and its principles are nimbly remolding the working lives of independent contractors, AND those who are seeking their services.

In this economy, there are certain traits of a contingent worker, which are becoming easily identifiable. Many of these traits are key to attracting positive ratings across the online service platforms through which they offer their services. Things like:

  • making sure they understand the brief and the boundaries that go with the project
  • delivering beyond the brief, to the benefit of the hirer
  • being a good listener
  • having clever, creative or innovative ideas that benefit the hirer
  • they’re responsive, collaborative and create outstanding experiences in the delivery of their jobs

In this article, we’ve provided pointers to contractors & gig workers; knowledge & skills they can apply to be successful in the gig economy.

1. Positive Reviews and Great Feedback
The workplace today is rapidly adapting to the changes being introduced by the gig economy. Annual performance reviews (of permanent or full-time staff) are being replaced with immediate feedback. So…for contingent workers, this means striving to ensure the work they deliver is of such a high standard that it encourages their manager to submit excellent ratings and recommendations for their services, to other potential hirers. It’s pretty simple.

The best contractors will incorporate lessons from this new-world economy into their daily working habits, and so develop a clean record of career accomplishments. And of course, self-evaluation & critique always plays a positive role for enhancing personal development & abilities.

2. Easily Distinguishable
The most highly-reputed and well-rated contingent worker is one that can (and will) go the extra mile. This plays a significant role in making them stand out from their – consistently growing – competition. More often than not, contract or gig-workers fail to see the significance of the so-called ‘little’ things. They historically have no reason to recognise and therefore deliver upon, that extra mile. So, by learning what makes your client ‘tick’, what their business needs & goals are, the gig-worker can easily identify the little things that will impress their employer, and boost their ratings & reputation.

3. Strategic Marketing
Self-promotion and self-marketing must be authentic, realistic, yet with a compelling value proposition to really appeal to target employers. Evidence based contractor marketing is worthy as hirers can get a relative picture of what and how the contractor delivered for other employers. Through clever digital marketing and client relationship building, a smart, timely and consistent approach to self-marketing will enable gig workers to stand out, and to attract a consistent stream of work.

With the ongoing technological advancements of today’s workplace and the relative economic impacts we’re experiencing, reputations can be made and broken quickly. As such, in today’s digital world, a contingent worker is as good as their last gig. A great performance is what leads to more and better opportunities. And clever marketing will greatly assist this process.


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