In the modern gig market, people have more chance to earn extra money or their primary income through freelance gigs. One of the biggest examples would be drivers for ride share services. These independent contractors manage their own mini-businesses by providing rides and delivery services on their own schedules. If you are interested in free-lance opportunities, the chances are that you have some skills or tools that others would be happy to pay you for. Graphic designers, writers, accountants, programmers – all kinds of skilled labor is needed to fill the holes of other businesses. If you have a skill that you can use on independent gigs you can make additional weekend money or, if you’re lucky and hardworking, a primary income that lets you quit your day job.
One benefit of being an independent driver with firms like Lyft is that the company manages the app and helps you connect directly with customers in need of a ride. The app also guarantees you get paid for your work by taking customers’ credit card information and funneling the payments to you. These firms take a fee off of each ride, but they do make sure that no one can jump out of your car without paying for the ride. For skilled labor there are also websites and services that can provide the same kind of tools for communication and guaranteed payments.
One major website/service that provides these tools is UpWork, a site the can help you find work in all kinds of computer and administrative skills. Businesses can post the parameters of jobs they need completed, and workers can bid on the projects of their choice. The easy-to-use webpage also facilitates tracking hourly work, submitting final files, and ensuring payment for completed jobs. Like driving services there is a fee taken out for the use of this tool, but it still lets you earn money doing only the jobs you want. The site connects potential clients to skilled workers of all types. If you are a master at accounting, an expert programmer, or a writer just getting started there will be plenty of jobs for you to bid on to improve your portfolio.
If you choose not to go through a third-party website, there is lots of freelance work to find on sites like Craigslist. Any sites or forums where clients can post job openings can be searched for the kind of work you do. This allows you to contact potential clients directly and deal with them one on one. However, this option does not come with the tools and payment guarantees of third-party websites. In order to protect yourself you will want to secure a contract and a hard agreement on payment before beginning any work. Getting a down payment towards the work is also a good idea, because it guarantees some payment in case the job goes south for any reason. Take the time to document communications with the client as well so there is a clear line of responsibility in the event of a disagreement between you and the client.
Another tool to have if you freelance on your own is a convenient way to accepts payments. There are several sites and apps that can help facilitate this. Paypal has been on the market for years, but there are newer competitors on the market like Venmo. These services make it easy to send payments and refunds electronically so that clients do not have to put a check in the mail. By making the payment process more convenient you are reducing any obstacles to getting paid.
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