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“When you think about freelancing, in general, only 3% — and this is mind-blowing — 3% of freelancing is happening online… Holy crap! 3%, that’s it.”
Fiverr’s company presentation from August 2021 reiterates: “Freelancing is still an old-school business.”
Our take: It is unclear how Fiverr reached their estimate (referring to SIA, McKinsey, US Census of Bureau), but it is roughly in line with the estimate given by Gig Economy Data Hub (quoting BLS, IRS, JPMorgan). The vast majority of freelance work really happens offline.
Most independent professionals are knowledge workers, so aiming for excellent mental health and performance makes great sense. Ōura ring wearable device is a great helper here for monitoring sleep, activity, and readiness.
Our take: At €314, Ōura is not cheap, but it is also highly praised by life-hackers who deep-test its technology and results. Check out Tom Baranek’s article Dreaming about Better Sleep for comparison.
Freelance Corner podcast positions itself as “the only expert-led podcast for the UK’s freelance community,” and it is backed by IPSE — so, definitely worth giving a try.
Freelancers Union’s article on How to make your freelance money go further skips the hype and actually provides some solid 1-2-3 financial advice to follow:
The monthly Freelance Business Digest newsletter by Elina Jutelyte and her team emerges as one of the best in Europe. Browse the archive, and subscribe for free to get their regular dose of freelance inspiration.
Our take: The freelance economy is vastly greater than all the freelance platforms combined, which is good news for investors because there’s huge space for growth. Platforms that interfere between freelancers and their clients will always have limited appeal for independent professionals. On the other hand, their market share has been growing, and Fiverr’s evolution from an appalling low-cost service to disrupting Upwork’s business is remarkable. Its projected growth is likely sustainable.
WikiHow’s guide on How to Start Freelancing, co-written by 52 contributors, has gathered over 350,000 views so far — that’s impressive!
Our take: The guide is rather short and simplistic, though not over-simplified. Many important elements are indeed missing (e.g. side gigs as the most common way to start freelancing), and the references are outdated, but to get a general idea (for absolute beginners), it is pretty useful.
A fringe 2019 MasterCard paper titled The Global Gig Economy projected the volume of the global gig economy in 2023 to $455 billion.
Not bad for a bunch of freelancers, right?!
But as always, the devil is in the details: According to the paper, “88% of gig economy gross volume is generated from transportation-based services or asset-sharing platforms” — i.e. companies and platforms like Uber or Airbnb. In other words, the “gig economy” here has little to do with independent professionals. The recent Fiverr report came up with wholly different numbers.
40 One-Sentence Email Tips article by Josh Spector has some really good points. For example:
Overall, The Freelance Way has an outstanding rating of 4.5 (out of 5) on Goodreads — recommended by 9 out of 10 freelancers ;)