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Freelancing with its flexibility, intensity, and autonomy seems to be an important trend in the ongoing long-term evolution of work towards being safer, more interesting and more intense — a broader picture explained by Arthur Diamond in his Reason article about the modern history of work.
British IPSE has just published The Self-Employed Landscape in 2020 report. As usual, it defines freelancers as the top-skilled subset of the solo self-employed population:
“There are now almost 2.2 million freelancers in the UK, up 1% from 2019. Of these, over 1.9 million state that freelancing is their main job, with a further 239,000 people doing freelancing as a side hustle alongside other employment. Due to the small increase in freelancers between 2019 and 2020 and the larger drop in the overall solo self-employed population (-5%), the number of freelancers as a proportion of wider population has increased by 3% from 46% to 49%. Therefore, highly skilled freelancers now make up almost half of the 4.4 million solo self-employed in the UK.“
2020 has been an overwhelmingly eventful year for freelancing. According to Google Trends, it has also been trending in global Google search, reaching an all-time high in July.
Dan Sacha has researched the websites of 150+ leading European universities to produce an overview of a dozen programs, both older and new, seeking to support freelancing. These are the highlights:
Wondering what the real freelancing trends are? One of the best answers to this question has always been provided by MBO Partners State of Independence annual surveys. To celebrate their 10th anniversary, the newly released 2020 report presents the 10 major changes over the last decade, as well as 5 growing US freelance trends for years to come:
“95% of freelance work comes through relationships and reputations, rather than digital pipes,“ writes a freelancing expert Jon Younger in his latest Forbes article about The Future Freelance Marketplace. He also includes 7 themes for the best future platforms:
With the no-deal Brexit scenario looming over Europe, British IPSE published a simple summary of How freelancers and contractors can get ready for Brexit. If you operate across the UK/EU border, this is essential reading — albeit full of WTF-moments. For example: “If you have [as a UK freelancer] used a .eu domain name to supply services in the EU, this will no longer be usable after December.” 🤯
Ultimate Guide to Being a Freelancer is a free kickstart guide. Take it with a grain of salt, though. Besides useful advice, it also contains some factual errors like claiming that “75% of freelancers find work through online platforms”, while other more reliable sources estimate that number to be as low as 5%. Ouch!
Headlime is a new AI-powered copywriting tool able to generate marketing texts in 11 languages. It is based on hundreds of copy templates and the famous GPT-3 deep-learning model developed by OpenAI. The question is: Will such AI tools put some less-skilled copywriters out of (freelance) business? 🤔