It feels like every week, there’s new groundbreaking tech that’s shifting the playing field for freelancers across the globe. For instance, we recently saw an explosion of popularity with OpenAI’s ChatGPT as it makes waves across the internet, redefining how we generate ideas for content.
But that’s just one example of the many trends that are currently shaping the independently-driven freelancing community. Countless tech tools are enabling graphic designers, accountants, truck drivers, and many other contractors to make the most of their individual professional pursuits.
From invoices to automation, marketing to cybersecurity, tech solutions are boosting solopreneurs everywhere. Let’s explore a few of the keystone changes that are improving the world of freelancing right now.
1. Improved Distance Communication Systems
Instant messaging apps have been around for a while, but Slack Technologies streamlined the mode of communication into a simple-to-understand yet, robust tool that thousands of freelancers take advantage of daily. Numerous companies rely on Slack to facilitate dialogues internally with team members and with their outsourced freelancers.
In the past couple of years, Zoom Meetings has become the shining star of video communication software, becoming the most popular tool used by corporations, institutions, and especially remote freelancers.
These improved methods for conducting distance communication have paved the way for dozens of vocations that are very practical for individuals who prefer to work alone and undisturbed.
Online tools are what have allowed freelancers to scale their own independent businesses, and that usually includes an organizational component.
Tools like Trello have acted as simple-to-navigate project boards that freelancers can leverage o keep track of what’s in the pipeline and compartmentalize client projects.
For freelance social media managers and content marketers, tools like Hootsuite and Buffer have helped unify channels that they handle for clients. This allows for scheduling and posting content to integrated social platforms.
3. Rising Demand for Freelancers
Freelance content writers have never been more necessary than now, with the emphasis that companies ought to bolster and improve their SEO.
By the same token, video content is steadily rising in demand as well. With more placements becoming available for video content, it’s creating new and expanded opportunities for freelancers to satisfy in the form of video.
Platforms like Upwork and Fiverr have created new avenues of acquiring one-time or limited contract agreements with specialized talent that can be accessed whenever needed, without the need for long-term employee contracts. But because more companies are seeing these freelancing platforms as a viable alternative to a full-on new hire, it’s become a more attractive option.
The mindset shift we are seeing is that business owners are weighing the advantages of hiring in-house staff to accomplish a need, be it content, engineering expertise, or video creation, and are opting to outsource the project in small-form transactions.
Hiring full-time or even part-time employees can be a robust process, and then there’s the pressure of having to continually supply those hires with work to do. That’s where the boutique nature of freelancers is desirable to many decision-makers.
4. Separated but Together
There were few positive outcomes that came about from COVID-19, and the necessity of remote work is one of them. We’re moving out of the old way of doing business – where the expectation was that employees should be locked down in a specific physical location.
More businesses are expanding their staff by creating remote-hybrid positions, allowing their team to grow without requiring them to leave their area.
The convenience of communication that many tools have provided us has made healthy working relationships and culture nurturing much easier to attain.
This “distributed team” model has allowed individuals who receive the benefits of freelancing remotely from their own home or preferred work spot to participate in larger companies.
Opening the boundaries of work and not confining workers to a physical location can expand options for acquiring finer talent from beyond just the local area. New and brilliantly-skilled workers that would have otherwise not been an option are suddenly options, and they’re all over the place.
5. Remote Work As a Mainstay
The surge of remote work that’s been done in the last few years has shown companies today that they can be just as productive as ever. By retaining work-from-home options for employees, many companies have seen morale boosts and even benefited from numerous overhead costs, like reduced energy consumption, for example.
Many companies have even embraced the remote work model and fully transitioned workers to remote-only placements. These sorts of decisions are, of course, financially-minded choices as well as morale-boosting ones. They can cut down overhead costs by eliminating lease agreements or property taxes.
It’s Growing Fast
With how vast certain AI technologies are revolutionizing the working world, it’s making some jobs appear obsolete. This is the wake-up call that everyone needs to pay attention to, as it’s crucial that we all find our niche.
AI is getting smarter at replicating the quality that humans can output, but it’s in creativity where humans still have the edge. It’s possibly the single most important and defining strength we can wield as freelancers.